The Home Service

Some people feel the need to start learning a new musical instrument. Others decide on finding ephemeral promise in a complex jigsaw puzzle. The lockdown that we are still experiencing, for some more than others, has produced some sad and happy, distressing and exhilarating results.

Personally, I have been enjoying the process of isolation, having been familiar with it all my working life. I have enjoyed the choices that, rather than being restrictive, have been liberating and allowed for further creative processes to develop. My Topline Music library for example continues to grow. More tracks and varied styles have been added with blogs and an attempt to widen its profile through social media and other mysterious marketing malarkey.

I have also been around music studios all my life and had several of my own.  Sometimes they are simply a means to download and play weird and wacky sounds or upload updates to existing software that already works perfectly well.

But when a commission arrives requesting a series of tracks written, recorded, produced and mastered before you have your next meal, your playroom becomes mission control with every piece, knob, dial and lever performing with exacting precision. Well, that’s the hope anyway. The practicalities are more like a rant at the screen and a pounding of an already delicate mouse that’s become sluggish and unresponsive.

But in times of reinvention and the search for that creative muse, I asked the wife of several decades to consider starting a podcast.

I knew we had the toys; the microphones, headphones, audio capture and some production knowhow. We certainly had the time, alongside that aforementioned ‘Where’s Wally’ puzzle and the never-ending quest to watch every Netflix drama, and we had chums we could talk to.

So, we set about with our first venture into Podland.

Sitting together in a studio with your other half and chatting is a strange experience. Of course, you chat throughout the day about all manner of things, what to eat, drink, watch, asking the time, is it too early for a glass of wine. But when it comes to recording the produce of your chatting it’s another matter. It can be quite stressful with arguments and disagreements never too far away.

But then we thought of making a list of all our chums with whom we’ve worked, and those we’ve known in other lives. We thought of our kids who have their own story, and other friends about whom we’d love to know more.

The perfect format. Why not interview them?

Ripple dissolve, we are underway with half a dozen episodes in the can and the best name you can imagine. We are The Home Service.

A tribute to that BBC Bastion that got Britain through the second World War and many other conflicts until it was disbanded in 1967 in deference to BBC Radio 4.

So, The Home Service. A Podcast brought to you, our lovely listener, from our home, top-floor, studio offering hopefully a service that includes friendly banter, chatty McChat, interviews with chums, some of whom you will know and others you will recognise especially after hearing about them, people who know people, songs, music, fun jingles, bloopers and happy memories of great days in a rather silly entertainment and music business both Tina and I have had the pleasure to work in, and hopefully will for some time to come.

The support and encouragement have been very welcome so far. We want to continue with these for as long as we enjoy making them. So do us the biggest favour and tune in and enjoy the moments.

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