So after three days of hard work in the recording studio I am delighted to say that stage one of the album is complete! The goal was to nail down the drums and bass parts and that is done!
Since my last album I have been working hard on my song-writing and developing my lyrics – in the past I have written in so many different styles it is only recently that I have discovered my own unique singer-songwriter style. I am inspired by artists such as Sarah Bareilles, Colbie Calliat and Nichole Nordeman and people mention I have a twang of Lilly Allen, Kate Nash and Lucy Spraggan when I sing.
It was good to get into the studio having a clear idea of the outcome. I had a lot of fun jamming through the songs with Paul Evans on drums, Mark Prentice on bass and Paul Burton in the studio. It was great playing around with different ideas and suggestions. I was asked if I minded hearing different ideas for various parts of the songs. Several years ago, I would have not have coped with others making suggestions for song developments, but thankfully I am now much more secure in my writing and music that I am always up for developing, growing and getting the very best out of my music.
There is something especially unique about hearing songs that you have crafted and lived with for so long come to life in front of you. It was physically exhausting singing each song six or seven times on the trot as we recorded – I can’t sing them half-heartedly. I felt the impact of my efforts by last day and know that I need some retreat and recovery time. I find it’s always important to build recovery time when you giving so much out.
The project is now at that phase where I start to get very impatient! I have witnessed the start of the process, can see where it’s going and now I just want the shiny packaged version immediately! Maybe I should start writing a track about patience.
As the songs have developed, I am excited about the message I am sharing. Something I have heard many times since understanding about my own and my son’s autism is the fear that some people have of labels and what they might mean. I have had so many caring and loving people concerned that I might be defined by a negative label.
I can’t emphasise enough how this isn’t the case for me at all. Learning about the different challenges has simply been the beginning of understanding. It’s like sorting through the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle that are all in a jumble. When you start sorting the pieces you get to the point where you start being able to create the picture, and slowly and surely it starts taking shape and making sense.
I think also we have a choice of what defines us – it’s not about labels or conditions for me. I find my identity in God, as a woman who is loved and cherished. I have learnt to embrace this and live out what I feel I am made to be and who I choose to be. I am an encourager, a smiler and a joy bringer. I am someone who loves to give gifts and to dance around with joy.
My reality is living in a world that sometimes can feel so overwhelming and hard to navigate. Learning how and why I work in a particular way helps me to get stronger so that I’m no longer held back or limited.
My hope is that this album will reinforce the joy in embracing who we are and how we are made and being people who overcome the challenges we may face.
I look forward to sharing more about this in the coming weeks,