Fiona Ross; My Snow Owl Experience

 

As a journalist as well as a Jazz artist, I am incredibly honoured to interview some amazing people in the music industry. One of my first interviews was with the Grammy nominated, world renowned bassist Snow Owl – Juan Garcia-Herreros. He is just inspirational and also truly one of nicest people I have met. He helped me understand the power of music and the social responsibility of the artist – and he is a truly phenomenal musician. ( https://www.the-snow-owl.com/home)

About six months later, I was writing a song and literally as I worked out and played the 3rd chord, I thought how amazing it would be to have him play on this track and be a special guest on my next album. I really don’t know why, but the idea just came to me, as I played that chord. I could sort of hear him playing him in my head.

I thought, well, you know life is too short to wonder about things, so I immediately just emailed his manager and very sheepishly, asked her what she thought. She said, of course, just message him! Amazingly, he said yes, and I immediately went back to my piano and carried on writing the song, now knowing he would be playing it with me. I wanted to write something then, that gave him the space to do his thing.

Another six months later, I had the most incredible and overwhelming experience as a musician. I arrived in Vienna and I was taken on a 3-hour drive. It was completely dark, and I had no idea what was around me although I did sense something significant. I woke up in the morning in a house, full of windows, literally surrounded by mountains – the beautiful scenery of Vienna. Mountains everywhere. It was breathtaking. Snow Owl, having asked for no information about my songs beforehand, asked for the chords to the two songs we were going to record, just to look through. It turns out that the third chord, that made me think of Snow Owl when I was writing, is actually his favourite chord. Seriously.

He said he loves that chord. We drive to a castle in the mountains (yes, a castle!!), which is where he recorded his album ‘The Blue Road’ – and there is a plaque on the wall explaining this too.

We played through the two songs and did two live recordings of each song only. It was such an amazing challenge on so many levels.

As a vocalist, I am incredibly disciplined with my voice, but as I was still recovering from being ill (pneumonia) I hadn’t sung for weeks (I always exercise my voice every day) and I hadn’t even warmed up. To be honest, before I arrived, I thought we would just be recording the bass parts and I would be just doing guide vocals. So, to be thrown into this situation was very unsettling but in the best way. I was completely out of my comfort zone, but it totally felt like the right thing to do. We just went with the moment. Could I have sung better? Yes, but if we had recorded them again – and again – that would have taken away the spontaneity of the moment, the feel. The two songs are so much freer than any I have ever recorded and even Snow Owl surprised himself with his playing and said he didn’t know where it came from. It was so surreal.

What I wanted was his essence on the tracks and by going with the moment, that is exactly what happened. These two tracks stand-alone from the rest of the album for that reason and we are both thrilled by the result. The two songs will not suit everyone’s taste, but Snow Owl fans and any bassists will absolutely love these tracks – his playing it simply incredible. You kind of know when someone who is regularly voted as one of the top bassists in world, is surprised by his own playing, you have something special.

The funny thing about this experience and the whole album, is that I came up with the album title before I wrote any of the material, just because I thought it was a cool title. It didn’t actually link to anything at the time as I hadn’t written anything. But now looking back, in many ways, without any conscious effort, it appears to be the perfect title on many levels – and my experience with Snow Owl, is, I guess, some people would say, a perfect example.

Links to Fiona Ross

Website: http://www.fionaross.co.uk/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/fionarossmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/fifross

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fifi_ross/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/fionaross

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/fiona-ross/id435896835?mt=11

Other:  https://open.spotify.com/artist/59lPcyDIZJxmRqatvAjct8?si=bR_mBEUiQGaF_bphfM1ldg

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Great Music Has a Permanent Effect On You | Colour Machine

 

Great music has a permanent effect on you. You remember where you heard it for the first time, what you were doing…I remember when I heard The Dark Side of the Moon for the first time, I remember falling in love with Bowie’s “Life on Mars?” sitting at an upright piano in a practice room at my high school. If I can recreate even the smallest amount of that greatness in my music, I will be a happy man.

I’m Anthony, and I’m the drummer/lead singer from Adelaide alternative rock trio Colour Machine. We’ve been kicking around for a few years now, but as a band we started back when Tom (guitar) and I were hanging out when we were in Year 7, and wrote a song together. It was just an instrumental (I hadn’t really found my voice yet), and looking back now I don’t think it was as good as we probably made it out to be…but it inspired us to create. From there we kept writing and starting playing live a couple of years later.  Recording and releasing music came next, and we continued to build ourselves up around Adelaide.

In 2015/2016, we felt it was time to really take a stab at writing and recording a cohesive artistic project, and we began working on what would eventually become the “2” EP. A lot of time went into the writing, recording, mixing, final bleeps and bloops and the like, so that it sounded exactly how we wanted it to.

And you know what’s funny? Looking back now, there’s about a million things I would change.

I’m really proud of that EP and all the time and effort that went into it, but there’s so much I’d do differently if I had the chance to do it over now. But that’s hindsight for you, I suppose. We released that EP with a companion piece called “Live Session” which actually came together quite naturally – we booked 5 days in the studio to track the “2” EP, but finished tracking on the 4th day. Deciding not to waste a day, we called our friend Raff to come down and film the next morning, and we played some songs that didn’t make the cut.

Those projects came out in 2017 and we played a bunch of shows around Adelaide to promote them, whilst writing and putting together our next project; we wanted to strip back a lot of the craziness we’d piled onto the “2” EP and showcase what we could do as a three-piece. We also wanted to not just be that cliché rock band that plays ridiculous power chord songs for half an hour, which we felt we could easily become if we weren’t careful.

What we ended up with was a 6-track EP full of funk, hip hop and folk inspired alt rock. Not sure if we stripped back the craziness, looking at it now…

It’s a lot more honest than our previous stuff, both lyrically and musically. I wanted to really talk about some stuff that had been playing on my mind while we were writing it, and as a result a lot of the EP is quite personal for me. It’s definitely a new experience for me to share so much of myself in a release like this, but I hope the personal side of it helps listeners connect with it.

 “21st Century” and “Maverick” are out now – the rest is on the way. Give them a spin on all your listening services and we’ll be back with more new music very soon.

 

Talk soon, big love.

Anthony

Links to COLOUR MACHINE

21st CENTURY: http://smarturl.it/21CCM 

MAVERICK: http://smarturl.it/MaverickCM 

WEBSITE: https://colourmachineband.bandcamp.com/

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClkuUJkYEjPExydQ66MaaPA 

FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/colourmachineband

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/colourmachineAU

INSTAGRAM:  http://instagram.com/colourmachineband

 

Indie Rock Band

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Ramy Falcon | “I Have Just Won My First Gold Record and am Recording With The Stars Of My Youth”

Ramy Falcon | “I Have Just Won My First Gold Record and am Recording With The Stars Of My Youth”

Growing up in Cuba is not an easy thing. There was always a lack of food and a lack of liberty, which might as well be the same. Music was my only escape and that of many others. Cuba is known for its music, and many greats have come before me; Celia Cruz, Pablo Milanés, Chucho Valdés, Gloria Estefan and more recently Gente de Zona.

When music is ones only freedom, you hold to it with all your strength and might! And that is exactly what I did.

I grew up in a little shack, with dirt floors, but which was always filled with music. At a very early age, thanks to my mother, I had a chance of listening to the great Latin singers and artists. I remember standing in front of the mirror listening to Luis Miguel and pretending that I was him. I remember listening to Jose Jose albums at night and crying myself to sleep lost in his lyrics and melodies.

One morning, walking to school, trying to sing the songs that had put me to sleep the night before, I was stopped in the street and asked by a woman if I was a singer. My answer was of course no, but that was the beginning. Right after I answered, I thought, but I might be! That same afternoon I formed my first band.

I was lucky enough to have been gifted with a very nice voice. And before I knew I had gigs all over town and was singing 6 nights a week. Composition came during that time like a natural progression. Its great to do covers, but I have things I want to express and say as well!

During this time, I was discovered by Paul Seaquist, President of SP Records, who approached me and offered me a recording contract after hearing just one of my songs! I couldn’t believe it! I have always been very thankful to him since he gave me a once in a lifetime chance. He offered me a house, a record deal and now one only one year later I have just won my first Gold Record and am recording with the stars of my youth.

As I said before, music was my escape from oppression, it gave me the freedom I so needed, the freedom my country still needs. My music made me free…It is my intention to make other people dream with my music as I used to do when I was a kid.

 

Links to RAMY FALCON

YOUTUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAm3Xl65PdI

FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/ramyfalconmusic/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/FalconRamy

MANAGEMENT: https://twitter.com/paulseaquist

Ramy Falcon | “I Have Just Won My First Gold Record and am Recording With The Stars Of My Youth”

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Helen Perris | I wondered if I’d ever be able to write again


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Helen Perris | I Wondered If I’d Ever Be Able To Write Again

The directive came through Messenger, but the tone was clear. My friend was exasperated with me. I was at a low point, so cloaked in the dark weight of depression that I couldn’t even order pizza for dinner for the kids, let alone cook something nutritious.

 

“I can’t move,” I messaged back. “Everything is too heavy.”

 

🎶  I know you’re hurting

And I just don’t know what to do

Your heart’s been broken

Your whole world’s been turned upside down 🎶

 

I hadn’t written a song in months and sometimes I wondered if I’d ever be able to write again. It all seemed so pointless and fruitless. Why even bother write when nobody listens or cares? At least that’s what the nagging voice in my head told me.

 

“Get up. You can’t stay there forever. At least feed your kids,” he said.

They were hungry. I ordered the pizza.

🎶   I can’t fix what’s happened

Or heal this raw wound

But I hate seeing you like this 🎶

Another friend was going through hell: real hell caused by real things, not just depression. That was the voice again. It liked to make me feel bad for feeling bad. My inability to be of any real help to her stirred the angry pangs of guilt that nipped at my heels. I ached to have the energy to take away her pain but the best I could do, as I lay on my couch, was be there on the other end of the phone line or with an open chat window, willing to simply listen. He said that would be enough. It seemed to be.

🎶 All I can do is be there for you

Listen when you want to talk

Hold you tight to stop you falling apart 🎶

He and I talked daily, as friends do. I didn’t ask him to solve my problems, just listen. Then one day in the middle of a conversation, there was a spark of inspiration: “That’s a great idea for a song.” One moment of hope made me start writing again in earnest. There was a direct correlation between the amount of time at the piano, writing lyrics and figuring out harmonic progressions, and the lightening of the load I carried daily.

Some people talk out their feelings. Some eat theirs. I write mine.

🎶  I won’t let you be alone

So even when I’m not there

Know I’m keeping you in my heart 🎶

I joined a songwriting club, so now I write every week, whether I’m inspired or not. It doesn’t matter in the end, because there’s always a new song after my songwriting hour is up, and the load lightens again. Creating art helps. I’m not cured, but I haven’t been hollow and heavy since I started making the time to make music regularly.

Are people listening? Well at the very least, the club members are. I hope you will, too.

 

Helen Perris is an independent pop artist based in Western Sydney. Her new single, Be There, will be released in October through her website, Bandcamp, iTunes and all regular streaming services.

Links To Helen Perris

Website: www.helenperrismusic.com

Bandcamp: www.helenperris.bandcamp.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/helenperrismusic

Twitter: www.twitter.com/helenperris

Instagram: www.instagram.com/helenperrismusic

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/helenperris

YouTube: www.helenperrismusic.com/youtube

 Helen Perris | I Wondered If I’d Ever Be Able To Write Again

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The Weeping Willows | It has been a crazy year for us

 

The Weeping Willows | It Has Been A Crazy Year For Us

The Weeping Willows is Australian Americana Folk duo, Andrew Wrigglesworth and Laura Coates. Two lovers who write and perform their music around the world, leaving audiences in a trance.

Their music is poetic,with an eerie undertone of darkness and doom, yet capturing the intense romance between them, has the listeners coming back for more. 

The story of how Andrew and Laura found each other, and their journey thus far was published on Music Talks in June of this year. 

Andrew and Laura tell us how their year has panned out since the release of their album, ‘Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’ and whats left for 2016.

It has been a crazy year for us over here at The Weeping Willows camp. 

We released our sophomore album, ‘Before Darkness Comes A-Callin’ back in April and have since toured to 7 Australian states and territories as well as the USA! 

Americana Duo

We’ve met so many beautiful people on our journeys and had so much fun sharing our new music. 

We are so grateful to each and every person who has bought our album or come to our shows.  It’s certainly been our best year yet…  With more to come! 

It’s festival season here in Australia so we hit the ground running once we got back from the States, performing at Welcome to Morrisonville – Americana Festival with Kinky Friedman and Hayes Carll in QLD (such a dream come true!), before heading over to SA for the wonderful Fleurieu Folk Festival, which is always one of our favourites. 

This November we’ll be performing at Australian Music Week in Cronulla, NSW, the Bendigo Blues & Roots Music Festival and Healesville Music Festival in VIC, as part of The Round Up series of shows at Bella Union in Carlton, VIC with Lachlan Bryan & The Wildes and Ange Boxall and Live at Station Place in Werribee with Lachlan again. 

And, for our final show of the year, we are honoured to be supporting the Queen of the Minor Key, Ms. Eilen Jewell at the Corner Hotel on Thursday 24th November!  Many thanks to Music Talks for all of their support this year!”

 

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