Music for Mermaids, Hobbits & Unicorns from Western Australian Harpist -  Adam B Harris

Sounds of Nature... 

So last night after I finished playing in the caravan park, Fred who co manages the park with his wife Verna, was telling me about this CD project that he had heard once. I can't recall the exact details, but essentially it was instrumental coupled with nature sounds, and he suggested that I might like to try something similar. Speaking as a musician and an artist, this is a bit of an eye roller, the sort of suggestion that makes me want to do the sticking your fingers down your throat and gagging gesture, so I pretty much dismissed the idea out of hand.

Thinking about it today though, not everything always has to be about me and what I like. I accept that there are people that like this sort of thing, its a valid genre and there is nothing wrong with that. After recording four CDs of other peoples material though, I had my heart set on just recording my own compositions for the forseeable future, and apart from maybe the odd effect here and there, recording nature sounds didn't fit in with my plans. Having said this though, I have a number of tunes that I play in my shows that have never been recorded, and it occured to me that maybe I could use a project like Fred suggested as an opportunity to document those tunes. Just do a simple solo harp recording of the tunes (mainly O'Carolan and traditional material we are talking about here - similar to what is on the "Wildflower" CD) and do a mix down including various nature sounds. These are all good tunes, but without the benefit of a project like this, they probably wouldn't see the light of day.

So maybe after the air conditioner guy gets here, I will take a couple of days out to record the tunes. I already know them inside out so it wouldn't hurt to record them, if I don't like what I hear, it needn't get released. Maybe I could do a limited "internet only" release, or just give it away as a download package to people that are on my mailing list, a sort of present for putting up with me.

I'm going to need to give this some more thought....

A small win, but a win nevertheless. 

Its funny living in a small town as anybody who has gone through the excercise will tell you. I've never seen it in writing, but for years there has been this local government edict that Adam Harris is not to perform at the caravan park. What little local government there is here consists of a shire group of mainly retired farmers and I've always joked with people that I've spoken to about the issue that the reasoning is maybe music makes the cows milk go sour. I've never seen the movie Footloose, but I'm told its about a small town where you are not allowed to dance. Well I live in a lovely town, and as far as I know, dancing is permitted but certain behaviours are not encouraged. The rule is, everybody is supposed to have the same kind of fence. I don't know how that compares to other communities around the place, but here is a strange one - I happen to live in the "main street" of this town (inverted commas because you could shoot a cannon down it at any time without fear of injury) and they want all houses in the main street to be painted in the same colours.

The real reason I've not been permitted to play down at the caravan park is that I'm mildly eccentric and the "powers that be" don't really want the tourists to be hearing my radical views. Funny thing is, my views on most things are really quite old school, I am old fashioned with 20th Century views, but that doesn't help if prevailing order is of the 19th. I could see the point if the town was a tourist destination, but it isn't really, its just a rural community where people come to live and work.

Its all a bit silly considering the people at the caravan park travel about and in many cases I am selling CDs to the same people in towns an hour or two away.

Anyway, the caravan park has new management that have only been there 6 months or so and are apparently unaware of this standing order. So I played there on Christmas eve and again tonight with great success. Probably because I managed to keep a lid on my crazy ideas.  Here's hoping I continue to do so.

Things I wish I had known about air conditioning 7 years ago.... 

Some seven years ago when I was building the recording studio, one of the first things I did was to put air conditioning in the studio. I had two split systems installed, one in the control room where I do the bulk of my work and one in the performance area. What I didn't know at the time was that there are "air conditioners" and there are "air conditioners". Unfortunately my air conditioners are of the extemely inexpensive variety and the compressor of the one that services the control room is shot, rendering the unit pretty much useless. Had I have better understood my options at the time, I would have chosen to get a more expensive unit - cause I was cashed up then, but not now.

The air conditioner guy says he can switch over the units so I can have it working in the control room. Its been one of the worst Perth summers on record, and I've been able to do next to no work in here this summer except answer a few emails and facebook posts. A great shame as I have an album of original material in various stages in the can that I would like to finish and some videos as well that need putting on youtube. Not really an option until I get this sorted as the equipment in the control room generates heat.

But once its all fixed, expect lots of new things in 2013.

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