It’s finally December! And what better time than now to hand you my new live EP?
Earlier this year I was invited to perform a solo gig at a charity mini-festival held at a highly motivated individual‘s home, just outside Bolton.
I decided I wanted combine a couple of personas, so I attended as a sort of Caryl Archer/Sister Sparkle hybrid. My gig playlist combined tracks from Glitter Punch, some of my solo work, and covers of electronic artists I admire.
Apart from the stage being a tad cold, the entire day went beautifully. It was the sort of experience I would have paid for, that’s how wonderful it was! There are rumours of a TUSTONBURY 3, so watch out for me next year, too.
The live EP consists of a selection of the songs I performed that night with my own backing tracks, but with a ‘studio’ lead vocal to complete the recording.
I was really pleased to finally complete work on my cover of Latch by Disclosure. I fell in love with that song the first time I heard it played on the radio, and have been singing it to myself ever since, trying to work out how I would perform it if I was ever given the chance (spoiler: I played it at the church cafe event this summer. Dream come true!).
Digital Ends was a reasonably recent idea. I remember listening to Discovery one day and realising there was a riff in Digital Love that would fit splendidly with the ‘Want to, try to’ section of Imogen Heap’s Loose Ends. I didn’t need to do a lot of fiddling to make them fit.
However, the EP itself is one big instance of fiddling…
In the time between the performance and the release, several aspects of my music tech gave up on me!
First, I was upgrading the hard drive of my old dinosaur Asus PC, and found that the software I use for mastering and post production wouldn’t work any more without the installation disc. Now, I purchased that software back in 2007, and the packaging has since been lost to time and the labyrinth that is the loft, so the only way I could run the programme was to plug in my old hard drive using a nifty little adapter.
This worked great… for 24 hours. And then the unthinkable happened. My charging port broke! Now, bear in mind that I’ve been using this machine almost every day for more than ten years. The little metal pin soldered in there has done an incredible job of holding out so long, but, alas, the poor guy gave up the ghost just as it was time for me to finalise James Mercer’s tracks for his Change EP. I also had more vocals to record for the live EP.
At long last, my dinosaur PC has finally gone to Silicon Heaven. Thankfully, I had a much newer Dell machine donated to me some months ago. After a bit of experimentation, I was able to set up my mixing desk and mic to record onto the Dell. That’s one clear advantage of using Audacity for recording voice and live instruments: you’ll always be able to download it to another machine so you can carry on working.
Streaming & Download
You can pick up your copy of Caryl @ TUSTONBURY 2 as a name-your-price release on Bandcamp. If you want it for free, just type in £0.00 and you’ll bet set to download this live EP in a host of formats.