Blog No.42/Vlog No.3 – Part 11 of My Close Encounters of the Music (&/or) Legend Kind: Tippi Hedren (Star of Hitchcock’s ‘The Birds’)


Third vlog.

BLOG NO.42/VLOG NO.3 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.41 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH BLOG NO.40/VLOG NO.2 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote my 65 folk tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the tracks. Clicking on the title of the blog will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the tracks will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. The videos won’t show in copies received via email. Apologies, but these are out of my control.)

If you haven’t read any of these, I always start with a confession: I thought I would do these Close Encounter blogs purely because I knew they would get more people coming to my blog site and, hopefully, listening to my folk music too. Well, I was right on the first count, but, judging by my site and SoundCloud statistics, I don’t think it’s getting many people to have a listen to my musical attempts. Hardly surprising, really, as most of those wanting to read these – include either current or budding puppeteers – are not that interested in folk-type music that is primarily about the history of a specific region of England. Just so you know, I have blogged about the other kinds of music I’ve done – see THIS one for example – and I will be doing more in the future. (I’ve added a couple of songs to the right-hand sidebar.) There, now I’ve done my confessional, on with the blog….

In my 40-odd years as an actor, puppeteer and movement choreographer in theatre, television and film I was fortunate and honoured enough to meet and work with some music legends – both human and places – from Elton John to Capital Record Studios in LA. It’s only recently that I realised music has been with me my whole adult working life, in one form or another, and I thought I’d share these ‘close encounters’ with you. So here is Part 11 of those encounters….

In celebration of Tippi Hedren‘s 88th birthday, I’ve decided to do a vlog about the three occasions I spent with her. One of these included music, so this is more of a close encounter of a movie legend and music kind…of.

Once again I must make an apology, this time for the sound quality. I don’t know what my Nikon B700 was up to – and maybe it was trying to recreate my tinnitus –  but I wish it hadn’t. I’m afraid I just wasn’t up to doing another take.

Below are some photos of what I’ve talked about….

Above photo: three happy-chappies trying to out-stare the camera on the set of Dinosaurs. Left to right: me, Stevie Whitmire and Alan Trautman.


Above photo: A hug after the final shot of Dinosaurs.

Above photo: We were looking at Tippi’s books of songs as we sat around the fire. From left to right: Me, Tom Fisher (over Bill’s shoulder), Bill Barretta, Cristina Barrette, Dave Greenaway (behind Cristina) Tippi Hedren, Kevin Clash (beind Tippi), and I’m not sure who the gentleman was on the far right.

Above photo: more song choosing. From left to right: my wife Fiona, Me, Kevin Clash, Bill Barretta and Cristina Barretta. (I can’t identify anyone else.

Above photo: Bill and I next to our wrap cake.

FEATURED HEADER IMAGE: by Roar Shambala. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

THE END

If you think these stories are interesting, they will be nothing compared to those the puppeteers from The Muppets or Sesame Street could tell. They’ve worked with more musical legends than I’ve had hot dinners. Having said that, I do have more to come, and Part 12 of the Close Encounter Of The Music Legend Kind will be about performing with The Muppets and Right Said Fred at the 1993 Royal Variety Show in London.

Thanks, as always, for reading, and please do leave a Star Rating at the top of the Page (good or bad, I don’t mind), or Like it below if you’re a member of WordPress. You can also leave a Comment or Question below.

Thanks as always for reading and watching,

Mak

Blog No.41: Feminine Folk: my current four favourite (solo) female folk artists


Looking at (in alphabetical order) Cara Dillon, Julie Fowlis, Ange Hardy and Kate Rusby

BLOG NO.41 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.40/VLOG NO.2 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote my 65 folk tracks and how all this began, then click HERE. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the videos. Clicking on the title of the blog in the email will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the videos will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. Apologies but out of my control.)

Now that I’ve covered the 65 tracks of my excuses for folk music, I thought it time to take a look at some real folk artists. I’m going to start with my current favourite women, going in alphabetical order. I say they’re solo artists, but none – except for Ange Hardy – play solely on their own, and even Ange sometimes plays as a duet.

CARA DILLON

Irish folk singer, Cara Dillon is someone I’ve only recently come to, but I think my timing couldn’t have been better, as her latest album, Wanderer has had great critical acclaim.

Unfortunately there aren’t any YouTube videos of her singing songs from her new album – although there is one you can see and hear through that previous blue link – so I’ve chosen Cara singing one of my all time favourite folk songs, She Moved Through The Fair, from 2012. Lovely arrangement on this version too.

(It’s a strange and interesting thing about this song that it is almost always sung by women, when it’s actually from the perspective of the man. This isn’t the only folk song where this happens, but it doesn’t occur the other way around.)

ANGE HARDY

Like Cara Dillon, Ange Hardy (bottom left on the top image) is someone I’ve only recently come to too, and that is thanks to SoundCloud and then Twitter, where we made contact. Also, like Cara, I couldn’t have come to Ange’s work at a better time, as her latest album too has had great critical acclaim, and well worth it IMHO; although I had heard her earlier works on SoundCloud, which are also fantastic. She may not be a well known as the other three ladies here, but I have high-hopes that she will be soon.

I do have another reason for thinking Ange is wonderful, and that’s because she played one of my tracks on her FolkFindings internet radio show. (Episode 15, almost at the end.) I was a little surprised at the track she chose – The Peasants Are Revolting – but nevertheless I was honoured and flattered!

The song I’ve chosen is Ange singing the title track from her new album, Bring Back Home. (If you click on that last blue link, you can hear all the track on SoundCloud.) The one thing I love that Ange does, is use a technique used by many a singer-songwriter, but not so much in folk, and that is a loop machine, so she can both harmonise to her own voice or add new instruments; all done live as she performs.

Whilst Ange does sing traditional folk songs, she also writes her own, and in styles that makes them sound as if they were old, traditional pieces.

JULIE FOWLIS

Scottish Gaelic singer,  Julie Fowlis (bottom right on the top image) is someone I’ve been listening to for quite sometime. Her voice is sublime, and singing in Scottish Gaelic gives her song another nuance. You don’t have to understand what these songs are about to appreciate them.

Julie Fowlis is quite a name in the folk world now, and you will see her hosting folk festivals as well as sitting in for Mark Radcliffe on his BBC Radio 2 show. I always enjoyed her appearances on BBC Alba’s (Gaelic BBC Scotland’s) folk show, Port, as well as others.

The song I’ve chosen is from her 2017 album, alterum, and is called Dh’èirich mi moch madainn cheòthar (I arose early on a misty morning).

KATE RUSBY

I’ve know of this Barnsley lass’s work longer than any of the others. I can’t remember how I came across her, but I was so glad I did. Kate Rusby (top right on the top image) has the gentlest of voices.

Her whole production method and record label is a family affair, with her brother being her sound engineer, her dad the overall boss, her mum the accountant and her sister the publicist and tour organiser. There’s a great documentary about all this you can see HERE.

Since she’s from a once proud coal mining area, like me, she sometimes writes and/or sings about it. For this reason I’ve chosen one of these: My Young Man. I love the use of the colliery brass band sound in this arrangement.

There are, of course, many other wonderful female folk artists out there, but these are the four I happen to be listening to the most at the moment. My next blog about folk folk will probably be about three Northeastern England folkies: two duets, and the third a group of four guys who come together now and again. The duets are The Unthanks and Megson, and the latter The Pitmen Poets, who, like me, are all sons of miners.

Before that, BLOG NO.42/VLOG NO.3 will be Part 11 of My Close Encounters Of The Music Legend Kind; although this is another that will actually be about a legend of the screen, Tippi Hedren (star of Hitchcock’s classic The Birds), and singing with her whilst lion’s roared.

THE END

Thanks as always for reading and watching, and please, please, please rate the blog (star rating at the top) or leave a Comment below so I know how I’m doing.

Mak

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A SKIM THROUGH ALL 65 FOLK TRACKS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Blog No.40/Vlog No.2 – Part 10 of My Close Encounters of the Music Legend Kind: The #Muppets & Capitol Record Studios


Second vlog.

BLOG NO.40/VLOG NO.2 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.39 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote my 65 folk tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the tracks. Clicking on the title of the blog will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the tracks will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. The videos won’t show in copies received via email. Apologies, but these are out of my control.)

If you haven’t read any of these, I always start with a confession: I thought I would do these Close Encounter blogs purely because I knew they would get more people coming to my blog site and, hopefully, listening to my folk music too. Well, I was right on the first count, but, judging by my site and SoundCloud statistics, I don’t think it’s getting many people to have a listen to my musical attempts. Hardly surprising, really, as most of those wanting to read these – include either current or budding puppeteers – are not that interested in folk-type music that is primarily about the history of a specific region of England. Just so you know, I have blogged about the other kinds of music I’ve done – see THIS one for example – and I will be doing more in the future. (I’ve added a couple of songs to the right-hand sidebar.) There, now I’ve done my confessional, on with the blog….

In my 40-odd years as an actor, puppeteer and movement choreographer in theatre, television and film I was fortunate and honoured enough to meet and work with some music legends – both human and places – from Elton John to Capital Record Studios in LA. It’s only recently that I realised music has been with me my whole adult working life, in one form or another, and I thought I’d share these ‘close encounters’ with you. So here is Part 10 of those encounters….

First a few apologies: a had a tickley throat throughout; the ‘camera’ moves at times because I did it via my laptop, which was on my lap whilst I sat on a glider (like a rocking chair); the footage jumps in a couple of places, for some reason. Apart from that, I’m amazed I got through it in one go! Hope you enjoy the stories.

The photo below is to give you some idea off the animatronic set-up I referred to. This one is from Ninja Turtles IIon which I performed the face of Michelangelo.

Below is the Muppets’ version of Under The Boardwalk. Bill Barretta and I even got to do some dialogue on this one as rats. The main vocals were done by Kevin Clash, the same guy who did the Baby in the next video, as well as Splinter from Ninja Turtles. He has an incredibly versatile voice.

Next is the music video we did for the Baby’s song on the Dinosaurs’ BIG ALBUM. (Unfortunately the sync is out a little.)

Below are all the song from the album on YouTube.

Thanks as always for reading and watching, and please, please, please rate the blog (star rating at the top) or leave a Comment below so I know how I’m doing.

Mak

Blog No.39: The story so far….


What’s been happenin’

BLOG NO.39 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.38 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote these 65 tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

Just a short blg to say I’m trying my best to get the next full one done, which will be about my current four favourite female solo folk artists, but it now takes me a lot longer than usual. (Bloody hands!) I may get the VLOG NO.2 (video blog) out before it, but I’m going to have to be a little less tired to do that. (Bloody ME/CFS!) That will be Part 10 of the Close Encounter Of The Music Legend Kind, which will be about singing with the legends that are The Muppets on the Muppet Beach Party album, and being involved in recording the sitcom Dinosaurs‘ BIG SONGS album at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.

(I’ve included one of my own photos as the featured image, just to show I’ve been up to something. It a sunrise over St. Oswald’s church in Oswestry, Shropshire.)

Thanks so much for reading, and please, please, please do rate the blog (at the top) or leave a Comment, below. (Grovelling over.)

Mak

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A SKIM THROUGH ALL 65 FOLK MUSIC TRACKS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Blog No.38: From The Earth To The Seas – A Musical ‘History’ Of #Northumberland & #Durham – Part 5 – 1975 to Today – Final Tracks


Tracks 9 to 12 of the ‘album’ covering the latter part of the 20th century – from a mining dad answering a questioning son, to my memories of playing on our local pit heap

BLOG NO.38 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.37 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote these 65 tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the tracks. Clicking on the title of the blog will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the tracks will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. Apologies.)

This is the last blog about my 65 folk music tracks, covering tracks 9 to 12 of the final part (Part 5) of ‘From The Earth To The Seas. Now comes the blurb if you haven’t read the other Parts…. There are five ‘albums’, covering over three hundred years of history – both real and fictional – relating the English northeastern counties of what were Northumberland and Durham, but now Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham including Teesside; Part 5 covers 1976 to today. As such, some of the songs are sung in the old Northumbrian, Geordie or Pitmatic accents and dialects. I’ve included explanations of the words used where necessary, and sometimes give lyrics in Standard English.

The dates by the track are either just where I have placed them (e.g. c.1900), this is when the traditional song was written, or this is when the historical event they portray happened. Keep in mind the music styles will change greatly from Parts 1 to 5 as they reflect the time they depict.

If any ex- or working miners out there spot any technical mistakes, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page. If anyone else spots typos, please let me know. Thanks.

Anyone can give a Rate This star rating at the top of the blog or leave a Comment at the bottom of the page, and you can Like this blog if you’re a WordPress member at the bottom. If you’d like each blog to be posted to your inbox, click on the Follow Mak’s Music Blog tab at the top of the sidebar to the right if you’re with WordPress, or FOLLOW (THROUGH EMAIL) if you’re not. Blurb over…now for the tracks….

Track 9 – Why Are They Closing Your Mine? (c.1990) – A humorous look at pit closures…which never was a laughing matter. This is a father replying to his son’s question of why they’re closing his pit if there was still lots of coal down there? It wasn’t as simple an answer I many might imagine. There was more to pit closure than Maggie Thatcher wanting to destroy the Unions; although that certainly was a factor. North Sea gas and oil affected the industry, as did the introduction nuclear power and cheaper coal imports. This did for a huge section of the steel industry too, and this all had a knock-on affect.

I use more Pitmatic in this one, here are the lyrics in Standard England.

Well I’ve got three children of 4, 6 and 10
I put them to bed whenever I can
They’re full of questions as children can be
But one night my 10-year-old he asked me….

‘Cause he’s an inquisitive bugger like (‘bugger’ in the Northeast can be used as a strange form of endearment!)

Father you know how they’re closing your mine
Well how can it be when you say the coal’s fine
You say there’s tonnes of the stuff, if so
Then why close the pit, I want to know?

Fair enough question like.

Well I should have just blamed the politics
It’s those bloody MPs, those lunatics!
But I went and gave him the long reply
It went like this, without a lie….

Right, here we go….

It depends on the coal
It depends where it’s found
It depends on geology of the underground
It depends on the flooding
And the cost to pump it out
It depends where it’s at and what amount

It depends on the cost
It depends on us, son
To how much of the stuff is won (dug out)
It depends on the price
They can get for said coal
It depends on export as a whole

It depends of cost
Of crude oil
It depends
On foreign turmoil
And now that we have Natural Gas
Well we’re just stuffed there and that’s a fact!

Right.

It depends on the coke
We can sell for steel
But we’re stuffed there too
‘Cause of foreign deals
It depends on the cost when they sunk the shaft
‘Cause they still might have an overdraft

There, see.

Well my son just sat and stared at me
So I said, it costs to much you see
There was one long pause, a smile crossed his face
Why didn’t you just say that in the very first place?

Yes, well, I wish I had now. Goodnight son.

The image for the track is by Tom McGuinness, one of the ‘Pitmen Painters‘, and depicts a Durham pit village of 1954.

Created with help of GarageBand both on Mac and iPad.

Track 10 –  The Last Miner (c.1992) – Another song inspired by my nephew, Alan ‘Titchy’ Calvert, who worked at Monkwearmouth Colliery on the mouth of the River Wear, and had to travel 15 miles on a coach each day to get to work at one of the few remaining collieries in the region. (Most of the remaining collieries at this time where on the coast, mining the coal deep under the North Sea. Any coal inland was reached by open-cast mining.) ) In this song, however, I’ve changed to being about the father of the singer.

Pitmatic: ‘me fahther‘=my father; ‘nee crunching boots‘=no crunching boots; ‘The ‘Iron Lady’ had closed the aall‘=Margaret Thatcher had closed them all

Created with Apple Loops.

Track 11 – The Farm Labourer’s Loss (c.1995) – A song from the perspective of a farm labourer. My wife, Fiona – the daughter of a dairy farmer – was tired of me mainly writing about mining, and asked me if I’d try a song about farming. This was the result. I’d like to compose more about this declining and endangered industry, as it is often misunderstood and misrepresented. A lot of folk think all famers a wealthy, land grabbing, anti-environment, animal exploiters, yet from my experience this couldn’t be farther from the truth. WE and the supermarkets are as much to blame for the way agriculture has gone. Ironically, cheap food comes at a price!

All virtually instruments in GarageBand ans Logic Pro X.

Dialect words: ‘aanly‘=only; ‘aall‘=all; ‘nee’=no

Track 12 – The Long Grey Mountain – (Today) – About my childhood and the pit spoil heap (the ‘long grey mountain’) at the end of the street, which was a playground to us…if somewhat a dangerous one! This particular one was the result of the Beamish Mary Colliery, about half a mile to the east of Shield Row where it ended. The Beamish Mary closed in 1966, but the pit heap was still around until the late-1970s, when they began to flatten it. Now you’d never know it had ever been there.

Created in GarageBand on the Mac and iPad.

Recorded in Weston Lullingfields & Oswestry, Shropshire © Mak Wilson 1974, 1976, 1977, 1993, 2007, 2009 & 2017

…and that is all the folk music for now folks! If my arms and hands improve I do hope to compose more, this time thinking of a wider audience, rather than just the few family members I originally wrote these for; that and my own creative outlet. I might try to cover a couple of the musicals I wrote and co-wrote in more detail: Leaving School and Jack In The Rainbow in particular. (You can hear the tracks to Leaving School by clicking HERE, and scrolling to the end of that blog.) The former has all the songs recorded to it, but the latter only has a couple at the moment. (I have no surviving recordings to A Dog Called Samson.) The original recordings from the 1980 Jack In The Rainbow with the Cannon Hill Puppet Theatre have been lost.

I hope you’ve enjoyed at least some of the 65 songs and tunes, and the history behind them. It’s certainly been interesting for me, if no one else, and I’ve learned a great deal more about my Northeastern heritage. A heritage I am extremely proud of.

THE END

Thanks so much for reading and listening, and please, please, please rate the blog (at the top)! (Grovelling over.)

Mak

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A SKIM THROUGH ALL 65 TRACKS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Blog No.37: From The Earth To The Seas – A Musical ‘History’ Of #Northumberland & #Durham – Part 5 – 1975 to Today – Tracks 5 to 8


Tracks 5 to 9 of the ‘album’ covering the latter part of the 20th century – from a song about the demise of my home town, to the story of a collier who worked under the North Sea

BLOG NO.37 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.36 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote these 65 tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the tracks. Clicking on the title of the blog will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the tracks will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. Apologies.)

This blog is about tracks 5 to 9 of the final part (Part 5) of ‘From The Earth To The Seas. Now comes the blurb if you haven’t read the other Parts…. There are five ‘albums’, covering over three hundred years of history – both real and fictional – relating the English northeastern counties of what were Northumberland and Durham, but now Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham including Teesside; Part 5 covers 1976 to today. As such, some of the songs are sung in the old Northumbrian, Geordie or Pitmatic accents and dialects. I’ve included explanations of the words used where necessary, and sometimes give lyrics in Standard English.

The dates by the track are either just where I have placed them (e.g. c.1900), this is when the traditional song was written, or this is when the historical event they portray happened. Keep in mind the music styles will change greatly from Parts 1 to 5 as they reflect the time they depict.

If any ex- or working miners out there spot any technical mistakes, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page. If anyone else spots typos, please let me know. Thanks.

Anyone can give a Rate This star rating at the top of the blog or leave a Comment at the bottom of the page, and you can Like this blog if you’re a WordPress member at the bottom. If you’d like each blog to be posted to your inbox, click on the Follow Mak’s Music Blog tab at the top of the sidebar to the right if you’re with WordPress, or FOLLOW (THROUGH EMAIL) if you’re not. Blurb over…now for the tracks….

Track 5 – In The County Of Durham (c.1983) – This song is about the town I grew up in – Stanley, Co. Durham – when it was at its lowest ebb in the early 1980s, and unemployment was over 30%. The mines had all but gone, so too had the ship building and Consett Iron Works had only recently shut. It was a very sad time to make return visits, and it seemed from the outside the there was more alcohol than usual consumed at the working men’s club on a Saturday night. Things would only get worse in the next few years, as the next song demonstrates.

This version is slightly different to the original. I recorded it in 2009 in GarageBand using Apple Loops only, and only slightly added to it in 2017.

The photo for the track is the Stanley of today.

Track 6 – Life Has Never Been The Same (1985) – A song about the affects the Miners’ Strike of 1984/85 had on NW Co. Durham. It really did tear families apart, and many ex-miners still won’t talk to or acknowledge those ‘scabs’ who went across the picket lines. Unlike farther south in Yorkshire, there wasn’t quite the same amount of support or unity for the strike, which is what probably caused even more problems. Of course, it all came to nought, and just made prime minister Margaret Thatcher even more determined to quash the Unions, and gave her more ammunition when arguing that the country and their energy industries couldn’t be held to ransom by the coal miners, and they should not rely on coal. North Sea gas and oil, nuclear energy and cheap coal imports had already sounded the death-knell for most of the Northeast’s coal mines long before the strike, along with exhausted coal seams or those too expensive to pursue. Thatcher then finished it off.

The photo I have used is actually from Tilmanstone Colliery, near Dover, Kent, in September 1984. (Credit: PA) The government brought in police from outside of the areas they guarded, and this meant that they didn’t always care about how they treated the miners, as they wouldn’t be around after the strike was over.

I use some dialectic words in this, such as ‘wor‘, which means ‘our’. ‘A miner’s son he stood so proud‘ refers to the National Union of Mine Workers leader Arthur Scargill.A grocer’s daughter‘ is Margaret Thatcher.

Created in GarageBand with the help of Apple Loops.

Track 7 – When You’ve Worked Down A Pit All Your Life (c.1986) – From the perspective of a miner who has lost his job because of the pit closures.

Created with help of GarageBand on iPad.

Track 8 – Half A Mile Down And Three Miles Out (c.1988) – Inspired by a nephew of mine who worked at Monkwearmouth Colliery on the mouth of the River Wear, although the image I’ve used is of Easington Colliery because it also shows the sea that the seams lay under; some three miles out. This nephew, Alan ‘Titchy’ Calvert – whom I’ve written about before – first worked pretty locally to Stanley at Kibblesworth Colliery, but when that closed he had to choose between Monkwearmouth and unemployment.

Pitmatic words: ‘me‘ =my; ‘cyeval’=cavel=place were the face worker worked; bait’=food; ‘marras‘=marrows=work mates

Created in GarageBand on the Mac and iPad.

Recorded in Weston Lullingfields & Oswestry, Shropshire © Mak Wilson 1974, 1976, 1977, 1993, 2007, 2009 & 2017

THE END

The next blog is probably going to be a vlog (video blog) because of hand and arm problems, and is most likely going to be Part 10 of the Close Encounter Of The Music Legend Kind, which will be about singing with the legends that are Kermit and Miss Piggy on the Muppet Beach Party album, and being involved in recording the sitcom Dinosaurs‘ BIG SONGS album at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.

Thanks so much for reading and listening, and please, please, please rate the blog (at the top)! (Grovelling over.)

Mak

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A SKIM THROUGH ALL 65 TRACKS, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

Blog No.36: Where do I go after this? Which path should I take?


What do I do after all this?

BLOG NO.36 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.35 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote these 65 tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

I’ve been wondering of late what to do after I’ve written about all my music, and finished my Close Encounter blogs? They should take another five weeks or so, if I can ever get back to typing. It may all come down to whether I write any more folk music or not? At present I’m unable to play the keyboards, just as I can’t type very much, hence why I am doing this using the dictation software. I may try to do some music using Apple Loops in GarageBand, or Logic Pro X, but that won’t be as satisfy…and still requires me using my hands.

It’s interesting that since taking up photography again I have had more likes for my photos on Facebook and Twitter then I have had for any of my music or blogs, which makes me wonder if I should completely change what I’m focusing on? Having said that, I have always been someone who doesn’t like concentrating on one thing for very long, or changing to something else after getting bored, and then coming back to what I was doing after I get bored with that too. I think it would be a different matter if the blogs were getting lots of followers, ratings and comments. Don’t get me wrong, they’ve all had more responses than I was ever expecting, but if there were a lot more, then the extra effort that my ME/CFS and other medical conditions make them to be, would be worth it.

So I’m not sure what I’ll do yet? What do YOU think?

Thanks so much for reading, and please do let me know YOUR thoughts in the Comments section below,

Mak

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A SKIM THROUGH ALL 65 TRACKS, CLICK HERE.

Blog No.35: From The Earth To The Seas – A Musical ‘History’ Of #Northumberland & #Durham – Part 5 – 1975 to Today – Tracks 1 to 4


Tracks 1 to 4 of the ‘album’ covering the latter part of the 20th century – from a fictional death of a fisherman to the Falkland’s War

BLOG NO.35 – IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ BLOG NO.34 FIRST, CLICK HERE, OR TO WATCH VLOG NO.1 CLICK HERE. If you’d like to read first why I wrote these 65 tracks, then click HERE to read that blog. (Blue text are external links, which will open in a new browser window.)

(Those getting this via email won’t be able to see the tracks. Clicking on the title of the blog will open it in a tab of your web browser. For those reading on a iPad, the tracks will open in a separate browser windows and not play on the Page. Apologies.)

Welcome to the first blog of 2018, and the first four tracks of the final part (Part 5) of ‘From The Earth To The Seas. Now comes the blurb if you haven’t read the other Parts…. There are five ‘albums’, covering over three hundred years of history – both real and fictional – relating the English northeastern counties of what were Northumberland and Durham, but now Northumberland, Tyne & Wear and Durham including Teesside; Part 5 covers 1976 to today. As such, some of the songs are sung in the old Northumbrian, Geordie or Pitmatic accents and dialects. I’ve included explanations of the words used where necessary, and sometimes give lyrics in Standard English.

The dates by the track are either just where I have placed them (e.g. c.1900), this is when the traditional song was written, or this is when the historical event they portray happened. Keep in mind the music styles will change greatly from Parts 1 to 5 as they reflect the time they depict.

If any ex- or working miners out there spot any technical mistakes, please let me know in the comments section at the bottom of the page. If anyone else spots typos, please let me know. Thanks.

Anyone can give a Rate This star rating at the top of the blog or leave a Comment at the bottom of the page, and you can Like this blog if you’re a WordPress member at the bottom. If you’d like each blog to be posted to your inbox, click on the Follow Mak’s Music Blog tab at the top of the sidebar to the right if you’re with WordPress, or FOLLOW (THROUGH EMAIL) if you’re not. Blurb over…now for the tracks….

Track 1 – Funeral For A Fisherman (c.1976)  I can’t really take full credit for this instrumental, as it was done using Apple Loops in GarageBand. It’s inspired by the 1973 Elton John instrumental, Funeral For A Friend. This is not based on any particular real event, but there are plenty of fishermen of Northeast England and elsewhere who have lost their lives whilst trying to earn a living and keep us fed.

Created in GarageBand with Apple Loops.

Track 2 – That Little I & E – This dateless song will only really be appreciated by those from the Northeast of England, where, for some inexplicable reason, the women sometimes express themselves by saying “Ee!”. Since people of the Northeast also say ‘aye’ for yes, I decided to go along with a vowel theme, which you’ll hear when you listen to it.

Created with help of Apple Loops.

Track 3 – I Used To Paint This Town Red (1980) – An experimental song about the closing of the Consett Iron Works, Co. Durham in 1980. The title reflects the fact that the town used to be covered in red dust from the works. The closing of the Consett Iron Works, along with the closing of the coal mines and the demise of the ship building, had a devastating affect on the region, which has never really recovered.

My voice isn’t really this butch, and I used a little assistance from the Pitch Shifter.

Created with help of GarageBand on iPad.

Track 4 – Over The Hills And Far Away – Contemporary (Trad. Tune – 1982) – Mirroring the original Over The Hills And Far Away from Part 1 and the 18th century, this updated version of mine tells of those soldiers of the Northeast who served in Northern Ireland, the Falkland’s War and Bosnia. I have family and friends who experienced these very different conflicts, and they have left their marks on them.

Created with the aid of GarageBand.

Recorded in Weston Lullingfields & Oswestry, Shropshire © Mak Wilson 1974, 1976, 1977, 1993, 2007 & 2017

THE END

Thanks so much for reading and listening, and please, please, please rate the blog (at the top)! (Grovelling over.)

Mak

IF YOU’D LIKE TO HAVE A SKIM THROUGH ALL 65 TRACKS, CLICK HERE.