Right then...I've begun the 3rd album (the follow-up to 'Speak For Yourself'). I'm going to write a more frequent blog as I did with the last one so you can keep an eye on me and make sure I'm not slacking! I wonder how it's gonna turn out? How exciting! You're very welcome to comment but please don't ask me questions on here or i'll never get any work done. You can email me with any questions you have and every month we'll pick 20 from the virtual 'hat' and post them. Send your questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Much much more to come! Love, fluv x i x Wheeeeee!!!
Click here and here to see 360s of my cosy studio in London where I wrote and recorded the last album "Speak for Yourself" xxx
Monday, May 31, 2004
Had a good day, started a bit late...bought a new device today for my little setup in this little room...so now i can use one keyboard for all computers...nice.
Threw down some vocals, did some very creative panning and now I am off to Siren Suite night at Turnmills for a bit of Stoackhausen v aphex fun. That's what it said in time out anyway...mixing classical with electronica and glitch! COOOOOL! Hard to find clubs in London to go to with the kinda music like.
Relax..don't get angry...if you hit the computer it will break! That darn thing has crashed nearly every hour today. What is different from yesterday? Nothing that's what...just it's mood. It's sooooo annoying but I am not a patient person and so spending a day trying to fix the problem gets put off yet again. I've just come back in from having my microwave dinner and it's frozen...rrrr....Basil Faulty with a branch and a clapped out old car.
In-between episodes I did manage to put some stringy ideas down and also a slit drum i bought from LA...not a very romantic name but a gorgeous marimba like tone. Looks like a big wooden brick. Also recorded just the sound your fingers make when you hit the keys...but no notes coz the piano is pretty badly out of tune. The earliest a piano tuner could make it is Tuesday. So i thought i'd use the piano i had recorded in the wrong key (the original key) pitch it down in Protools but still keep the top end of the tapping of fingers and hammers. In my head it makes sense anyway! Also added hiss and clicks...which is what I spend a lot of time taking out of recording usually but in this case I love the organic piano with these little digital smudges tip toeing over it.
Tomorrow I think i'm gonna spend the day laying down and layering harmonies all over the chorus. Like in Sleep? the choir like bit in the first or second chorus...can't remember which...dark and wide.
Got the thumbs up for the lyrical version of the piece I did for Six Feet Under. If i'm allowed...i'll put the hummed version up on this site as soon as it's ready...i really like it. Even though it's not my song it feels like it is.
Since it is saturday and it is bank holiday weekend (national holiday in the UK) i'm going to catch up with a few mates tonight in a bar in Covent Garden and hope they remember who I am?!
It's a little unnerving knowing you and others are reading this...i suppose i'll get used to it! I do feel a bit bad for all these years of record making (well... 8) and i've never really said hi to any of you like this before. So A BIG OLD HELLO!!!! and a humongous THANKYOU! that you're still here! I know i know I take AGES to make a record...but boy...I'm not going to start putting out half baked stuff now..so it is going to be a little while yet. Just so you guys can get an idea...I've got seven songs that are written and fleshed out pretty good so far. I'm expecting to spend at least two or three days on each sprinkling magic dust over them to bring them up nice and shiny. Make sure there's no "that'll do" moments....we'll have none of that please! So that leaves...i think four. One of those is MISI and the other just needs some of those dreaded lyrics...I'm hoping...not to put any pressure on myself or anything..but..hmm...two weeks for 8 and 9? Then I have another...half lyrics done, musical ideas pretty much there, called "closing in" which was one of my first ideas toward the album. Kind of forgot about it. Then it came up on my ipod (on random) when i was cycling home one day and just for a second i was thinking..."who's this? this is cool"...ha ha...twas me... and i'm guessing like another couple of weeks on that one...Then maybe spend a weekend listening to what I've got and trying to feel what missing. That's how shh came about you know and that is probably my favourite choon on the frou frou album so i'm quite excited to see what comes of the mysterious final piece of the jigsaw...hmmm...So there you go...that makes eleven. Coz it's one more than 10...and i'm into that...
and that's about where I am...
Just incase you were getting itchy to know!
A certain James...webmeister has told me that a load of you guys on the frou frou message board are talking about Temposhark. I'm glad you like it. Rob's been a fan for a long time and over the last couple of years we've become friends. He came over to my studio for a day with Luke (also a friend) the other half of the band and I made loads of warbling noises and a couple of days later they sent me the tune with me on it...and i have to say...i really like it! Nice one guys...I'm keeping an eye on you!
Today more ivory noodling and splicing of waveforms for MISI...
I know I said that all the music for MISI was going to be piano in various shapes and forms but...I have just realised today that another musical idea I was playing with a while back is strangely made for this sing by complete accident so I may have to marry them together...
Well...oohhh...it seems I am no longer talking to myself! We are LIVE! That's right...anything can happen now! On the eighth day of blogging we are go. My porthole to the outside world is alive and well. "IS ANYBODY OUT THERE!?" For those of you who are scratching your heads...that will be all of you...I have been writing iblogs for the last week but they've only been put up today...
Yada yada yada...
So..the header is referring to the Six Feet Under guys..they love it! It's perfect! then...actually can you just do this? and maybe this? that'd be great...thanks... They loved the humming version but they wanted just a pinch of lyrics so the viewer can recognise the song...fair enough said Fairy Nuff...It's cool...as long as they use It I am Happy Larry...
So after yet another departure from the job in hand (my album!)...I decided to spend the rest of my day collating funny and beautiful sounds from the cauldron of heap's album ingredients so far. James (our dear webmaster and master creator of inner screen space) will be finding fun places to put them on the W.I.P website for you to play with...or get annoyed by!
And that my dear friends is all...I am now off for a weee bevy with my little sister!
Wow...they liked it they liked it they liked it....woooo hooooo!!
They're gonna use it They're gonna use it They're gonna use it!!! ha ha ha..I am invinsible!
Sorry...I know i'm getting a bit over excited here...but... YIHHHHAAAAAA!
Oooh...I love it too...it's soooooo cute. I'm probably not going to get to see it over here for months but as soon as I know when it's being aired in the States i'll let you Stateside people know.
It just feel so great to know a little piece of me is out there doing the do.
What am I going to be like when I finish this album?
la de da..
Working on MISI still...piano cut ups sounding really lovely...It's a right pain in the arse to find a piano tuner...need to re record the chorus in the new key...can't beat the hammer sounds of a real piano. Always a tell tale in piano samples.
Ra...hungry...wish the cafe was open after 4pm...I always look at the clock after the event.
I wonder if you're as goggle eyed as me! I'd put a little bacon sarny in my stomach around 10 am and it hasn't seen a morsel since! I really gotta go get some food (it's 22.00 now!)...thought i'd call it a night while I'm at it. Just didn't want to stop! Wanted to finish something so desperately. That six feet under song i was telling you about...well I did it today...all 57 seconds of it. Such a good feeling. Fingers crossed now that the right people like it as much as I do!
That's it for today...been either staring at a computer screen in the main room or staring at a computer screen in the live room..singing...
Need to rest eyes...maybe i'll watch some telly...
Doh, another screen...
i really do live my life though screens at the moment...whether it's texting someone, emailing, or moving tiny bits of audio around in Pro-tools...grass..trees...people?
You guessed it! She's still on the "the moment I said it"...i am now going to abbreviate that to MISI for future iblogging just incase you wonder what the hell i'm going on about...
So I was working on lovely effects on MISI today. The song's really filmic. WIDE as Wide...long high vocals...sweeping everywhere...mmmm
Got a bit distracted toward the end of today...been asked to do a special something for the end credits of a six feet under episode! Now i don¹t know about you but I think that is pretty darn sexy! Ooh..i hope they like it! Dark, haunting take on a nursery rhyme that features earlier in the program. mmm...it's that initial inspiration part i was telling you about! It's sooo great at the beginning..now I've just got to put it all to screen...loads of layered vocals..humming an eery melody hanging over a few tiny distant piano chords and a deep as is gets double bass sustained note...mmmmmm...
If it gets in you can be certain you'll be the first to know!
...I am never going to be sleep tonight...Sometimes i really just need the power to cut out. Going round and round in tiny little circles. Well sometimes I found a straight line for a bit. The second chorus was a real bitch today! I was trying to solve a chordal puzzle. Got there in the end. It's always the thing you think is least likely to be causing the problem. In this case it was a B minor.
Hay ho. Had fun shouting and laughing at each other shouting for half an hour with my boyfriend around 4pm. What that poor boy does for me sometimes! He loves it really. Then spent another half an hour trawling through all the takes. You guys really must be scratching your head over this song!
Believe it or not that took me from noon til midnight! When i finish this album i am going to have at LEAST a month of full on partying/ holidaying/and reclaiming my friends...missed a good night out at Turnmills tonight in Farringdon (east London) of electronica meets classical meets glitch music...darn. I think it's a weekly thing though. It's free too!
That's about all I have to report...waiting for a piano tuner to ring me back...and er...yeah.
Today was a strange day. Tomorrow was going to be my day off. This "take a day off a week" thing is something I'm trying out right now. We'll see how it goes. I figured if you're going to be writing songs you need to get out occasionally to have something to write about!
So It started off with me not being able to find my keys to leave. Checked everything three times over. Looked in the fridge, the dustbin...and in the front door. Under piles of clothes that hadn't been hung up for a while...found a long lost fluffy hat, which was nice. Of course the obvious places, bag, jacket pockets etc. Anyway...I had decided I had looked everywhere and I must have left them in the front door and someone must have stolen them. I then, feeling really stupid and angry at myself rang a locksmith to come round and change the locks...you never know.
I went into the bedroom and saw the real jacket I was wearing yesterday not the one I was convinced I had been wearing and low and behold...the keys! By this time it was one o'clock. I cancelled the locksmith just in time and didn't have to pay for a cancellation. Then for some bizarre and unknown reason I actually watched the FA cup final? Now I don't know much about football but I knew Millwall were not the favourites by a long way. Kinda hoped they would win though...being the underdogs. This must be REALLY boring for you...sorry? You can always stop reading it though I suppose.
We (man who was to be visiting me in the studio! aka my boyfriend) were now hungry by now and so we popped out to get some lovely nosh to cook up. Bought tons of flowers even though I've got hayfever. They're just sooo perty! Went to see Eternal Sunshine of the spotless mind which was really brilliant! It was great seeing Jim Carey like that. I loved it. Another film I saw recently which is worth a mention was Pieces of April...
So no advance on the album today but there will be a FULL 6 days of hard graft ahead don't you worry about that!
Hi again...well after yesterday's marathon entry this is going to look rather small and flaccid. Carrying on with "the Moment I said it" today I wrote a total of 2 singable words..."don't" and "please" and one onomatopoeia..."smash". It's really cool though. This m8 (the first of three) has taken fine shape with lots of rhythmic vocal parts stacked and intertwined in true heap style. Tomorrow I will visited by a man who i'll be arguing with in this hot little room for the sake of my second m8 because i need a guy's voice. (Even though working on this album alone I do argue with myself a lot of the time). And for my 3rd m8 well...we'll see, but there is one! This is my longest song but quite a bit so far, reaching an amazing 5 mins 30 something secs. Gotta have one epic at least? It wouldn't be rock and roll without one.
Hayfever is creeping in I can feel it. Wet tissues over the bridge of the nose and dark sunglasses then. I always look my best when the pollen's out.
er...so much to say.. so little patience to write it all down. Hello? I think i'm just gonna pretend like i've been doing this diary thing forever and this is just another day...otherwise i'll be here all night filling you in! am i aloud to swear? how much of the day should I mention? what I ate? a high carb take out if you're interested. The quickest thing i could get...because today has been a GOOD day in the studio of her heapness and i didn't want to let any lyrics go by in my head unnoticed. See that's what i've been doing specifically. Lyrics for a song called "the moment i said it". I came up with that line about two months ago and the melody to match...that's, most times, the best part of songwriting. The initial inspiration. The other best part is finishing it! Inbetwen can take months and months sometimes well not years...give me time though! My..it's hot in this little room...(the vocal booth. I have my internet monitor in here so i don't stay on it all day!) anyway. The annoying side of the day is that all the piano I had so beautifully recorded very late one night when all the trains had stopped passing the studio (un double glazed) windows are unfortunately now in the wrong key..the verse sounds better a tone down...never mind...at least i've figured that out now. I have hardly put any piano on these songs at all. So to make up for it, i am going to make this song entirely piano based...though it may not sound like it. Playing parts of a piano that even it didn't realize it had! So with plug-ins and a a lot of binary chewing up of audio it will have all the mod cons. Quite excited about the limitation of only using the one instrument (not counting His Royal temperamentalness, the computer). Sometimes having access to all sounds, all music, all lyrics, all the gear you need leads to a lot of indecision. So there we go. Should i write lyrics here? mmmm...can't hurt. That way i guess i won't be tempted to over think them, which I am prone to do...
the moment i said it
the moment i opened my mouth
led in your eyelids
Bulldozed the life out of me
I know what you're thinking
But darling you're not thinking straight.
Sadly things just happen we can't explain.
It's not even light out
But you've somewhere to be
No i've never seen you like this
I don't like it, i don't like it, i don't like it at all.
Put back the car keys
Or somebody's gonna get hurt
Who are calling at this hour?
Sit down, come round, I need you now
We'll work it all out together
But we're getting nowhere tonight.
Now sleep, I promise it'll all seem better somehow, in time
m8...something about plates smashing??
They sound a lot better sung! I am not a poet...
Well that was more than i intended to write.
Gotta fly now.
I don't know if it's the news you were expecting but hopefully you'll be happy just the same?!
Ok...I've been quietly beavering away on my own in my studio on a new solo album. Yup, that's Imogen Heap take 2! I remortgaged my flat to get the equity to do it too, so I'm not messing about! For the last few months I have been cycling in every morning from my flat in Waterloo to make beautiful music for me and anyone who wants to listen. I am really excited by the stuff I'm coming up with and am dying to let y'all hear it!
Keep checking back here at www.imogenheap.co.uk for daily studio diary updates, tidbit musical clips, a 360 degree panoramic view of my studio and info on recent collaborations and shows etc. Up in a few weeks...still working on it right now. Sign up to the mailing list and as soon as it's all up I'll let you know!
Plus...If you are ever in LA tune into KCRW...not only coz it's possibly the coolest station on the planet but also because they are being very naughty and playing an unfinished version of a song of mine called "clear the area"..which somebody leaked to them! slap on the wrists...but of course I don't mind one bit! :)
If you love frou frou and you love Imogen heap then you are going to LOVE this album!!!