Tues 10th Mar
Just got back from the first morning of research at Central Library. Met up with Len and local historian Anne Buchanan who showed us around and explained clippings, archives etc. She also elaboarated a little on some of the ideas she had emailed me when I first told her about my plans! Had the first proper chat with Len about how I envisage the project progressing and what I'd like to try and achieve with it. Len is incredibly supportive and I think he gets what I'm talking about! Explained that I wanted to avoid the 'bigger' names from Bath's history, ie Beau Nash, Jane Austen etc. and wanted to find out about more obsure characters or even ordinary people who just had 'a tale to tell'. We spent an hour or so independently picking out books from shelf, thumbing through, jotting down names, events etc. Len set off to continue his own research at home; I spent another few hours reading and copying copious articles and pages onto my phone (oh, the wonders of modern techinology... plus very handy as I didn't have any change for the photocopier). Must admit, feeling VERY daunted by the task ahead - at the risk of stating the obvious, there's just SO MUCH HISTORY!! I guess it's better to have too much inspiration than too little though. I don't want this to be a measured chronological unpicking of people/events that mark specific milestones over the last few centuries, more like a lucky dip of intriguing tales from the past with no discerning theme; the thread to connect them will literally just be this beautiful city of Bath. They'll be my BathSongs for you.
By my calulations, I have just under 13 weeks before the show at the Old Theatre Royal, so I think it wise to draw up a general plan of action:
Weeks 1-2 - research; gather as many potential starting points as possible (2 weeks)
Week 3 - condense ideas to (maximum of) 15 that have strongest potential for songs and research further (1 week)
Weeks 4-8 - write songs (5 weeks)
Weeks 9-11 - record songs (3 weeks)
Weeks 12-13 - rehearse songs (2 weeks)
Sounds easy enough......... *gulp*
"Intriguing. Entertaining. Unique. An ambitious musical project searching under the skin of Bath’s history for the forgotten characters and their stories."
Hold that thought for one moment... Hello wonderful person! It's been a while (pretty much forgot I had a blog on my website, hope with the lack of updates no-one thought I'd gone missing...) Quite a lot to update you on but I'll tell you about the other exciting news in a different post. Just want to introduce you to my new project (that will no doubt cause my remaining hair to either fall out or turn grey in the next three months).
It's called 'BathSongs' and will be part of the Bath Fringe Festival 2015. After an incredible gig there last year for the 2014 Fringe, I'll be returning to The Old Theatre Royal (Orchard St Theatre) for a bit of a special show to finish the project!
Basically after being inspired by the storytelling of traditional folk songs; I wanted to see if I could unearth my own tales of the quirky eccentrics and overlooked happenings from the place that I call home - Bath. After some research into the last 500 years or so of Bath History (!), I aim to write and record around ten completely new modern folk songs about the lives and the stories I uncover (all in less than 3 months!!).
I've enlisted the assistance of musical compadre and veteran songsmith Len Liechti who will help shape and colour the songs with his own incredible musical craft. The songs willl be performed in full during a special one-off show at The Old Theatre Royal on Sat 6th June, with a bit of storytelling about the things we found out, as well as talking briefly about the "journey of discovery"! Len and I will be joined by a host of other musicians on the night, which will also feature a short set of my standard material and a few surprises. Hopefully it will be a pretty darn interesting night, starting from now with a blank page, who knows what we'll come up with?!!!
Ticket details to follow.
I'm hoping to keep the blog updated periodically and will try and keep a bit of a scrapbook and ongoing log of stuff on my dedicated BathSongs page here.
Speak soon, wish me luck!!!
L A T E S T N E W S