Month: January 2011

New Video for ‘Love Is’

Last week I did some thing that I should have done ages ago… I got a professional to do a music video for me.

I met Paul Christopher through my trustee photographer, Karen McKinnon. I had always shied away from using a professional as a) it is expensive and b) I was worried I wouldn’t like the result. But if he was godd enough for Karen to collaborate with then that was good enough for me! Their collaboration for an engagement video was so classy, that I thought the style would transfer well for a music video for a love song.

So we met 2 weeks ago despite a sudden dump of 2 feet of snow. I knew that the song ‘Love Is‘, from my new Treehouse album, was going to be on ‘One Tree Hill‘ on January 25th, so we had 2 weeks to get organized, film and then do all the editing and rendering which is so time consuming. I wanted to have something on youtube for after the show aired.

We got together last week and spent 4 hours filming tons of footage. I am no actor and I had to sing the same song over and over again… with feeling!!! Paul was so easy going that it was easy and even when I got a bit grumpy when we were filming in the freezing cold and her said ‘Okay, let’s do it again’, he didn’t lose his cool. I tell you, I would make a terrible America’s Next Top Model contestant… and not just because I’m 5 ft and old!

I was very grateful to Karen for letting us use her gorgeous studio with that wonderful red wall… and for having the heat nice and high!!! After we were done I was confident that Paul had enough footage to work with and left him to it. The One Tree Hill episode aired on the 25th and they played the whole of my song with vocals that you could actually hear from time to time over the dialogue between Julian and Brooke in a very romantic scene! We got the video up on youtube by the 26th after a few youtube synching problems. But it’s up there and it’s lovely. I look about 10 years younger… so obviously I am ecstatic! And I love the way it flows and the colors… especially the red. LOVE it!

So here is the link to the youtube video!! I hope you enjoy it! And Paul… which song shall we do next??

Love Is – YouTube Video

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Writing To Order – A Good Thing

I have been asked to write for specific occasions several times and am in the middle of writing two at the moment.

There is something about being given the subject matter that makes it really enjoyable to write songs to order. The limitations bypass the problem of what to write about. It’s already there. This is an area where restrictions can really come in useful!

In my comedy days I would often have to write a funny song for a corporate event and was given specific people and things to make fun of. I didn’t particularly enjoy this type of writing, partly because it was a one off and I never got to play the song again, so my heart was never really in it.

But my first serious writing to order was for the Relay for Life in 2006. This song just seemed to jump from the pen to the page. My brain had nothing to do with it. Maybe it was the fact that I had dealt with cancer in my family but the song really seemed to write itself. It is now played at Relay for Life events all around the world and it is a song I feel very proud to have written (it was also my Mum’s favorite song of mine). Click here to listen.

Then I wrote a song for ‘A Fighting Spirit’ for a group of local photographers who donated their time to photograph critically ill children. Another song that wrote itself in less than 30 minutes. I play this song live each year at the YANA auction alongside an amazing slideshow by the very talented Karen McKinnon.

Now been asked to write for ‘Helping Hearts‘, another group that does the same thing, but country-wide. Having a couple of kids makes it uncomfortably easy to imagine what you might feel if one of them were very sick and so another song is jumping onto the page and will be finished soon.

As a result of these songs I have my first non-charity song commission for photographer Michele Regner. One of my existing songs is already used on another photographer’s website – Jerry Vergel. But this photographer has asked me to write specifically for her site. I have asked her what she wants people to feel when they visit her site or watch a slide show which will help me convey her vision in a song.

So this got me thinking about song writing. Maybe these constraints make it easier for our brains to really delve into the subject without having to think “what am I writing about?”. I tried this out when I wrote a song after reading a book and another which I used the character from a movie. I found it got me out of my own head and into the head of other’s lives and situations.

So next time you are writing and get stuck have a think back to the last book your found interesting or a character from a TV drama. I try to avoid stuff that is happening to friends or people around me as it can get you into trouble!! 🙂