A Few Weeks of Internot

Hi all… It’s been quite a while since I blogged. I’ve been trying to reevaluate the role of my internet presence and how it affects every day life in the ‘real world.’

A couple of weeks ago a took a two week break from all internet activity except what was required for my job. Before this I was spending far too much time online, mostly not even doing anything fun or of value. It was like I wanted to absorb all the possible bad news going on in the world so I could somehow learn to become immune to it.

But no. I am a Caryl. I do nothing but feel for the whole world and all the birds and leaves and raindrops. There is no amount of incoming media that could fully desensitise me. All it did was make me feel stressed and helpless, rendering me incapable of simple household tasks.

So I took a break.

I did an awful lot of sewing. Specifically, I continued with my hobby of patchwork quilt making. It gave me chance to regain some sort of autonomy.

It’s easy to feel like you have to agree with everything you read online, if it sounds reasonable, even if it’s against what you think. I felt like I had to change everything I think so I could fall in line with whatever ‘right’ is this week. Of course, this isn’t at all conducive to being a woman of faith. It does nothing but make me feel divided and ineffective.

However, that small break helped me get some confidence back about how much I can trust my own mind. Turns out, I can trust it a bit!

Here’s what else has happened since my last entry:

MAY:
Moved house, meaning my little studio is now lying in bits/piles all over the spare bedroom ūüė¶ Unfortunately this is delaying my recording tasks by a considerable amount of time.

JUNE:
Husband lost his job and most of his company, meaning I am also now looking for work!

JULY:
Went to see Perfume in London and got to meet them with Matt (yes, yes! I’ll upload footage soon!)

AUGUST:
Husband got new job that includes some training in something he’s wanted to do for years. Swings and roundabouts, eh?

I think that will do for now in terms of an update…

I have to focus on finding work now, so this week will see me reworking my CV once again and scoping out possible employment avenues.

My Little Studio Tour & Inspiration Board 2013

Hello all! I’ve left it a long time again, haven’t I?

Today I’ve been busy changing various bits on my official website, CarylArcher.com, namely my once disparate Discography¬†that now has some semblance of order.

My Little Studio

Did I tell you? I’ve finished decorating my home studio, so now I have places for my many projects and supplies as well as space to record vocals and instruments. It’s a cosy little place and I enjoy spending time there. So much so, I might be inviting a certain friend of mine to help me with a song I have planned…

Take a gander!

Inspiration Board 2013: Reminder of the Endless Possibilities

I’m aware that is it now April and I still haven’t made an entry about my 2013 Inspiration Board. I’ve had it hanging there since early March, but have neglected to say much about it.

This year’s Board is much simpler in composition than my last, and more conceptual. It’s not about telling myself to do or do not. Rather, this board is designed to remind me of all the exciting possibilities art and music have to offer and all the exciting options I could explore if I would only START down a path.

Inspiration Board 2013

Reminder of the Endless Possibilities

It’s nice to finally have some confidence back about my work. I have enough now to actually function. This is down, in no small part, to the fact I’m finally doing something about my mental health. I’ve been on medication for moderate to severe depression for a few months now and things are getting better every week. I have the occasional bout of heavy fatigue, but far fewer thoughts of self-loathing or the longing to ‘disappear’, or worse…

While I read my old blog entries I’m struck by how obvious a diagnosis it would have been to say I had depression. I tried all sorts to jolt myself out of it, but at the end of the day, I simply didn’t have the power to make myself better. My brain and my body were at odds. No amount of will power or gritted teeth would solve the problem.

I’m much more relaxed these days. I can feel confidence and creativity creeping back into my system. There is light at the end of my eight year tunnel. No coincidence, is it? – that I should suffer from depression for eight years, and all the while have terrible trouble releasing music I was proud of, or indeed releasing music at all.

That time is coming to a close now. 2013 is a year of newness in many aspects of my life, not least my music.

I’ll be making my comeback very soon. Watch this space!

Inspiration Board Detail

Time to START

This blog has moved…

You can continue to read about all things CarylCake and Glitter Punch at my new website, carylarcher.com. All my old posts are up there too, so don’t panic!

I may repurpose this blog for something else in the future. We’ll see…

See you on the other side!

Last Dance

[For release on Suburban Explorer]

Final song, the lights come on
And I just missed my only chance to dance with you
It isn’t in my way to try
To rearrange the circumstance to be with you

I know that you’ll be leaving soon
And I can barely stand with you in the same room
I’ll tell myself I need some time
And watch the final minutes as they pass me by

Why should it be
So hard to breathe?
It’s only you, it’s only you, my dear
Look into me!
Each time we meet
It’s always mine, it’s always my idea

My head is full of fire alarms
My doubts are what I’m finding hardest to believe
I gesture with my open arms
But you misunderstand me as you turn to leave

I guess it’s now or never, dear
Before the moment disappears
My body overcome with fear
My mind, at last, begins to clear
I’m reaching out my hands to you
I ask if I could dance with you
The smile that greets my eyes
Is all I needed

2013: Return of the Polymuse

suburban_explorer_background

I’ve been a bit hesitant to blog in the New Year this¬†January.

Perhaps I’m afraid if I tell you all the things I have planned, I will be obliged to do them, but then I won’t be able to get through them all and it will be Vox Artis all over again…

Maybe it’s because I’m afraid my ideas aren’t really worth¬†pursuing.

It could be the fear that I’m not good enough at what I do for me to do these ideas justice.

There is also a feeling of isolation. Will it just be me fiddling around with these projects and then having no one to share them with?

All that said, I do need to talk about my aims for the year. I am working on another inspiration board, but it’s a bit empty at present, so I’ll keep adding things as I go. For now, I will list for you this year’s projects!

The big idea this year is to work on new material for the first few months.

Things like The Acoustic Cake Project were designed to help me get my old songs out of my system and get them heard by someone, somewhere. This year I want to focus on material that I’ve written in the last year (or less!) and really take my time on production quality and¬†execution¬†of concept.

List of my projects for the first part of the year:

Suburban Explorer

A 4-track EP about having adventures within a 15 minute walk of your home… And also things like secret feelings and mental health. A very “curled up on the sofa under a blanket with a cup of tea and some YouTube videos” sort of release. Close to home, close to one’s heart, exploring within and without.

Untitled Spring-Themed EP

I have a few recent, unfinished light-electronic tracks to complete. They are much more focused on production and experimentation with arrangement, much like Vox Artis, but with a gentler feel all round. The concept is ‘spring’ because that’s my favourite season, when I’m at my most relaxed and happy.

New Glitter Punch Album

As you know, we are working on our second full-length album. We still have a lot of ideas left to play around with and plenty of strong songs to complete. There isn’t much of an overarching theme, just “stuff we think is totally badass”.

New Worship Music

I’ve taken to writing some new songs for church. The first will be something called a ‘Gloria’, a song sung traditionally in Anglican services with themes of angels heralding the birth of Jesus and some other Trinitarian stuff. It can be difficult keeping it fresh as you need to include certain lyrics, but I think I’ve done reasonably well. I have a few others up my sleeve. It’ll be interesting bringing something new to the table.

Polymuse

Avant-garde process-based music with a similar theme to Suburban Explorer in that I will be sourcing sounds from within the home and local area. It will be a whimsical sort of sonic journey with a tip of the hat to my Music Practice degree. I’ll be sure to make it nice and listenable, though, so you don’t have to suffer through my art!

And now for my plans for the later part of the year…

Tea Break

This will be The Acoustic Cake Project in full album for as opposed to just ripping the audio from my one-take videos. There will be 11 tracks, 10 old, tried and tested songs, and one new track called Tea Break. The idea is to sit down with a cup of tea and a slice of CarylCake while enjoying my sweet acoustic sounds. I’ll be taking my time over this one to make it the absolute best quality I can muster.

CarylCake and Friends¬†(or some other equally cheesy title…)

I want to do a load of cover versions of songs written by my friends. I have a great big list of people I want to cover. This will be a mostly YouTube-based project made up of one-take videos, produced videos, or still images with the track playing. It will be an ongoing thing with tracks added to a free Bandcamp album as I make them, probably lasting into 2014 if I enjoy doing it.

Digital Delight

The concept album which is yet to exist… I made a big deal about this one in 2011, but haven’t done that much with it since. I want to have videos to accompany most of the songs, perhaps some short-form clips as well as full-length higher level production music videos.

J-Pop Covers

As you should know by now, I’m obsessed with Japanese girl group, Perfume. My Spring of Life cover went down amazingly well, so I’d like to have a stab at a few more of their songs. I just love singing in Japanese! I’d also like to cover Utada Hikaru, Ikimono Gakari and JASMINE among others.


If I manage to get through all that, I will give myself a very well-deserved pat on the back!

In fact, if I manage a third of what’s on that list I’ll be sharing LaCroix‘s all round!

So, I hope you will stick around with me on this particular journey. It’s going to be very challenging, but oh so much fun.

Wish me luck!