Since the end of 2017 we have now managed to record 8 songs.
'We have' instead of 'I have' is quite intentional as I wouldn't have been able to do any of it alone.
The universe has introduced me to some wonderful musicians and engineers over the past two and a half years.
They have helped bring the songs to life but it's not been easy.
Along the way there have been some hard questions that needed answering.
Questions such as 'When?', 'Where?' 'Who?' but as much as (if not more than) any of them, there has been 'How?'
How am I going to pay for it?
This year it was through a crowdfunding campaign (that was an incredible journey in itself) but before and since then, the 'how' has been taken care of by doing one thing.
I've sold almost everything I have.
"Re phrase that sentence please".
Okay, I've sold almost everything I had.
A pair of Technics turntables were the first things to go which was a relief. A big weight was lifted both physically and mentally when they went. They were so HEAVY.
There was a record collection of over 1000 L.P.s and singles that my old self must have spent years collecting. They may have played a big part in my life but that part was over.
They all went to Alan's records in East Finchley, the village I lived in for almost 10 years.
Alan remembered me when he arrived, so I imagine some of them came from his shop.
If they did they were going back home.
This AKAI MPC 2000XL is what I would have used to make most of the demos in the past. Over the years we'd have spent many days and nights working together but there would be no more.
With the sampler went a vintage keyboard (the Yamaha DX100) which had provided the sounds and was in itself a classic.
There were guitars, an Indian drum called Dholak, a mixing desk, two electronic drum pads, an electronic drum kit, African djembe drums, drum stands and pedals, microphones , microphone stands. cymbals...the list went on.
The first instrument I ever learned was the drums and they'd played a big part in my life. Until I had my brain injury I'd made my living running singing and African drumming groups in psychiatric hospitals. The drums we used are called Djembe and I had around 15 of them which have nearly all been either sold or given away.
They had helped many people find a stillness and peace of mind. I hope they still can.
There was a Pearl Masters drum kit which I'd used to play alongside Horace Andy and Tim Booth amongst others. However I would never play it again so it was sold along with most of the cymbals.
There was also a set of beautiful Cuban congas, the sale of which (as long as I have any memory left) I don't think I'll ever forget - but that's another story for another day.
For the instruments it was time to be played by others and for me It's been another way to let go of the past.
It's helped me have a brand new start. It's led to the minimalist lifestyle that I now have and as much as - if not more than -anything, it's allowed the songs to come to life.