First SCA event — Preorders!

I’ve got “business” cards printed, and a small carbon-copy receipt booklet ready to go. War of the Trillium is on this week/weekend, and another friend is having her own CD release party Saturday night, so I’ll be pre-selling my CD there too!

I’m really excited. Things are moving along really well, and it looks like I’ll be ready to take things to the presses early next week. Hooray!

More details after the weekend. I’m going to go sing by campfires and relax with good friends. Maybe I’ll even be inspired to write a new song!

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Graphics!

I got the proofs for the CD cover insert this morning from my graphic designer-friend Michaela. It’s so interesting for me to see what gets created from the slightest of criteria (in this case, a Facebook message with a link to Silverbirch’s templates and a “here’s my name, here’s the album title, I like things Celtic”). I really like what she’s put together, and look forward to unveiling it all soon!

I also actually managed to write up the inside text (acknowledgments and whatnot) this morning and sent that back to Michaela as well, in spite of the flurry of kidstuff going on around me (hooray for the first Monday of summer vacation!) Now I just have to get in touch with H.D. and I might be ready to get this off to manufacturing!

To Do:
– figure out Paypal, get order system in place
– finalize master for Silverbirch (digital track titles, etc.)
– get master to Silverbirch; begin production!
– update website with new graphics & better information

Taking steps

Today I actually got off my duff & called up Silverbirch Productions“>, a local CD manufacture/duplication company Heather recommended to me.

One of the complications of having the album ‘dropped from above’ is that I’ve had no plans in the works. Nothing has been priced out, no graphics-in-progress, no saving of capital for production. (At least, I really hope other indie artists are thinking ahead to this stuff when they’re recording!) So I don’t currently have any mental energy expended or cash set aside toward actually making CDs. However, since I’ve got it I want to put it out as nicely as I can.

I was a bit worried that I’d have to home-burn the disks and print inserts myself — not that there’s anything wrong with home-grown CDs, theyre a perfectly reasonable and valid thing to release. I just am fairly lazy, and don’t want to have to invest too much time right now, but do want to try to get CDs ready to sell/give by the end of July.

Silverbirch looks like they will totally be able to meet my needs (and not break the bank). I spoke with Jordan, who was super nice, friendly and informative and encouraging. He gave me a couple of quotes for various options on small-run duplication (slimline cases, full jewelcases, etc.) for batches of 50 or 100. And apparently the turn around time is crazy fast, about 3 business days! (Another reason to love this city!)

So I’m pretty sure that’s where I’m going to go to get the CDs actually made. It’s very exciting, every step I take brings me closer to my own CD! The next one is either getting down to the graphics or figuring out how to get the money…

How this began

About a week ago I met my good friend Heather Dale for lunch. Heather is a phenomenal independent musician and truly lovely person, and I don’t get many opportunities to connect with her due to her very busy touring schedule. I was expecting Vietnamese pho soup and good conversation; I received much more!

Sometime around 2004 I had been coming in to Toronto to spend weekends with Heather, exploring the big city and occasionally recording some of the songs I had written. Both of us shared the hobby of doing medieval recreation in the SCA and a love of Celtic myths and music; I wrote songs to share around the campfire, and for Heather it had launched a full career as an indie artist. I’d had a lot of fun learning about the process of recording music (so very different from a capella live singing!), but never planned on pursuing my music professionally, so when her touring dramatically picked up I wasn’t too worried about my recordings not making it to CD. But I’d always remembered they were there, waiting in the wings as it were. Occasionally friends would ask, “Is your music every going to be on CD?” and I’d reply with a vague “maybe…”

Fast forward to a month or two ago, when Heather asked if she could cover a few of my songs on her latest album (The Green Knight, for release summer 2009). I was honoured, so of course agreed! It also brought those old recordings back to mind, and I asked her if she thought we’d be able to do anything with them. She was encouraging, but also said it might take a while. (Now I know she’s just got a good “poker face”!)

So there I was at lunch, a tiny cup of green tea in hand, when Heather presented me with a CD case, which had a mock-up of an album cover with my name on it and a 14 track listing on the back! Inside were 2 master audio disks: my very own album was complete!!

This is a really interesting snapshot of my songwriting and my voice at that period in time: since then I’ve written new things and my singing has changed over time. It’s been great to revisit that time for me, and I think it’s an album to be proud of. Now I have it in my hand, I have to take the next steps to get it duplicated and distributed!

Getting started

The album that never was, now is!

I’m going to chronicle how the CD project Waves on the Shore goes from a surprise presentation of finished tracks to full album release. (And beyond…?)

Since these recordings have in some sense sprung fully-formed, I’m not as prepared for production as most indie artists would be at this stage. It’s going to be quite an adventure to get it ready to go before the beginning of August (Pennsic War). Getting a web presence up is my first step, but since I’m not ready for a full web domain, let’s begin with a blog!