It’s been awhile. Here is a continuation of Twisted Tales that has been a very long time coming because I had to go learn how to put it all together. I’m quite levelled up now. Here’s the first of the remaining tales. Coming to you monthly. Here’s the first: Wanted: Storyteller.
Headphones highly recommended and you can stream and purchase your copy here:
Still with me? OK, here’s my little plate of adventures of why things took so long.
In short, there were skills to be attained.
When I wrote Twisted Tales, I always knew it was going to be one tough teacher. I’ve learnt heaps from when I was just a girl with a keyboard. First, I wrote Twisted Tales that required one to sing in different styles from jazz to rock to cabaret. Talk about conceptualising more than you can chew. The next challenge came from the production of it. This was probably the hardest hurdle to cross.
I had to put a temporary stop to the creation of the album for a time as I had no idea on how to make it happen — which is one way to say that the album pretty much stalled, died, carked it in the neck. There’s the sophomore album curse, then there’s my curse. The musical training I had at that time pretty much limited many options for me, which made it hard to produce Twisted Tales in the way it demanded to be produced. It needed to be done by a producer who was familiar with a wide range of musical styles and was clued on enough to the stories in the tracks… with my ideas intact. So really in the end I am going to have to produce it, but I had no technical production knowledge of any kind even though said music is all in my head. So that presented quite the conundrum.
So I went off and did some learning. The first year after my last tour, there was me struggling to get my coffers back into the black. That wasn’t the most pleasant, but it was necessary. Then after I was done selling my soul in the day full time, which luckily did have some economic value, I made myself learn everything I could music wise. So that was that. I’m lucky I don’t sleep much and can do a Tyler Durden when I need to (Fight Club. Go read Fight Club). Then there was me throwing myself into the production end of things.
For someone who was basically quite content to deliver her tracks as the girl and keyboard format to the studio, that was all a little daunting at first. By the end of the year, I managed to cobble together a semi-acceptable music reel and sent it off to the very prestigious AFTRS (Australian Film Television and Radio School) to see if I could get myself a place there.
Why film school? When you think about it, I guess it makes sense. My music and lyrics were always described as a little scenic and filmic. Made sense to employ filmic techniques to the production rather than any kind of pop as we know it.
Lucky me, I got in and what followed was another year of intense learning. I learnt how to compose really fast. I learnt how to listen, how to get technical fast, then most importantly, how to deal with the fickly musical muses when you haven’t slept.
I was really lucky to be tutored by some really amazing teachers. Martin Armiger, Kirke Godfrey, Christopher Gordon and Geir Brillian to whom I am very grateful for. They were immensely kind to someone who could not read music and knew very little production wise. Then I had the pleasure of learning with some really amazing fellow composers as well so that all just butt kicked me into catching up somewhat whether I liked it or not.
If I had any advice at all for anyone wanting to get creative, get technical fast… or get locked in with your muses. I only wish I did this earlier. I love machines, so my old logic of staying away from production so that I could stay creative as a songwriter is now viewed by the new me as utter rubbish. You get technical so you can get free creatively. Or you can stay locked in with the muses and stay reliant on other people. Your art, your choice and I now choose technical prowess any day. In short, be bad ass.
A year after graduating, I got busy continuing to make film music for short films in Australia. You can see them here.
Then I got lucky getting work from Singapore and China too. I won a best score award for a short film, “Drover’s Boy” directed by the very talented Margaret McHugh at the International Samobor Film Music Festival. Pretty big year film wise, then I still miss my tunes. So I work on them at night.
I love working as a film composer… but I have a minor gripe. Until something I’m working on is released into the wild, I’m sworn to secrecy. Which…is a little bit unfun.
Twisted Tales is a relief. I can talk about it all I want now.
I’m going to release them once a month . So keep them ears peeled.
Thank you for being ever so patient, and thanks heaps to those who keep checking on me. I’m ok, I’m better now. Thanks for letting me get skilled up and hopefully a little more formidable than ever. No more musical locked in syndrome. I has become a one woman legion on the song making, sound design and production front and am allowing myself to feel a little bit bad ass.
There are more plans for more content afoot. Meanwhile a little twisted fairy tale once a month seems like a good place to start. Here it be Twisted Tales — the reboot! I present the first — Wanted: Storyteller.
Get your copy here: http://yunyu.bandcamp.com/track/wanted-storyteller