Category Archives: Thoughts

UNDERCURRENTS | 8 weeks in…

It is 8 weeks since launching my Pledge project and beginning promotion for Undercurrents. I have been enjoying seeing some reviews coming in and hearing tracks on the radio. I thought I would do a bit of a round up here in case you missed some of my posts on facebook and Twitter.

Lots of tracks have been played on many regional stations throughout the UK and BBC Radio Scotland including, TiompanThe Iain Anderson Show and The Late Show with Cherrie McIlwaine where Undercurrents was album of the week. More on my BBC artist page… Some of these shows are still available to listen to, so if you missed them you can tune in and hear some tracks from the album.

Different Dimensions was Song of the Day on Folk Radio UK and I’m really looking forward to reading their review which is being posted on the site soon. I have taken part in some interviews with Pledge Music, Creative Scotland, and Americana-UK  and there have been some great reviews from Scots Whay Hae, Folk Words, and Sonic Bandwagon with lots more to come! If you want to stay up to date you can follow me on Twitter and facebook.

Amy

Sound quality is very important to me and so I am delighted to say that Undercurrents has been encoded into a brand new streaming format which is being launched by Meridian Audio called MQA: Master Quality Authenticated.

I heard some of the MQA tracks in London last week, and the songs sounded expansive and rich like they did in the studio, with absolutely no loss of quality. Normally it is only the artists and producers that get to hear music in this way but this new format is going to be available for everyone to hear soon!

Really happy to say that Undercurrents will be part of the promotion of MQA as it is being introduced to the industry, alongside some other great music which I am looking forward to discovering.

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And speaking of great sound quality, I received the test pressing from Diverse Vinyl for Undercurrents and am overjoyed at the brilliantly mastered and lovely sounding vinyl!

You can still pre-order the record and CD through my Pledge project which has now reached 83%

You can also hear this lovely vinyl record for the very first time at Loud & Clear HiFi Edinburgh on February 6th 2016 . Hear the crystal clear audio on the highest quality system followed by a short Q&A with the audience. Doors open at 6.30pm so come early and have a glass of wine with us before the playback begins! Tickets are available through my Pledge project and  includes refreshments + free entry to the album launch party  at The Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh on 25th February!

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I think this may have been my longest blog post ever! Still, there is lots going on.  I hope you are all well and I am looking forward very much to sharing this album with you and releasing it on 19th February 2016.

11 weeks to go!

Love and peace,

Amy

Goodbye old house!

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I have been trying to write this post for weeks, but I have been having trouble finding the right words. A night of camping on lumpy ground, no sleep at all + a glass of wine seems to have done the trick!

Tonight I am spending the last evening in my flat that we have lived in for the last 7 years, and I really should be packing those last boxes.

We have just returned from the wonderful wedding of Fiona Rutherford and Mark Cadman, which was a truly amazing celebration of 2 incredible people starting their life together. Blue Rose Code played an amazing set which I loved so much, then we all danced in the tent to the brilliant songs sung by Martha Bean and her partner who’s name has currently disappeared from my mind. They were both excellent!

It is a time for new beginnings, and we will be moving house tomorrow with my soulmate, one and only true love Steven. So very exciting.

Goodbye old house!

I also have a new album which I cannot wait to share, though I am taking the time to find the right way to release it. Compared to my last recordings, this has been a bit longer in the making, but I really hope that you don’t mind the wait, as I have been speaking about Undercurrents for quite a while now.

It has been a very interesting, fun and fulfilling process working with Calum again, and it is a recording I am very proud of, but a big part of the real meaning, for me, is through the communication of the people who will listen to it. So I am keen for you to hear it soon!

Thanks for reading, and I will be back with more news in the very near future. I really must get back to those boxes!

Lots of love,

Amy

Hallucinations

I have been reading a great book called Hallucinations by professor of Neurology Oliver Sacks. It has been very enlightening for me, as I went through a phase as a child of ‘seeing things’ in the tenement flat  I lived in, during the first part of my childhood in Glasgow.

Once I saw a man and a lady projected on my bedroom wall, dressed like old fashioned farmers. They were smiling and waving at me as they drifted along until they reached the door then they disappeared.

Another time I saw a woman with her back to me at my desk in a long flowing gown. My logical mind thought it must be my mother although I knew it wasn’t really, but I said ‘Mum?’ The figure turned round to look at me then disappeared.

Once I was playing hide and seek with my sister, and saw a much younger version of my sister, clear as day crouching down and hiding under the bed. I ran out of the room to say “Celia in den 1, 2, 3” but the real Celia had got there before me!

When I was at my Granny and Grandpa’s house once, I saw (and heard!) a tiny string quartet only a few inches high, hovering in the middle of the room.

As a young child I didn’t really question these sightings, but as an adult  I have always thought that they must have been ghosts. Since the last few weeks of reading this book, and being a bit older with a more rational mind, I have realised that they were hallucinations. I have no idea why I had hallucinations as a young child, as all the explanations in the book have so far been linked to sensory deprivation, intoxication, illness or injury which did not apply to me.  I have not finished reading yet so perhaps there will be further enlightenment!

There is a song about these hallucinations on my new album Undercurrents which is being released later this year, called “Complicated Human Mind” (or perhaps the title will be condensed to “Complicated Human” I am not sure yet!

The book also mentions hallucinations with closed eyes which I can really relate to. I went through a phase in my early 30’s of being bombarded with images of unkown faces when I closed my eyes. I think that was stress related, but some of the faces were interesting, and one came with a name ‘Sparrowhawk’, which I made into a painting. And another,  called ‘Shadow’, on the right.

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It’s a strange and wonderful life. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a great weekend.

Half a beat missing dream

Last night I had a musical bad dream.  In the dream there was half a beat missing and I woke up feeling this strange void in my stomach where the half beat should have been. I then fell back asleep and the same thing happened again a few more times in the night.

It always feels a bit strange to bring something out of a dream and share it in the real world, and writing about the missing half beat reminds me of my first ever painting called ‘Girl’, which came from a dream I had 12 or so years ago.

In the dream I walked into a room and a man was standing painting at an easel. It was just the back of a girl’s head on a black background.  I loved the painting so much and asked the man how he had done it. He explained that he had used a sponge and that the painting was called Girl. When I woke the next day I decided to recreate the painting I had seen in my dream. After my son went to bed that evening I got out his poster paints and a big bit of cardboard and made the picture which turned out exactly the same as the one in the dream! It was no technical masterpiece, but I felt as though I had pulled an image out of my dream into real life, which was a very strange feeling indeed.

The next day, I asked my son Finn (age 3 ish at the time) what he thought it was. He answered, “a jellyfish”.

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Chance and the randomness of life

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I was walking home tonight, pushing my bike for a change, because I had forgotten my lights, when I passed a man who was walking along the street singing a beautiful Indian song.

Hearing this music changed the atmosphere of the night and the moment took on a dream like quality. He wasn’t walking very fast, so I slowed down to a similar pace so that I could hear the singing for a while.

If I hadn’t forgotten my bike lights, I would have been speeding down a different road and I wouldn’t have heard the man’s song.

It has got me thinking about chance and the randomness of life.