Diary

23/8/11 : LeeFest 2011 Video Diary

A little video diary from last weekend - at LeeFest 2011 with our Mobile Cavalry Contraption - and a chicken.


19/8/11 : Harmonium

Harmonium

The most recent addition to The Lost Cavalry's family!


11/7/11 : Penguin Cafe

At the weekend I went to see Penguin Cafe play at the Hackney Empire, playing music by Simon Jeffes, who was quite simply a genius. I love the choices of instruments and the way the loops build up and interact. Mark.x


5/7/11 : Why Spring 2011 has been so busy

One of the annoying things about diary entries is that you only have time to write them when you're not really busy, but it's the busy times when you have the most interesting stuff to write about. Spring has been really busy, but I think we've got a lot done and things are really moving along well now.

The main thing we had been working on of course was finishing off Desert Tracks, which is out on 1st Aug of course - which is roughly when we originally planned it I think. It was a struggle to stick to that deadline though, mainly due to the time it takes to do the final alterations to the mix of the song itself. We had the body of it recorded for some time, recorded at Soup Studios near Brick Lane, and most of the additional instruments (basically the organ and cello) were recorded in my little home studio. Derek (my co-composer on the Booked Out soundtrack!) was the guest cello player, thanks again Derek! The mix was really tough though, and right up until the last minute it was still being altered, with much help and feedback from Alex the mastering engineer. I think we got it sounding good in the end, but it wasn't easy!

We also have another track completed at the same time - The Tower, which is sounding great and you'll be able to hear it soon. Conversely, mixing of that track all just fell into place easily - which is odd as it is far more intricate, with plenty of swirly sounds and orchestral touches. Plus what can only be described as a stunning bass solo from Oliver - though not a bass solo in the way you would usually expect it, don't worry...

The recording had to be completed and the tracks mastered at the same time as Toby completed the artwork (stunning yet again), after which the track needed to be sent off for distribution to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon and so on, and also at the same time we needed to get promos duplicated onto CDs for sending to radio and reviewers. That all had to be done two months before the release date in order to allow enough time for reviews and so on - we made it though, just about on time.

As well as all this I've been organising gigs, which takes up quite a bit of time in total. We've had some good ones over the last month (Oh! Inverted World at The Old Queens Head, Offline in Brixton and another gig on the Tamesis Dock, this time with Kurran And The Wolfnotes, who were amazing - that was a top night) and have some good ones to come, including The Windmill, Plan B and White Heat. It could possibly be time for us to get a manager, who would then do all this stuff for us, but if we did that we would need to be careful to get the right manager as I have heard some stories... a great manager however (like we had in Fanfarlo with Big Dipper for example) can make all the difference.

Since sending the single off there's then been the video to sort out - which has just been finished. My friends and I run a club night called Wonderland (www.wonderlandfestival.co.uk) so I thought I'd take advantage of an idea I'd had for an art installation there and use it for a video too. I created a box with a camera inside it and a large wire and plastic head to project the video onto. I set it up at our last Wonderland club night and recorded people as they put their faces into the box - and at the same time their face would be projected onto the plastic face at the side of the stage. Then stage two was to merge this with video of the band and then project this again onto the face while recording the results. You can take a look at the video on our youtube page.

Then there was the final work on the Booked Out soundtrack - recorded by Derek and I at the end of 2010 and the start of this year. The film versions were all complete, but I re-edited the songs into a full soundtrack album which is now available from our band shop. After working on the music for so long in conjunction with the film it was liberating to be able to rework them as songs, and really pleasing to listen to them all running together as an album. Take a listen now - and of course watch the new trailer for the film at www.bookedoutfilm.com.

There's a few more things on the horizon - including a remix of Desert Tracks by our friend Flow Machines, and then the release itself. Then it's time to get back to our next EP, which was due for release in October, but which is unfortunately slipping already - as that date means that the final mixes of the remaining two tracks need to be done around now. They are both sounding healthy but definitely not finished yet... but they will be good when they are I think, especially our new track 'Snow City Radio'. I just need to find a bit more time in the day to get the mix right and nail that perfect vocal take...

Mark.x



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