Recording 'Knocking on the Shore'

I’m grateful to be on a journey where I am raising $20K for a World Vision Child Rescue Centre in Cambodia through my music sales. Previously I recorded a homemade album ‘Stop Traffik’ at a friend’s house, which was raw, but $10,000 was raised for charity through sales in four months. Next I recorded an EP ‘Little Sister’ with Carl Dimataga, a producer at Fox Studios, Sydney, who had worked for Sony. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to record with Carl. He had very high standards and showed me how to record like a pro in a week! I decided with my next album that I wanted to record professionally, but keep my raw sound.

I recorded my next album ‘Knocking on the Shore’ at home of Gaetan Schurrer and Bourby Webster. This amazing couple are musical parents to many in Perth. Bourby is the founder of North Street Music, teaching business skills to musos, and founder of Perth Symphony Orchestra. Bourby kindly organised my first gig at The Ellington Jazz Club for the launch of ‘Stop Traffik.’ Gaetan (aka Naughty G!) produced massive hits in the 90’s for M people. I loved that song ‘Moving on Up’ when I was a kid and never would have dreamed that I’d work with the same producer!

I’d been writing songs throughout 2014 and was in ‘song-catching’ mode. It’s a bit like the BFG catching dreams. I know what I want to write a song about, and then at any random moment, the song is there, and I need to catch it really quickly by grabbing my phone hitting record and then I can go back and work on it. Other times I’m overcome with emotion and a song just flows out and I just quickly record whatever is there.

Many lyrics in ‘Knocking on the Shore’ were inspired by the beautiful scenery around me. I’d just moved to Chittering Valley, a magical place where some mornings you are completely covered in a misty cloud and can’t see more than 10 metres ahead. Then the sun comes out and you see the mist evaporating. There are beautiful creeks, hills, valleys, views, vineyards, orchards and farms and I felt I’d escaped from a toxic city life.

I’d spend a lot of time in my room writing my songs and recording them on my MTSR Phone App. Then I’d listen to the songs and rerecord for hours. When I was happy with the lyrics, music and harmonies I was ready to record. Recording studios charge by the hour so you must know exactly how you want it to sound so you don’t waste time and money.

I recorded every couple of weeks on the weekend so my hubby could watch the kids. We always had mint tea using dried mint from the herb garden out the front. I also had lots of honey because I feel it helps me to sing. Gaetan also arranged for Ben Vanderwal, an unbelievably talented drummer to play percussion on my album. Ben was nominated for WAM’s best jazz artist in 2014 and 2015, and is the most humble muso you’d ever meet. So Gaetan produced, recorded and mixed and then we had the tracks mastered by Andrew Edgson (who has also mastered tracks for Matt Corby). I just uploaded my audio files to the Studios 301 website.

My beautiful friend from Kirsty Russell Photography took photos for the album and designed it for me. I got my hair and makeup done and found an old vintage wedding dress at an op shop for my outfit. I’m not the type to get hair and makeup done (I don’t own shampoo, a brush, a hair dryer or anything like that!) but it’s essential for a promotional photo. Then I had the CDs duplicated at Diskbank.

I decided to launch the album at my favourite place, Taylor’s Art and Coffee House in the Swan Valley at the end of 2014. I love the rustic charm and homemade desserts! Currently $14K has been raised and I’m hoping to reach $20K by the end of 2015! Once I reach my target I plan to visit the children at the World Vision Child Rescue Centre in Cambodia and I’d love to sing for them too. Can’t wait!