August 30, 2017 § Leave a comment
Today while the rain was pouring outside and just before thunder stopped my rehearsal short, I was able to shoot this little video of the middle section of my song “Winter dawn”, one of my favorite songs from the new album, everything going through my new Soundcraft Signature12MTK mixing desk – 24 hours with it so far and I’m already so happy about it, the change in sound is so noticeable compared to my old Behringer!
In live-related news, please note: MY LONDON SHOW IS NOW ON 9TH DECEMBER, not 8th December as previously announced. If you have bought tickets already, your ticket will automatically be transferred to the new date, or you can of course get a refund if you cannot make it on 9th December. For those of you who didn’t know about the show, it takes place at St John Bethnal Green and is organised by Baba Yaga’s Hut – I really can’t wait, I love playing in London sooo much! :-)
August 24, 2017 § Leave a comment
LEAF ALBUMS 2, 3 AND EP ON TAPE + BLACK VINYL, CANADIAN DATES AND TEMPORARY LIVE SETUP BEFORE UPGRADE!
August 19, 2017 § Leave a comment
I’m thrilled to let you know that you can now preorder my second album “The Golden Morning Breaks”, my third album “Les Ondes Silencieuses” and the EP “Colleen et les Boîtes à Musique” for the first time on tape via Beacon Sound, either individually (100 copy limited edition) or in a package featuring an exclusive print by Iker Spozio (50 copy ultra limited edition). Beacon Sound reissued my first album on tape last year and the packaging is not only beautiful but also friendly to the earth, and the Iker Spozio print even more so (more info in the link above).
Important: 1) Please note this is a preorder, release date is 14th October for Cassette Store Day. 2) We advise European customers to order directly from my Bandcamp as we have a limited number of copies (15 of each) shipping from the UK . If you are based elsewhere please support Beacon Sound and order directly from them. 3) The print edition package is available only from the Beacon Sound shop.
And talking of these albums, The Leaf Label is also accepting preorders for a limited 300 copy run on black vinyl of those same albums that also got reissued on coloured vinyl earlier this year. A 4-album black vinyl bundle is also available. Release date is October 6th. Head over to my Bandcamp to preorder!
I’m also really excited to be playing Montreal and Toronto again after last year’s concerts! I’ll be at La Sala Rossa, Montreal, on 10th November with support by the great Khôra and Ylang Ylang, and Arraymusic (promoted by Invocation), Toronto, on 12th November, with support once again by Khôra. And remember that even if you were at one of the shows last year, this is an entirely new setup with brand new songs from the forthcoming album!
In live-related news, I’ve finally rough-rehearsed all of the songs on a temporary setup made up of my old Behringer UB1204PRO, a Line 6 DL4 Delay, TC Mini Hall of Fame reverb, and of course the two Critter and Guitari synths and the two Moogerfoogers.
There was a certain amount of troubleshooting-without-results involved (for instance not being able to use the beam-with-your-smartphone custom reverbs of the TC reverb), but the really positive thing is that I’ve finally learnt how to operate a mixing desk: so far I’d used the Behringer only for rehearsals on my studio PA and basically just connected the Stereo Outs of the last DL4 in my pedal chain to 2 mono channel strips and then applied my favorite pan, 50% Left / 50% Right. However, performing the new music involves using external effects , so I’ve finally learnt how to use Aux Sends, and not only that: I now understand what Pre-fader and Post-fader mean and do, and have also learnt how to use the desk’s spare inputs for the FX returns instead of the dedicated Stereo returns.
If you are still following what I’m saying and are also of the I-try-to-do-everything-on-my-own-without -any-training school, then you’ll probably know that there are few things more satisfying than finally understanding something you’ve wondered about for years, and being able to apply this newly acquired knowledge in a practical musical project. In any case, it’s time to upgrade to a better mixing desk: the one I’m going for is supposed to have better preamps, better EQ, and great internal FX, as well as multiple Aux Sends, so I just can’t wait to receive it and work on the new *real* setup for the shows, and of course I’ll be sure to update you on that, keeping a special thought for those of you who are also interested in the gear aspect.
As always thanks for reading!
August 8, 2017 § Leave a comment
Even though you still can’t hear the album apart from “Separating”, I thought I would show you pictures of the vinyl and CD featuring the incredible artwork created by Iker Spozio and would let you know more about what is “behind” this album, which is as close to a concept album as I’ve ever come. Musically, it’s my first fully electronic and keyboard-based album (next month I will write a series of posts dedicated to my relationship with keyboard instruments). But just as crucially, this album was composed over the course of a very peculiar year for me, a year marked by the constant presence of death on my mind. Some of you may remember I posted a very melancholy mix on 4th November 2015, mentioning sad circumstances in my family. A very close family member had become suddenly very ill, and shortly after posting that mix, I went to France to visit my family, who live in a small town in the province. Right before the trip the horsehair on my viola da gamba bow came undone, and as I didn’t like the thought of sending such an expensive bow to the bow maker via mail, I decided to do as she suggested: I would drop the bow at a colleague of hers in the Republique area of Paris, so she could later pick it up. Paris is on the way to and back from my family’s home, but ever since I left it back in 2010, I rarely spend any time there. In 2015, I had spent only the night the show I gave on the Captain of None tour in April.
So I decided that at the end of my family visit I would go to Paris just for one afternoon and night, that way I would see some friends, drop the bow, and leave for San Sebastian the next day. I chose Friday 13th November, and at about 5 pm I walked back from the luthier and past the terraces of the Rue de la Fontaine au Roi. The afternoon was beautiful and sunny and Paris even seemed to regain some of the attraction that 11 years of living there had taken from it in my eyes. In the evening, as we sat having dinner with my friends in their living room, my boyfriend called us to tell us that there were terrorist attacks happening. We stayed glued to the news late into the night, sirens blaring outside, shaking in fear and disbelief at the thought of what was happening a mere 2 kilometres away. As the news unfolded, I also realised that some of the terraces that had been shot at were those very same terraces I had walked past a few hours earlier.
I was not able to sleep at all, and in the morning, after some hesitation, decided to take my train as planned. I could not believe that of all the days I could have been in Paris, it had to be *that* day, and I thanked destiny/chance/whatever you want to call it that I went past thoses terraces at 5 pm and not later on.
I spent the next two weeks pretty much like everyone else I know – trying to make sense of what had happened. The combination of those events and the illness of my beloved family member meant that for the next months, all I could think about – especially at night – was death: my own death, the death of people I love, the death of complete strangers. A couple of weeks after the events, though, I managed to shake myself out of inaction and started working on the record. The music and lyrics it contains served as my therapy, and I cannot wait to share this music with you as it means so much to me.
More information (on the technical side of things too) in the press release on the preorder page on my Bandcamp and Thrill Jockey’s page.
July 20, 2017 § Leave a comment
This week I was finally able to start rehearsing, I have quite a lot of work to do because even though the album was recorded in live conditions, I went through a soundcard and computer software that enabled me to do bussing in a very convenient way – now I have to make this work without a computer! In the video (first video I’m recording on my smartphone, and sound quality is what it is, as the sound is coming through the PA in the studio) I’m playing the song that’s easiest to play in terms of setup, it happens to also be the first song I wrote for the album, it’s called “Another world” and I played it live for the first time in San Diego and at Moogfest last May, as a wee test of how that would feel and sound.
I’m super happy to let you know the first dates of my US tour – a few more will be added in North America, as well as in Europe, but for now we have
Oct. 29 – Portland, OR – Mississippi Studios
Oct. 30 – San Francisco, CA – Swedish American Hall
Nov. 1 – Los Angeles, CA – Zebulon
Nov. 3 – Chicago, IL – Museum of Contemporary Art
Nov. 5 – Philadelphia, PA – PhilaMOCA
Nov. 8 – Brooklyn, NY – Good Room
As usual all details are in my Songkick which you can also access via the future shows section.
July 17, 2017 § Leave a comment
I am overjoyed to finally be able to share with you the first single from my sixth album A flame my love, a frequency, out on October 20th on Thrill Jockey: it’s called “Separating” and I hope you will be as excited listening to it as I was when I was creating it. You can listen to and/or buy the song here, and preorder the album directly on Thrill Jockey’s website. The official announcement has been delayed by a couple of days, so this is an early chance for you to get the exact physical copy you want ;-) The album artwork and design are by the always wonderful Iker Spozio :-)))
The album was made using purely electronics (the instruments you see on the image below) and voice – no acoustic instrument was used in its making, and apart from my first album which was 95% samples, that’s a first for me!
With this new album a page is being turned at least temporarily on my viola da gamba concerts and especially all the Captain of None concerts which I gave for 2 years and which have meant so much to me, so I’ll leave you with a picture from the last concert where I played this material, Moogfest in Durham, North Carolina – photo courtesy of the New York Times in this article.
Thanks as always for your amazing support :-)
April 30, 2017 § Leave a comment
I have just made available on my Bandcamp limited stock leftover from the 3 colored vinyl album reissues released last week on Record Store Day: the albums are available for individual purchase, but there is also a bundle including last year’s Everyone Alive Wants Answers on white vinyl. Vinyl are shipping from the UK through The Leaf Label who are behind these reissues, and the bundle is sent by registered delivery.
Following a lengthy email exchange with The Leaf Label yesterday afternoon, we jointly decided to decrease the price of all Leaf items on my Bandcamp, in an effort to make purchase of said items less “discriminatory” for EU customers. Indeed, as a self-employed person in Spain, I am under the obligation to charge VAT to EU customers on physical goods, even if they are sent by another company (in this case Leaf). This means that my European customers are at a disadvantage compared to my non-EU customers, as they get charged 21% VAT on top of the announced Bandcamp price… Add to this the ridiculous shipping costs which are now the norm all over Europe, and yes, you may well decide to empty your cart, and I wouldn’t blame you. There is unfortunately no way for Bandcamp to set up different item prices according to the customer’s location, so the only solution we have found is to lower the price of every Leaf item, so that not only the item itself is cheaper, but the VAT amount too since it’s a percentage of the item’s price – so that the final total won’t be as overwhelming.
Incidentally this means that all those of you living outside the EU also benefit: you don’t get charged VAT and you still get a cheaper item!
I will send a personal refund equivalent to the difference in price to all the people who placed their orders yesterday before the price change, and we do apologize for this last minute price change. It’s not easy to be on top of everything and even though the online economy is useful for both customers and sellers, it’s still a tricky place to navigate, since there are definitely real life laws that govern us and I wouldn’t want an encounter with the Spanish taxman!
I find this whole subject of pricing really worthy of “educational” explanations on the part of us musicians and labels, so I may even end up doing a series of posts on the subject at some point, to show you what is hidden behind the high price in your shopping cart. If you are interested in the subject, here is what I replied to a person who left a comment earlier on Facebook explaining that 30 euros for a vinyl to be shipped to him in Spain was “out of reach”:
« I totally understand if 30 euros is out of reach, and I am sorry that for many other people it is – in a way vinyl has become conspicuous, but also a “luxury” item, which is not surprising if you consider the limited quantities (750 here) and the fact that Leaf tried to produce this vinyl at a high standard (they used the only European pressing plant that they trust now after several big problems with other firms) and of course the colored vinyl costs more than black vinyl. So the product itself costs quite a bit to produce (I don’t have the exact numbers, but I could find out at some point and even do a post about this, as I find these issues really interesting, and think a bit of transparency wouldn’t hurt). If you add VAT (which obviously goes to the Spanish state, not to me) and shipping costs, which are what you pay in this case to Royal Mail, then yes, that’s a lot of money. If there was stock in Spain, my Spanish customers would be happy, but not the ones living outside of Spain – and on and on… In this case Leaf is the UK, so we don’t have a choice – neither you, nor I… Then everyone takes a commission on the item: Leaf for sending it, Bandcamp as the sale platform, Paypal as the payment method – which is also why we can’t price the item too low, otherwise the profit would be truly ridiculous, since we have to split it between myself and the label! Anyway, this is not to “justify” the price, but rather to explain how it works behind the scenes! »
Thank you The Leaf Label for these reissues, and of course a huge thank you to those of you who have ordered! :-)))