Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “album”

Wine on White

Hellloooooo!

Unknown

So, I released my album, SoulMade on October 15th.  After giving birth, I went through a mini-bout of postpartum depression.  You know, you pour your heart and soul into something, you nurture and care for it as it develops.  Then, you bring it into this world where you know no one will love and care for it like you did when it was in your womb.  It is no longer “safe” but open to criticism, to indifference, to abuse.  Then, there’s also the fact that you don’t feel it moving inside you anymore….an emptiness, separation.  But, after a few days (maybe weeks), you snap out of it and realize just what a feat and what a joy it was to bring this thing to life.  And, you begin to celebrate each accomplishment, each baby step taken, and the bonding takes place.  Soon, you realize you enjoy it so much that you want to have another.  That is where I am now…

I’m working on another :)….only it will be a short, (couple of songs) EP.  One of the songs I wrote recently is called “Wine on White” and has a jazzy vibe to it.  I don’t plan on rushing things this time as I will be continuing to promote SoulMade and do live gigs.  Speaking of which, I have my very FIRST EVER gig in LA this month.  November 19th @ TheWitZend.  I’m excited and looking forward to sharing the stage with about 6 other acts that night.  Should be a fun time.  If you’re in the area, you’re invited!!!  Here’s a link to the venue that has all the details.  Wish me luck!  Peace to you all 🙂

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If blues, jazz, and soul music had a baby…..

HipHop and Soul fall in love :)…Featured guests on my album!

Three of my fellow artists/collaborators/friends have contributed their talents to my upcoming album….5 days left till it is released!  I thought I’d share these featured tracks with you today!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.  Thanks so much to my dear friends:  Here are links to their pages in case you want to hear more from them:

Dash the Baptist: https://soundcloud.com/d-dash-flow

Ben Z: http://benz.bandcamp.com/album/my-new-mix-tape

TheNamesMillen: https://soundcloud.com/thenamesmillen

Album Update #5 ……the end is near!!! :)

photoHello!  Before I get into my post, please take a minute to watch my new music video!  It is for a contest.  Each view gives me a point and helps me rank higher in the contest.  So, you’re welcomed to watch as much as you’d like and do share!  The contest ends Nov.9th and finalist will then compete to win a chance to make a professionally produced EP w/Don Was (wha? 🙂 ).  Hope you like it, it is a very personal song for me.

http://songwriter.revimage.com/channels/Monica+Dockery

Now, to the ALBUM UPDATE.  If you’ve been following me on here, you may have read about the album I’ve been working on for a few months now.  GREAT NEWS!!!!!  I’m nearly 100% finished!  Just tightening up the mix/master on each song.  It will be ready to launch October 15, 2013.  So excited to share these songs :)!  Finally.  Since the end is near, I thought I’d give a sneak peek at the song list for the album ( not necessarily in order).  Here it is:

Audiobiography (bullet)                                                

Sweet Cali

UI

The One

Two Shades

Smile                                             

Anything But        

Christine Alice                                 

Dollar N a Dime

Sam I am 

John Henry

In the Mood

Purple                                                                            

Dreamin A Way

Moving away

One Inch

New Day

There is a Light 

Two Moons

Dadi da da

Birthday

Keep checking in!  And leave a comment to let me know what you thought about the video.  Would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂  Thanks.  Have a great weekend all!

Help me win the Guitar Center Contest!

bedhead

Helloooo!

I’ve been M.I.A. for a while on this blog, but for a good reason. I am nearly finished with my album!! It will be available October 15th! So excited. Now…..

I have also been busy trying to gain support for my entry into the Guitar Center Singer Songwriter Contest 3 w/ Don Was. The more online activity on our contest page, the better our chances. So, it would be WONDERFUL, FANTASTIC, AWESOME, if you took some time to watch my two videos that are up on my page. Note: the link only works from a desktop, no mobile devices. By you simply watching my videos on the contest page, you will be helping me come that much closer to a dream! Please show your support, watch and share with as many friends as you can. You can even view it multiple times for multiple votes. Thanks so much! Can’t wait to share more of my project with you soon! And btw, the contest ends Nov.9th, so please keep checking back on the site as I will be uploading at least one more music video there before the release of my album. Cheers everyone! And, thank you so much in advance.

Album Update #3 – 3 Reasons Why Recording Sucks….until

Photo on 8-7-13 at 9.31 AM #3

Hellooo!  A picture of me getting ready to do a full day of recording….I had just woken up (one perk of recording from home…you can do it in your pjs….or well…you know)

Time for a little update on the progress of my FIRST EVER, self-produced album :).  Ok, so I have officially gone into the phase that involves full-day recording sessions and the thing that I realized is…..recording sucks.  I have recorded before, many times – for other people’s projects and for singles of my own and that has always gone pretty well.  But, recording vocals, background vocals, guitar, AND percussion instruments for 21 songs (19, 2 bonus) is INSANE!!!!  I clearly had NO IDEA what I was getting into when I first started this project.  Holy crap.  So, here’s the top 3 gripes I have about recording:

1)  You can’t just wing it.  If you knew me, you would know how much I despise planning.  However, with recording, I have found you HAVE TO plan.  Sure, you can improvise and such while you experiment with the styling and embellishments here and there….but, you have to plot out your moments and nail them while keeping tempo, proper pitch, maintaining the ability to emote, making sure you’re not too far or too close to the mic, delivering the lyric flawlessly, and so on and so forth (phew!).  Easier said than done indeed.

2)  It is UNNATURAL.  In “real life”, when you sing or play the guitar, we don’t stand in an isolation tank with padded walls with headphones on our head.  Usually, you have somebody to look at and interact with while your singing or  it is you, sitting at the beach, with the wind in your face, strumming your guitar.  Not so in “the booth” (mine is a makeshift one that doubles as my closet).  So, yeah, feels weird.  But, eventually, you do get used to it and sometimes to the point where  it gets weird to sing in front of people again :).

3.) It stands between me and my FINISHED album!!!!  Yes, this one is the one.  This is the main reason why recording sucks.  It is the necessary evil.  You cannot have an album to share with folks unless you do it.  And, damn, don’t we love our immediate gratification?!  To have conceived a project, to have poured out your soul in the writing of lyrics, to have found the melody that you were looking for on your guitar, etc., but have to WAIT to share it until all the recording mumbo jumbo is done?!  That sucks.  I don’t like to wait.

BUT….this I know….

It will certainly be worth the wait.  When it is all packaged up and sent out and I can finally share it with you lovely peeps, I will have made my peace with recording and will have a huge smile on my face :).  Can’t WAIT to share these soul songs with you!  Let me end with a quick rundown on the stats for the overall recording progress.

  • All guitar tracking for the 21 songs is finished and most of the additional instrumentation/percussion is complete!! (well, I hope)
  • 5 songs are completely finished  and I love them!
  • Cover art has been chosen……to be revealed soon :0 …dun dun dun
  • Title?  TBD  (it’s between two finalists)
  • I have one of my special friends/guest artists that will be joining me –  Ben Z –  (there will be others as well), who just sent me his contribution to one of the songs on the album and I am so happy with it!!  It is the perfect finishing touch.  But – honestly, he never disappoints….don’t take my word for it, though, you can check out his talents here at his page
  • Date of Release?  To be announced soon (depending on a few things)

Ok, that is all for now.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for checking in with me as I continue on this new journey!

Album Journey – Update #2

13

Hellooooo!

It’s time for another album update:). As mentioned in my last post, I’ll be doing a series of mini-updates on the process and progress of my first EVER full length, self-produced album. Here we go:

Title?: Nope, still don’t have it. I keep going back and forth between two basic ideas. I think I have to wait on this just a bit more.

Number of Songs: Still 21 songs, although I believe I’ll be cutting one or two of those if I can’t figure out the best way to present them. I wouldn’t be happy putting them out the way they are right now.

Phase: I’m happy to say that I am on Phase 2 now:). I have finished the experimentation and temp tracks on the last 7 of the 21 songs in regards to instrumentation and arrangement and such. Phew! Now, I begin the process of doing the REAL semi-final recordings and tracking of instruments for each song.

Challenges: The biggest challenge I see right now is getting the recordings down tight and mixing. I’m NOT a professional producer…so really, this is trial and error for me. I want the tracks to sound the best they possibly can, but I’m limited in my ability. However, I made a vow to myself. The vow was that this project was to reflect exactly where I am in terms of my level of ability and my style evolutionary phase and that is in all aspects (singing ability, guitar playing/musicianship, recording, production, etc.). So, although I may be limiting the quality of production, I am only doing so by the limits of my actual current level of skill.

Other challenges? Finding the time and quiet to record. I am using my own makeshift home studio and I have a young son who is always wanting to go on adventures. How can I say no to that face? So when I’m trying to record a background vocal and he says, “Mom, can we go to the park?” I have ask myself what matters most. For me, it will always be him over my music. Always. So, I have to get creative and find times and spaces to record around life – as all artists do.

What’s Next?: Apart from finishing the tracking and recording, I am hoping to invite a few of my friends and fellow artists to do a few features on some of the songs and as part of the interludes and such. I have met sooooo many wonderfullly talented folks and many of them I am happy to call my friends now. So, I am planning on inviting a few of them to do mini-cameos and show their special talents (e.g. a few bars of a rap, some spoken word, etc.). I want to give them an opportunity to share their talents, so I’m looking forward to that VERY much! They always surprise and delight, I promise!

Overall Progress: If I had to give a percentage, I’d say we are at the 40% mark. Not where I want to be, but moving forward and that is key. I would like to do a few, nicely done, videos for some of the songs as well , but that is much much later into the project.

That is all for now. Keep checkin in with me and thank you for taking this journey with me! I would love love love your support in sharing and listening to the album when all is said and done, so please keep checking in on the progress:).

Btw, tomorrow is the 4th of July! Happy 4th to all of you who will be celebrating. I’ll be with family and friends at my most favorite place to be…….THE BEACH:) Hope you enjoy as well!

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Album Journey – Mini Update 1

Hellooo!

Photo on 5-14-13 at 10.43 PM

You may or may not have read my post on starting my first – completely self-produced – album a while back. I’m so very very excited! I will be doing a series of mini-updates on here for the rest of the journey. Here’s a quick run down on the status of the album as of 2:20 AM on June 19, 2013:):

Title ? — Nope, not yet….but, I have a list of several potentials that all play around the same idea

Genre: who knows??? I guess when the album comes out, any bloggers that review it will be able to tell me.

Number of Songs: Well, as of today….21 songs!!! (19, 2 bonus). I am currently struggling to decide on whether to keep or cut. I probably won’t decide until much much later in the game. So, currently, I’m working on them as though I’ll be using them all.

Recording Phase: Right now, I’m laying down temporary tracks so that I can experiment with tempos, instrumentation, vocal arrangements and so on.

Overall Progress: Much to do, but I’m on my way. I have the temp tracks and basic arrangement down for 14 of the 21 songs already:).

What’s Next?: I want to finish up getting the basic ideas/sounds down for the remaining 7 tracks. Then, begin doing the actual tracking of instruments and REAL vocal recordings.

Wish me luck! I’ll be back with another update in the near future. Have a great week!

How Much Should We Charge for our Art? …and 10 quotes about Art

Helloooo!  I thought I’d start this post off with that lil’ gem:).  As I continue to sort out the process of putting together my album, the meaning and value of art has continuously been creeping into my mind.  As such, I decided to look up what others have said about art in the past.  Here are 10 of the ones that I came across that I liked the best:

True art is characterized by an irresistible urge in the creative artist.
Albert Einstein

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.
Pablo Picasso

Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.
Thomas Merton

Every artist was first an amateur. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable.
George Bernard Shaw

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
Henry Ward Beecher

The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.
Pablo Picasso

An artist never really finishes his work, he merely abandons it.
Paul Valery

The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters, is simplicity.
Walt Whitman

Any work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line.
Joseph Conrad
Art is dangerous. It is one of the attractions: when it ceases to be dangerous you don’t want it.

Duke Ellington

Like art, revolutions come from combining what exists into what has never existed before.
Gloria Steinem

Controversy is part of the nature of art and creativity.
Yoko Ono
I don’t need the money, dear. I work for art.
Maria Callas

That last quote by Maria Callas brought to mind a question.  Should we charge for art?  Does asking someone to give you some arbitrary amount of money for your heart and soul’s expression make sense?  Is there another transaction that can be made between creator and consumer that would be more meaningful?  These are the questions on my mind as I continue down this road of creating a “thing” that I’d like others to see, touch, hear, connect to.  To me, my creations are the story that results from my soul’s interpretation of the points where it connects with the world and the people in it.  What price do you charge for something like that? $9.99?

Sam I Am

Hellooo! Hope you had a great weekend.  I spent mine in sand and surf:).  Perfect.  A quick update.  As mentioned before, I have decided to go forward and put together an album – a complete set of works.  So, much writing and thinking and resting happening.  Yes, resting.  The best stuff happens when you just stop and rest….take a moment.  I’ll be taking as many moments as I can because I want the album to reflect the deepest parts of me….the things I love, the people I love, the life I love.  Can you see a theme developing?:).  I only plan on doing one album.  No more.  I do not intend to make a career of this as it really is just something that I enjoy and that brings me peace and I don’t want for it to become a “job” for me.  I think when it becomes a job, the magic slips away.  So, this album is it.  So, may my heart and soul be poured out all over it.  I have about 7 songs down now and am still writing.  Then, there’s a whole hell of a lot of stuff I have to figure out how to do….like mixing and such;).  We’ll see how things end up taking shape. I’ll keep posting updates as things progress.  Thanks for taking this journey with me!  Here is a rough, acoustic version of a song called “Sam I Am” I just wrote that may or not make the cut.  Let me know what you think.  Have a great week!

 

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