Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “Music”

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…..

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!

DaVinci was a “G”…

Hellooo!

eur-vitruvian_man

Wow, just spent the day at a DaVinci exhibit nearby.  Amaziiiiiiiing.  I have learned and read about DaVinci before but when you see all the models of the stuff he thought up in front of you, it is ridiculous.  They found 6, 000 plus pages of his notebooks FULL of creations, and those were just the ones that were found.  What is more remarkable than the number of ideas is the quality of them.  Every one came out of a desire to find a solution to a problem.  A contribution of something meaningful, that could add to the quality of life for ordinary folks and that could change the way the world works at large.  Pretty astonishing.  And…inspiring.  I think about how long he lived – 67 years – not long.  That means he used every minute of it usefully.  What might we accomplish if we all were to devote our energies to creating solutions to problems?  Could you imagine how the world would be different?  How much further along we would be?  For providing inspiration not only for myself but for millions throughout history since his time, I pronounce DaVinci a true “G”.  I leave you with two quotes from the man himself:

“While I thought I was learning how to live, I have been learning how to die”

“He who wishes to be rich in a day will be hanged in a year.”

Inspire? Create? Solve?  Let’s.

Which Story do YOU sell? (Spoken Word transcript)

This is one of my spoken word pieces……

Which story do you sell?

Are you the girl who is at all the parties, dressed to impress, with your hair and makeup all did – exuding fierce confidence? Then, when you go home, you cry because no one took your number?

Are you the guy who always talks about how much he loves his wife and kids, how “blessed” he is? Then, when your wife is gone you slide on down to 23rd and slip the 18 year-old on the corner a couple 20s?

Are you the woman who is proud of the sacrifices she had to make to become the first female CEO of that company? Then, late at night, at home – after a nice glass of your favorite red, you pull out that old pregnancy test that read “++” and let a tear fall for the one you sacrificed?

Are you the boy who grew up to be a man? But, really, you never became a man because you never had someone to show you how to?

Are you one of those people who just KNOWS that they have all the answers to life wrapped up in one book? Then, when the that-wasn’t-supposed-to-happen-to-me happens, you don’t have a clue what to do?

Are you that politician who touts about how he voted for marriage equality? Then, when he sees his neighbors Dan and Jonathan walking their beagle, Sadie, down the street, he makes sure to cross to the other side of the street so as not to actually have to have a conversation with those two “perverts”?

Are you that scientist who stands up in front of a crowd and says – with $100 certainty – that you know why that is the way it is? Then, when you come across a colleague’s research that proves how it wasn’t at all the way it was, you belittle and dismiss your colleague’s work, sticking – stubbornly- by the side of error and arrogance?

Are you the physician who takes a vow to keep people healthy? Then, you give them the pills that BIG PHARMA told you to give them – or else – knowing that instead of keeping people healthy, you are signing people’s execution warrant?

Are you a priest who has vowed to be the hands of God on this Earth? Then, when God isn’t looking, you take the opportunity to use those hands to all-at-once, inappropriately touch a young boy and – consequently, destroy, any chance of him ever coming close to touching faith again?

Are you the team that boldy brandishes it’s flashy trophies – showing off all of it’s overachievements? Then, when you find out the trophies are really only gold-PLATED and not REAL gold, you rush over to the guys sitting across the way to try and take THEIR trophies?

Are you the President who says he wants “Gitmo” closed because it gives America a bad name? Then, you go and sign off on near-daily drone attacks where innocent people get maimed or murdered on a regular basis?

Do you say brown, when you mean white?

Do you say dark, when it is light?

Do you say you love him/her, when you don’t?

Do you say you will, when you KNOW you won’t?

Do you sell a story, and pretend it is real?

Even if you did, would you tell me still?

Poetic Remixes….. How Collaborating Makes You Dig Deeper

Hellooooo! Been M.I.A. for a bit.  I have been a little busy with family things, so I have not had the opportunity to sit down and share what has been going on.  At the beginning of the month, the Soundcloud Heroes group that I am a part of launched a new community collaboration project called the National Poetry Collaborations on Soundcloud this month.  We asked people to contribute one single line of their favorite poetry and offer it up to the rest of the SC community to be used to create a completely new remixed poem using various lines from different users.  In addition, musicians and producers could take those and add their own original compositions to the mix.  So far, we have had quite a few pieces contributed and they are waaay beyond what I had anticipated.

What I loooove so much about community collaborations is that it forces everyone involved to push past their own boundaries, try something new, and dig deeper.  Awesome!  Now, here are a few select poetry remixes (including my own) for you to check out.  It is not too late to join the project and submit some sounds of your own or to give your hand a try at a remix.  Here is the link with more details about how to join:  http://soundcloud.tumblr.com/post/46955630575/this-is-a-guest-post-by-soundcloud-hero-monica

Enjoy, share, and join!  (p/s – still putting my album together, trying to figure out how to add some new techniques and organic sounds into the mix at the moment)

Popicho’s remix:

Zefora’s remix:

My remix:

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