Words & Music

by monicadockery

Archive for the tag “original”

Wine on White

Hellloooooo!

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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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Album Song Preview – Youtube Video for “Birthday”

Helloooo!  So, I have been wanting to share a little more about the album I’m working on, so I decided to do a video preview of one of the last ones that I wrote.  I chose to share this one first because it is one of the more playful, lighter ones and I thought it would be fitting for a summer weekend release:).  Hope you like it!  If you do, leave a little comment to let me know….feedback is always much appreciated.  Thanks!  Have a wonderful weekend!! …and a few more videos to come in the future, so keep checking in!

—Monica

Album Journey – Update #2

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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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In my past life……

Hellooooooo!  So, the other night while I was in an “altered state of mind”, I had a moment.  In that moment, I had a very clear, distinct sense of a connection to another life, another time.  (I promise I’m not crazy:)!).  I have always felt, even when I was a little kid growing up, that I was “old”.  Like I was supposed to be 50 instead of 5.  I couldn’t really understand that feeling then and I can’t really explain it now.  It was/is just a feeling.  And, the other night….I had a flash of another life.  I saw me as a jazz singer from the 30s and 40s.  Ha ha!  I hope I haven’t lost you yet:).  But, seriously, I caught a glimpse of me being in another time, singing my little heart out on a stage.  This would be fitting as I have always loved jazz…it has always connected to somewhere deep down in my soul, and also, I have always had an enormous amount of admiration for Ella Fitzgerald….hands down, my all-time favorite singer EVER.  So, it could be that I just happened to have a day-dream and it was about things I am connected to or it could be something else.  Whatever the case, it was an interesting moment and it led to something even more interesting.

Ella-Fitzgerald

What happened after this little “flash” was  I started to sing and sing, just off the top of my head.  All kinds of lyrics just flowing out and all in this very 30s/40s vibe….very stream of consciousness type-stuff happening.  In the end, I had three complete new songs written in about 12 minutes.  I know this because I decided to turn on my voice recorder and record myself until I stopped and 12.34 minutes later, I did.  I didn’t even know what I was saying or if it sounded “right”, I just kept going until I didn’t anymore.  Then, the next day, I went back over the recording and found not only did I write 3 new songs that I love, but they were in a voice I have never heard come out of me.  It sounded like me, but it was much more relaxed, free, and smooth.  I was….and am still….trippin’ over this.  I hesitated to even share this, but it was just so bananas, I had to.  Anyway, all that to say….looks like I’ve got some new songs that are going to be coming here soon.  In addition to those, there is a new one I just did with this amaaaaaaaazing beat-designer/producer named Jaze Baqti from France (here’s a link to his music).  It is all about love and hope for the future, AND…..it’s JAZZ-inspired:)!  Hope it speaks to you….and hope I didn’t scare you away with my little story:).  Keep a lookout for those time travel-inspired songs too:)!

Remake of an old song “Little Pigeon”….compare

Helloooo! My son has been at summer camp this week, so I tried to make the most of my “time off” and get in as many recordings as I could. Today, I re-did a song I posted back in January called Little Pigeon (this is the old one, the new one is down below) You may or may not remember it. It is one of my favorites because I remember feeling like I could fly after I wrote it and it has come in handy on those days when I felt a bit low. Other reasons why I chose to re-do the song:

I didn’t do a good recording the first time, it was very rough and my vocals just weren’t there

I thought it might sound better in a lower key

I knew I didn’t do the idea I had in my head for the song justice first time around

I got some tips from from fellow soundclouders (particularly Rick O’Shea) on recording and splitting channels and panning and all that and so I wanted to test those out

So, I would love to hear what you think of the changes….did lowering the key and using the recording tips help? I like it much better, but I am always interested in how other people hear it. Anything that I might still need to improve on?

I want to grow, get better…..not just in music, but in life. So, sometimes that means revisiting the past and seeing what we could have done differently and then doing it. In another year, who knows, maybe my idea for this song or others will evolve even more. I think the minute we stop wanting to get better, that is when we have also stopped living. Onward and upward, as they say:)

btw, this track was done on my own, not a collaboration….I’ve been doing a lot of that and I love it, but I want to keep up with the solo stuff too, so there will be more to come.

Here’s the link to the new version:

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