Behind the scenes: screenprinting the covers

The very lovely Grace Mitchell was in Lorg Fine Art Printmakers last Friday finishing off the screenprints for the handmade limited edition covers I’m sending out to the wonderful folk who funded my album. I tagged along, pretended to be helpful, but really just made coffee and shot some video footage and took some photos of the work in progress.

So, if you’ve ever been curious as to what a fine art print studio was like, here’s a little bit of a look inside the studio at Lorg. We were just screenprinting that day, but there was another artist in the studio doing some etching at the same time, which was interesting for me to watch as well, but I didn’t shoot any footage of that.

I’d done a little bit of screenprinting when I was studying art in secondary school myself, but this is on a whole other level by comparison, and was quite interesting to watch. I now have another batch of about 60 covers to assemble – which will take me a little while. But once they’re all made, editioned (numbered), and signed, they’ll be getting sent out. Nearly there at this stage. This is the home stretch of the CD making side of things.

The music I used in the video is bits of the piano instrumental “Bewerunge” that is up on my soundcloud too:

It’s a slow process

Later today I’m heading in to watch Grace set up the screen to go and print the handmade covers for the CDs finally. We were waiting for a new screen bed to be installed in the studio, which was yet another unexpected delay that you just can’t plan for I guess. Hopefully Sunday will see us folding endless covers and sticking them into envelopes to finally start posting the limited edition ones off to the wonderful funders. There are still quite a few of those funders who’ve not emailed me in their addresses, but I’ll be going through those one by one and emailing them individually to remind them after I’ve sent out the cds to everyone who has already sent in their addresses.

In the interim I’ve been busying myself with meeting people who are interested in helping put together some videos for my songs. This Sunday just past I met up with two wonderful contemporary dancers who want to work on a piece using one of my songs, so I’m really excited to see how that develops. Hopefully we’ll be filming the dance piece and making it available for people to watch online. But even to have other creative artists collaborating with me and wanting to use my music for their own art is reward enough for me to be honest.

There’s another video piece being worked out at the moment too – I’ve had some ideas for videos for some of the songs, and I’ve been looking for people who are interested in getting involved to help make them happen, and it seems that one of those ideas might come to fruition. Meeting someone tomorrow who might be the very person to perform on the video, I just need to make some more contacts with filmmakers here in the west who are interested in getting involved in low/no-budget video projects using my music. But at the moment, there’s four different video ideas being actively worked on, and at various different stages so far.

Aside from all that, I’ve been continuing to teach myself how to play things on the ukulele – which I picked up a few years ago as an instrument that I don’t have to play for work, or play well, but that I can just noodle with idly at home while waiting for something to load on the computer, for example. Ukulele and knitting were my two de-stressers when I had major computer problems last year. I really enjoy the lightness of the texture from the ukulele – in many ways it’s the complete opposite to piano for me. It’s something I don’t play well, and has this light fragile sound sometimes, but that’s possibly just how I play it.

But, last night I recorded a quick one-take cover of a Fiona Apple song on ukulele just for fun. I’ve had the song running around my head for weeks now, so I figured the best way to deal with it was to learn it somehow and try sing it. Her music has really singable melodies, and they’re such a pleasure to sing too between some of the wordplay and the range that she sings in. Her albums are some of my favourites to stick on a sing along to at the top of my voice while baking, for example.

But here’s that cover if you’re interested in hearing it. I posted it last night on twitter, tumblr and facebook, so you’ve possibly already heard it, but I don’t trust myself to write a blogpost when I’m tired anymore, and this thing was recorded at about half ten last night: