2020, not a year you're gonna
forget in a hurry, is it? On the plus side, I did get to spend more time
than usual with my daughter. Not that home-tutoring her wasn't... um...
let's call it 'an interesting experience'... but it did give us the
chance to do stuff we probably wouldn't have had time for had she been at
school. Jesus Is Dead (Let's Eat Chocolate!), for example. She had a
great time making music with Uncle Skit and myself, and we both enjoyed the
liberation of working with someone for whom it was still an adventure in the
unknown. A little while after hearing the results of our first project
together, we got a message from Shaun Robert;
"You and Twizz," he began, completely overlooking poor Uncle Skit, "got me
thinking of doing another children themed volume. I think it is possible to
bring in new ideas to the genre with such things, and promote open minded
creativity to the young."
Oh, musique concrète for
children? Count us in! Twizz, aged 7 at the time, fancied herself as
something of a You Tuber, and was always putting on shows for us, most of
which featured the adventures of a small white plastic cat, the Officer
Kitty of our story. They were kind of wacky improvisations with toys and a
commentary, which lead us to the idea of fusing that with what we do.
"How would you like to do
another track with me and Uncle Skit?"
"We'll take that as a yes."
So we explained our concept to
her; that we record one or more of her improvs, then chop it up and put it
back together with various effects on the voice and mix it with different
sound clips. To start with, she wasn't too happy that the entire story
wouldn't be used exactly as she performed it. We are talking a young lady
who likes things done very precisely the way she likes them done. Lucky
she's not spoilt really. I pointed out that there was a 4:33 limit on each
track, thus it wouldn't be possible to fit in a whole 30 minute ramble,
promising to edit so the story would at least make sense.
"We will try it and I will tell
you if you can use it or not." She says.
So we set up the microphones in
the living room, let her get the toys in place and waited for the action.
"Any time you like." I
"Daddy! I was waiting for you
to announce me!"
Sam enters the room, gives me a
disdainful look, winks at Skit and sits in the armchair.
"Sorry, pickle," I grovelled,
"ladies and gentlemen, da da-da dah!"
And off she went, still giving
me daggers looks for not having accurately read her mind in the first place.
We sit in complete silence until she gets to the end of her tale and smiles.
"That was fun!" She exclaims,
"When can I record it?"
"It's been recording all the
way through, you've done it." Says I.
"Wait, it's on?"
"It's recording right now?"
"Right, turn it off."
We were in the dog-house for a
while afterwards, but finally persuaded her to let us use it. I think it
cost me a new LOL OMG doll, but it was definitely worth it! We
decided to go the whole hog for the compilation theme too, keeping the
accompanying graphic in the general spirit. So I created a spoof image of
Skit and I using a couple of Twizz's Fingerlings and some
Photoshopping, then just a straight photo of one of her little blonde
princess dolls to represent her. The painting of the rocket is one she did
at school, I just Photoshopped her Officer Kitty toy behind the
porthole. It's not the first piece of music art she's done, of course, she
provided the j-card for Flashbax Ω Ultimate while she was still at
nursery, has her own entry on Discogs to boot! Twizz is very keen to do some
more recording with us, which we shall certainly look forward to. Officer
Kitty unfortunately hasn't been seen for a while, we fear she's lost down the
back of the sofa somewhere...