Daphne … or is it Daftny?

Blogpost September 2016

Hello sweet reader I trust you’re fine and dandy. This Blogpost I will mostly be writing about Daphne’s Flight and sharing the ridiculously enjoyable process of recording our second album together in 20 years! Hurrah.

Even before we gathered at Chris and Julie’s lovely home in  South Yorkshire at the end of July, tracks had been laid down for no less than 7 of our 11 intended songs. It helps to have incredibly diligent, hard-working, not to mention talented collaborators on your side (While & Matthews are Daphne’s ROCK in this case!). This meant that when we finally got together, our full focus could be given to the vocal arrangements we’d worked on in July. It also gave everyone plenty of time to really get behind our individual lead vocal performances – a much appreciated luxury!

Julie had already recorded a beautiful piano arrangement for one of my original songs: Goddess of Mann (co-written with my lovely friend Lindsay Rowe). So when I arrived, a couple of days ahead of Helen and Melanie, to create the basic track for my second song: No One Knows His Name, I had the added luxury of really getting down to deeply satisfying creative detail. I especially loved using Chris and Julie’s fantastic musicianship and production skills. Chris, who had the awesome privilege of learning a huge amount from the late great Pete Zorn, is now an absolute whizz with a multitude of percussion instruments. On our last recording – yes I’ll say it again – 20 years ago, I think I put a shaker and a tambourine on a couple of tracks. This recording is on a whole new level of percussion magic!

Between us we capture a beautiful atmosphere for both tracks and I felt confident enough to do my lead vocals straight away. I can report dear reader – I’m happy with it all!

Once Helen and Melanie arrived, the excitement rose to stratospheric levels! Each day began with a wholesome and leisurely breakfast followed by huge dollops of laughter, enthusiasm, fabulous food and creative focus. We took it in turns to cook dinner and ate like Goddesses each day and every night.

One afternoon  before Helen and Melanie had arrived and after my tracks had been built, Chris and I watched a number of life affirming videos via the wonders of an iPad and Apple TV while Julie attended to some necessary technical shenanigans.Two videos in particular were truly inspirational. So much so I’ll encourage you to watch both if you ever get the chance. The first was one Chris shared with me by a wonderful speaker I’d not heard of before: Simon Sinek. The talk was all about Leaders and what we as a social group determine and expect from them. Here’s a link to the VIDEO. It is amazingly insightful. And he’s such a compelling speaker. I also felt by the end that I knew a whole lot more about human beings and their chemical and social motivation. It’s brilliant!

The second is one I shared with Chris and had us both in tears (in a good way!). It’s a TED Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor about her incredible experience as a neuroscientist … having a stroke. If you’ve never watched it please do … you’ll be so glad you did! She is hugely inspirational! HERE’s the VIDEO.

Anyway … I digress!  There was one evening we all watched a brilliant film that Chris and Julie were excited to share with us: The Way – starring Martin Sheen. If you haven’t seen it, find it on whatever format you can and watch – you’ll be glad of the experience. Honest!

So in between all this communal, confidence-building, culinary excellence and feminine-bonding we did some great work. There is not doubt that the collaborative process 20 years ago was wonderful, but this time round, it is truly amazing. The way we wove in and out of each others songs and arrangements is a wonder. And – with the years of musical and life experience gathered around us – our personal and professional flexibility brought us all to new musical and creative heights. Yes dear reader – I am very happy with the outcome! We all are!

Now even with all this genuine enthusiasm it will be 7 or 8 months before we can share the fruits of our lovely labours. So you and I will have to be very patient. However we did managed to capture a few moments in the studio which may give you a glimpse into our delightful time together and hopefully whet your appetite for next year when the album will be released on Fledgling Records and a fabulous tour will begin in May. We have something like 21 shows already confirmed, with a smattering of festivals in the summer waiting for confirmation. All this information can now be found on our very own website HERE!

We have plans set for rehearsals in April and again in May and start the tour here on the tiny Isle May 6th. Yes …  we are excited!

Apart from all the Daphne escapades Bob and I are about to plan our next big trip which will include three months in Australia – eek! Michael Fix and I have a couple of Festivals confirmed so far and a number of shows in and out of the festival scene in the offing. All of which I’ll write about next month. Before that though there’s a chance we’ll be on Los Angeles for November before making our way to New Zealand for Christmas and New Year and from there onto Australia … where spending time with our gorgeous granddaughters in Sydney takes priority before heading up the coast to Brisbane to rehearse with Mr Fix. The future looks bright!

Apart from all the creative excitement I’ve been enjoying the Autumnal fruits of the land … photographing many mushrooms and toadstools in search of fairies 😉 xxx of course!

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Next week we travel across to the UK to see family and friends and tidy up a few loose ends before our glob trotting adventures start. There’s a very real possibility we’ll make it to Chris and Julie’s duo gig in Lincoln on October 1st. They’re at the beginning of a month long tour to support their fabulous new album: Shoulder To Shoulder … hurrah! I’m hoping they’ll let me sing on Are We Human 🙂 xxx I might be able to persuade them 😉 xxx

So that’s it for this Blogpost so much to be thankful for and even more coming up – all of it a joy! I hope you’ll be able to take full advantage of the tour dates next May and beyond and if you live or are visiting Australia early next year, see if you can make it to one of those delightful experiences 🙂 xxx

This post’s video/song is: Midnight Feast – written by the late great Lal Waterson and recorded for my first studio album for Fledgling Records Blue Aconite which came out the same year as Daphne’s first Flight – 1996. Imagery taken on walks through Archallagan Planation – beginning and end – Spooyt Vane waterfall and walking my brother Colin’s dog Bobby, along Kirk Michael beach … a smorgasbord of Manx landscapes. Enjoy!

As ever thanks for dropping by to catch up on what’s what in my strange but wonderful life … your continued support matters to me!

As comments are closed on the Blogpost in an attempt to circumvent those pesky phishers and spammers – so far it’s working – if you’d like to comment on anything written here feel free to drop me a line on FaceBook: HERE! 

Till next time sweet reader … endless blessings!

Christine xxx 🙂 xxx


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