38. Caroling Carolan

A christmas carol for you. Have a good one!

Carolan Guitar

It’s Carolan’s first Christmas and so the perfect time to regale you with a carol, in this case Gustav Holst’s beautiful tune for ‘In the Bleak Midwinter’.

Recording this provided us with a good opportunity to begin to explore how best to capture Carolan’s voice. It seemed best to try this out at home first before venturing into a professional set-up, so Steve heads upstairs to his man-cave for a long Sunday afternoon of messing about with mics and things as well as grumpily shouting at anyone who dares to make a noise nearby (including neighbours, wildlife and passing vehicles, although at least one of these manages to sneak onto the recordings anyway). Adrian then takes on the task on mixing and mastering in his own cave.

Here’s a second recording, this time of O’Carolan’s Concerto (also known as Mrs Power), one of Turlough O’Carolan’s better known pieces.

And now a warning. The rest of this post describes how Steve and Adrian set about recording the…

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35. Give a Hand

Carolan Guitar

Carolan hears that acclaimed celtic guitarist Tim Edey is performing at nearby Southwell and so sprints over to meet him. Tim is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer who has toured and recorded with the Chrieftens, Christie Moore, Sharon Shannon, Natalie MacMaster, Altan, Capercaillie, Brendan Power, Michael McGoldrick, Session A9, Wolfstone, Lunasa and Mary Black  to name but a few. If this isn’t enough, he was also named BBC Radio Two’s Musician of the Year in 2012. You can find out more about Tim’s music at his website.

We’ve seen Tim at big festivals and have been wowed by the things he can do with a guitar, including some incredibly nifty shifts of capo position in the middle of tunes – blink and you’ll miss them. It’s marvellous to now see his technique close up in an intimate venue, especially as we’re sitting right in the middle of the front row.

At the soundcheck, Tim plays…

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34. Accessorize

Carolan Guitar

Time for a nerdy interlude while we get on with editing some more videos.

We don’t know about you, but there’s something really exciting about nosing around in other people’s guitar cases, exploring their nooks and crannies in search of accessories. A touring guitar case needs to be well stocked with pretty much every accessory that might be needed on the road, plus a few more gadgets and gizmos for good measure.

We may be in danger of over-sharing, but here are the contents of Carolan’s case. First there’s the case itself. It’s a Hiscox Pro II, a hard minder of a case that offers serious protection to Carolan and that also doubles up as a small stage, body shield or even a canoe in extremis. It also comes in a chic Cream colour, reminiscent of late period Elvis.

Open up and the case and you should be greeted with a selection of strings, posters, gig tickets and other…

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