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Do Different

Several lifetimes ago, I was at university in Norwich where the UEA motto is 'Do Different'. It sounds like a play on the Norfolk dialect - and indeed it is: "In Norfolk we du different" - not least in that 'du'. It was chosen because it celebrated the value of independent thinking, of doing what feels right as opposed to simply following convention. The very choice itself was contentious with convention being something Victorian-moralistic couched in Latin.

'Do Different' is, then, the mantra here at Ginger Towers, not in terms of the music you make - that is your call - but in terms of how it is treated. The project studio started out as a magical live room - sometimes a room is just right, a combination of sound and ambience. I had a room I could make music in - recording the music, and then mixing it, meant shifting into production. A control/mix room emerged and across the last year a work-flow has developed. That development has seen a 32 channel console tried and rejected, together with other analogue gear, simply because whilst there isn't the space, there is no need for it. Digital tech gives me studio 'space' equivalent to a studio four times bigger. And then some. Yet this is not the aspect of 'do different' that matters here - digital tech is pretty much 'the new conventional' at all levels of the business, after all.

'Do different' for me is the approach to music production. If you are signed to a label investing in you and your music this will probably not apply but for those looking to make their mark, and not yet signed, the convention of hourly/daily rates in a studio is not an ideal way forward. A place where you can develop your music and get accustomed to the issues and demands of recording as you grow a set of songs is more fitting.

The internet gives you a limitless audience for your songs together with all sorts of tools to get those songs out there. People come to me and talk about 'doing an album' even when they have yet to put out a single song. Creating a body of work, a song at a time, and using social media to grow a presence is something that Ginger Towers is just ideal for. Blog, YouTube, stream... build a mailing list of followers and at some point you will have the potential to sell an album before you've pressed it. In an acre of wild garden (and with a sun deck/bbq area adjacent to the live room) this is one project studio made for video, photo opps and streaming. Add in the potential of internet radio and podcasts... It's as much 'think different' as 'do different'.

So talk to Ginger about rehearsal space, pre-production, songwriter circles, podcasting, online radio... oh, and maybe recording and mixing too, that's something else I do.

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