Saturday, 19 March 2011

Moving the Castle (Howl) - an original song by Ivy

Six thirty was early for me to be up on a Saturday morning. I usually relish the opportunity for a lie in knowing that my husband will be taking care of the kids. This morning was different because we had a 9am appointment an hour away in Birmingham with the Sweet Harmonies recording studio.

I love that my daughters have all proved to be musical and I especially love when they all work together on a song. They constantly amaze me and fill me with pride. I like to encourage their music in any way I can which is why we booked the recording studio to give them a chance to professionally record one of their original songs.

The eldest, Liberty, is the most prolific songwriter and is getting better and better with each one she writes. She had two songs prepared to pick from. Ivy came home from Uni to get in a last minute band practice before the studio session. She brought with her a song that she had written. Much to my surprise, the whole band fell in love with her song and decided to abandon Liberty's in favour of this brand new one.

I was concerned that they were taking a big risk. The session was booked for 9am the next day, it was getting late in the evening and they still hadn't actually played it all through.

I didn't interfere. I left them to get on with it. There was certainly a renewed energy between them as they worked out the drum, bass and keyboard parts and the vocal harmonies.

Ivy struggles with her self confidence sometimes. I couldn't help thinking that using her song was going to do her a lot of good. Ivy also struggles with relinquishing control. There was a strong possibility that it would all end in tears! It didn't. They were brimming with confidence and excitement about what they had achieved so quickly.

We got to the recording studio on time and the girls met their sound engineer.

It seemed to take forever setting up the instruments then doing the sound checks - realising that we were supposed to have brought our own cymbals and that the pick up on Ivy's guitar was faulty. Eventually, all problems overcome, they were ready to sing.

The three hours that we had booked went so quickly.

I felt stupidly emotional listening to the playback as they added extra tracks.

My nearly three year old thought the whole place with its uneven floors and squishy sofas was one big adventure playground. She manage to eat her way through pretty much the entire emergency sweet/crisps/chocolate rations but only got so loud that she interfered with the recording on a couple of occasions!

Three hours of hard work ended. The girls were handed their copies of the CD and they bid farewell to the engineer who had inspired a small amount of hero worship in them for the fact that he understood a  Studio Ghibli reference in Ivy's song and that he thought the film The Brave Little Toaster was awesome.

It was a fantastic experience and the sound quality of the finished product is excellent. I think the girls surprised themselves with how much like a real song it sounded.

The next challenge is to film a Music Video to go with it. I can't wait to see what they come up with and to post it here on my blog. Meanwhile this is a video of their evening rehearsal cut with photographs of our morning at the studio.


  1. Yes - three to four songs if you use pre recorded backing tracks, one to two otherwise.

    One was enough!!

  2. Wow such talented lovely girls :D
    I'm assuming Ivy is a Studio Ghibli fan? xx

  3. As she should be <3! I love Totoro - wanted a Totoro nursery but haven't even begun to do it yet!

  4. The girls obviously worked hard but what an end result! I liked the song and the musical background was exactly as I am sure they would have wanted it to be. No wonder you are so proud of your talented daughters.


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