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Long time, no see 👋

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog, so I’ll just catch you up on everything that’s been going on.

Most recently, I’ve started a masters degree in marketing at Glasgow Caledonian University. This came off the back of some work I did with the Liam Colgan Music Fund, so I decided to pursue this further. This is very exciting, I’m only 3 weeks in just now, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it so far.

In terms of music-y stuff, there have been a few new things happening. Back in November, my other half Ciar, and I auditioned for Live Music Now Scotland (LMNS) – we were successful! LMNS is an organisation which trains young musicians to bring live music performances and workshops to audiences who wouldn’t necessarily experience it very often. The main two groups of people are elderly people with dementia, and children with additional support needs. Over the past few weeks, we’ve had various training sessions to get us equipped for gigging to these types of audiences, and our first gig is on the 6th of March at The Yard in Dundee. We’re very excited, and a little bit nervous, but we’ll only benefit as musicians from taking part. Ciar and I also have a new joint Instagram page - @mclarenmilneduo, follow us to keep up with what we’re doing as a duo.

Additionally, I finished my arrangement of some new music and performed it at Celtic Connections at the end of January with an incredibly talented band. This was so fun, and a great opportunity to get some of my self-composed tunes out there.

Speaking of new music, I’m still ploughing my way through my composition for the Emerging Composers project. Last time I touched base, I was due to have a meeting with Steven regarding making a chord chart for the backing band. Well, I had said meeting and it was extremely helpful. The other methods I had been recommended for writing chord charts all seemed very mathematical to me, very much “there’s a right and a wrong”. To an extent, you could say that this is true. There are obviously going to be chords that sound “wrong” or chords that sound “right”. However, it’s much more linear and to your own personal taste. Steven showed me the basics of what he’d typically do to start. What key feels like home with a tune? Work from there. It immediately began to make sense and I was able to use my pre-existing knowledge to create a basic chord progression only using bass notes. As simple as this may sound to smart, chord-orientated people, this was helpful and a good starting point for me.

Lastly, my EP is so very nearly done! Just tying up a few loose ends and then I can send it away to be printed into physical copies. How exciting! The launch gig is hopefully going to be in the summer at some point, but I’ll get to that once I have everything else finished for it.

Hopefully you managed to read all that, it’s been a busy time! I promise it won’t be too long before the next manic update!

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