I’m still not really sure if Kim’s song is any good or not, and if it wasn’t for both the extraordinary chain of events that led up to now and the difference that singing it has made to my life, I don’t think I would have created this site. This is the story of how Kim’s song came about.
On the 16th of November 2014 I woke in the middle of the night from a dream about a poem. My dreams are normally vague and go the same way as most peoples, forgotten by the morning, but for some reason that night, while still half asleep, I picked up my phone and recited it to the recorder app. In the morning I wasn’t sure if I’d dreamt the whole thing but there it was, recorded at 3.12 am. Apart from one or two words that didn’t quite work it was exactly as it reads on the poem page.
It was such a strange and moving thing to happen that it got me wondering how I might put it to some use. My first thoughts were that perhaps I might raise a few pounds for Mount Edgecumbe Hospice who cared so wonderfully for Kim during her last days, maybe by framing it up and selling a copy or two. I’d been pondering on this for a while when I woke on the morning of the 22nd vaguely remembering that I’d recorded another dream during the night and there it was , 3.15am, two verses of a song!
Over the the next few days I was visiting friends in Sussex (I live in North Cornwall) and the whole time I was away I was mulling over what I was meant do with a two verse song and a poem. I’d never had anything like it happen before. During the long drive back, I was listening to Ed Sheeran’s Affire Love and realised that the rhythm to that song worked perfectly with both the verses and most lines of the poem, so from then on they became one and by the time I got home I had Kim’s song in my head.
Like a lot of blokes of a certain age, I’ve fancied myself as a bit of a singer guitarist from time to time and at one point years ago, went as far as buying a microphone and a few bits and bobs which had been gathering dust since about five minutes after coming out of the Amazon box. That afternoon it seemed really important to get the whole thing recorded as best I could while it was clear in my mind so I dug everything out, battled with the software, and by half past two in the morning I had a rough and ready recording. I even copied it to a cd, I think just to see if I could remember how. I’d done what I wanted, at least now if the song went from my mind I had a record of it but I went to bed that night thinking that the next day I would see if I could find a local studio where I could get a more polished version that might sell a few copies for the hospice. I’ve often chuckled at “artists” saying the creative process is exhausting, try laying concrete blocks all day I’d think. That night I was as emotionally shattered as I’ve ever been . Sobbing listening to something you’ve just sung is a very strange experience. It seemed to release something in me.
My house had been on the market for a couple of weeks and I had a viewing later that day so my plan was to get up and go for a swim, find a studio and then tidy up. I slept clean through the alarm and therefore my swim and woke to a phone call from the estate agents asking if my viewers could come a couple of hours earlier, so the search for a studio didn’t happen either. While I was tidying, I got to the bedroom with all my recording clutter still out and thought, what the heck, I’ll leave it. Odd, as normally for a viewing I’d have the place just so.
My couple arrived and introduced themselves as Jacquie and Jo, and as I’d done on the previous couple of viewings, to save any awkward moments, I told them right away that the reason the house was on the market was because Kim had passed away and as I wasn’t going to carry on with the B and B we’d been running, I was looking for something smaller. While they were looking round Jo noticed an ancient and unplayable old twelve string guitar in one of the rooms. That got us chatting about music in general and he mentioned he did a bit of session work and that Jacquie was “ an average backing singer” at which point she pretended to thump him! I think we hit it off pretty well straight away.
When we got to the room with the signs of the previous nights endeavours, they got curious about what I’d been doing, so I told them about the dreams and the song. I’m quite shy when it comes to my efforts on the guitar and pretty much only sing in the shower or car but I heard myself saying, “I’ve put it on CD if you’d like to hear it?” I still don’t understand why but I know immediately I regretted it. Oh well, perhaps they’d forget.
But they didn’t. While we had a coffee Jo said how about playing your recording for us. I’d gathered from chatting that Jo’s playing was almost certainly in a different league to mine but I’d offered so we went into the living room and they listened. All of a sudden it sounded so very amateurish but when it had finished they were quiet for moment. It was all quite surreal. I think Jacquie was crying and Jo said something along the lines that it really resonated and if someone came into his recording studio with that he’d be thrilled.
To say they were enthusiastic about the whole song, story, fundraising thing would be an understatement and while we finished looking round we talked about virtually nothing else. It gave me a big confidence boost. As they were leaving they said if there was anything whatsoever they could do to help get Kim’s song out there, they would be only to happy to help, just look up Jo Meacham on the web to get in contact.
Which is what I did the minute they’d gone. This is Jo’s biography and here’s Jacquie’s. Not just any old session musician and definitely not an average backing singer! I know it’s a cliché but I was blown away. Here were two people who definitely knew more than a thing or two about music who really liked Kim’s song. When the estate agent rang a few days later to say that although the Meacham’s wouldn’t be buying the house, they had really enjoyed their visit and loved my music and would like to be involved, I knew they’d meant what they’d said.
Over the next few days I persevered at home trying to get a recording I was happy with, but I was struggling, it’s a bit of a steep learning curve in the digital age so I rang Jo for some advice on finding a local studio. He said it was a shame I was such a long way away as it would be great to record it at his studio and that’s how I ended up driving to Newbury to sing and play in a proper studio. It was a totally new experience and Jacquie and Jo were kindness itself. I will be for ever grateful for their generosity and enthusiasm but as it turned out, the recording we did there wasn’t to be the final one. I was so intent on singing and playing accurately that day that although its a beautiful clear recording, the emotion seemed to have gone. So I set to at home to try to learn how to use all this gear I’d bought years before and the results are on the download page. It’s far from perfect but I guess there comes a time when you have to say, that’s as good as I can do at the moment. I hope you like it. You can listen to a short sample of it at a lower quality on the player below or download it in high quality . Its on the download page and is free but if you’d like to follow the link to Mount Edgcumbe Hospice and make a donation, that would be wonderful. If you’re on their site but not via the link, click on “Sponsor a friend” at the very bottom of any page and then scroll down or type “Kim” in the search box.
Jo asked me while they were here if I’d written anything else, the answer to which at that time was no, but very shortly after they’d gone I was having a coffee thinking about all the things that had needed to line up to reach that point and out of the blue another song came along. It’s called “Coincidence”and once again I’ve been knocking it around for so long I think it’s time to put it on here. There is now a clip of it below and its also on the download page if you like it. Thank you, Jon.