New single for December

The holidays can be a difficult time for those away from home.  Here’s a new single from the album that conveys the loneliness of Christmas amidst  the stark beauty of a northern Canadian winter.  Dedicated to all those who will be away from their families this year.

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Album artwork

 

Here’s a peek at the artwork for the forthcoming album.  The painting is titled “Rasht” by Ottawa-based artist Taymaz Valley.  He has  very kindly given me permission to use this piece for the record, and I would like to thank Renee La Roi for her assistance in pulling all the design elements together for the CD packaging and online graphics.

I was drawn to the organic feel of the painting and brilliant use of colour.  The river, tree, and house all speak to elements and themes within the songs on the album.  That combination was simply irresistible to me.  I hope you like it as much as I do!

Stay tuned for a special announcement later this week about the release date for the album and a special pre-release offer for fans of Selkirk Range.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/39747297@N05/5230479916/in/photolist-8Yczsd-cbcCk3-7jNmHv-dipm3P-5FefTX-sKjX3-5Fixk1-bBUjs2-bCwEoZ-4qLmk2-ccHti1-bUswQr-2Nati-eALvw3-5bjaoE-dULRxt-boZz85-daMjCh-5FivxU-nfWQif-bEU9xB-evy1D8-78WDg-3f6kZz-bQ7zsp-5FefXP-ddus1V-dwHLRn-5FiwF3-3Ao8mS-9NCMZT-5EYCfm-cpXBxm-e48NRC-8h9176-bBUupB-jvie5t-jjWWL7-2BS8QV-2pvf6Z-4ZHLs3-5WnYcr-422k5w-63dWbv-fbyEfd-oJsYJa-bxN9YA-fSNt1b-dURTpS-3AEivQ

Preproduction session 2

Everett and I are continuing to run songs and explore ideas for the upcoming record.  Here we are in his home studio working on parts for “You, Me, and the Almighty.”  At this point, most of our effort is focussed largely on playing the songs together, listening to them in a raw form, and then talking about structure and arrangements.

For this song, we’ll likely keep things relatively simple with guitars and possibly a slide steel.  I’m keen to try out some unusual sonic elements to give the song a darker quality, and Bry Webb’s album Freewill is something we’re listening to for ideas.

Photograph by Renee LaRoi Design.

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Let’s make a record

I’m excited to be starting work on my first record with Edmonton-based musician and producer Everett LaRoi.  We will be setting up the production schedule soon and should have a record ready to release sometime next year.

I’m going to take my time and enjoy the process, so we haven’t set ourselves any hard deadlines.  Right now we’re planning on recording a 6-song EP.  We’ve got a shortlist of songs and will get started on pre-production in October with Spicy Tomato Music.

Everett is a really interesting guy with lots of song writing and performance experience stretching back to the mid-1980s with his former band Idyl Tea.  His recent production credits include work with ManRayGunGoldtop, and Alice Kos.  It’s a real honour to have him be a part of the Selkirk Range project.

Getting the record together: budget time

Now that I’m contemplating a self-released album or EP, I need to think about the inevitable costs.  Like any other project it’s important to think through the details because, well, that is where Devil lives.  In those details.  To help me work through this process, I’ve drawn on a great resource online for artists looking to release their own record.  Among other things, there is a link to a resource on creating a budget.

Categorically, the costs divide up into (1) music production and recording; (2) artwork and packaging; (3) marketing and promotion; and (4) “other” expenses, which include online distribution. I’ll start to work my way through these and share some of the details in upcoming posts, including any additional resources I might come across.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/39747297@N05/5230479916/in/photolist-8Yczsd-cbcCk3-7jNmHv-dipm3P-5FefTX-sKjX3-5Fixk1-bBUjs2-bCwEoZ-4qLmk2-ccHti1-bUswQr-2Nati-eALvw3-5bjaoE-dULRxt-boZz85-daMjCh-5FivxU-nfWQif-bEU9xB-evy1D8-78WDg-3f6kZz-bQ7zsp-5FefXP-ddus1V-dwHLRn-5FiwF3-3Ao8mS-9NCMZT-5EYCfm-cpXBxm-e48NRC-8h9176-bBUupB-jvie5t-jjWWL7-2BS8QV-2pvf6Z-4ZHLs3-5WnYcr-422k5w-63dWbv-fbyEfd-oJsYJa-bxN9YA-fSNt1b-dURTpS-3AEivQ

Tracking your digital song files with the ISRC

I’ve embarked on a learning journey as I begin preparations for making a record.  Among the things I’m learning is the ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the system for royalty collection with digital song files.  The ISRC is a 12-character identifier associated with each unique song, that allows it to be traced back to the owner for royalty payments.

The code consists of a 2-digit country code, registrant code, year of reference, and designation code.  For Selkirk Range the code for the first song on the record will probably look like this:  CAX0V1600001, where “X0V” is my registrant code and identifies me as the independent artist that owns the rights to the song.  “CA” is Canada, and “16” is the year I expect to release the song (2016).  The designation code 00001 might be the first song on the record.

The owner assigns the codes to the songs and includes them with the metadata of the files as well as the master CD.  The owner also provides them to agencies that need them for tracking and paying royalties (e.g., iTunes, CD Baby, etc.).

There is no cost for obtaining an ISRC Registrant Code and it’s quick and painless. As an independent artist you will likely have to do this yourself.  Each country has its own domestic organization that administers the ISCR, and in Canada it is Connect Music Licensing.  You can learn more about Canadian ISRC administration here.

Capital City Records in Edmonton

This is a great initiative to support local talent in Edmonton.  The Edmonton Public Library has launched a program called Capital City Records to establish a public digital space to celebrate the local music scene and its history.

Anyone can stream the albums but if you have an EPL library card you can also download the tracks.

They plan to add 100 albums per year, with the call for the next round of submissions coming up this Fall.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/39747297@N05/5230479916/in/photolist-8Yczsd-cbcCk3-7jNmHv-dipm3P-5FefTX-sKjX3-5Fixk1-bBUjs2-bCwEoZ-4qLmk2-ccHti1-bUswQr-2Nati-eALvw3-5bjaoE-dULRxt-boZz85-daMjCh-5FivxU-nfWQif-bEU9xB-evy1D8-78WDg-3f6kZz-bQ7zsp-5FefXP-ddus1V-dwHLRn-5FiwF3-3Ao8mS-9NCMZT-5EYCfm-cpXBxm-e48NRC-8h9176-bBUupB-jvie5t-jjWWL7-2BS8QV-2pvf6Z-4ZHLs3-5WnYcr-422k5w-63dWbv-fbyEfd-oJsYJa-bxN9YA-fSNt1b-dURTpS-3AEivQ

Is it time to make a record?

Slowly but surely I’m starting to take steps toward making a record.  As an independent artist it is a significant investment of time and energy but my aim is to think about it as a creative act while approaching it with a business-like frame of mind.  A platinum selling record isn’t the goal obviously, but a decent return on the investment through modest but steady record sales supported by a smart might be within reach.

Most important, however, is to approach this as a learning opportunity that brings together the creative and business sides of the music industry as it is today (i.e., complicated!), and to use this initiative as a way to connect to other people and make it a rich social experience that contains its own rewards.

Taking that lead, I’ve started doing my homework to figure out the “unknown unknowns” as it were.  Cameron Mizell’s four-part series “Introduction to the Self-released Album” on Musicianwages.com has been a great starting point to gain some awareness of the various things involved in this process.  It’s recommended reading for anyone taking this route as an independent.