• Sherman meets Eric & Olivier
  • 120406 Studio Visit 2 (iPhone4)

Recording Studio Visit

So this is a sneaky thing I did.  I’d already arranged for my daughter, Sherman, to record some samples in the recording studio tomorrow, but I didn’t tell her.  Instead, I took her to the studio today to meet the guys (Eric and Olivier) and just hang out and feel comfortable there.  She had such a great time!  She tried playing all sorts of guitars and percussive instruments, the guys really entertained her, and in the end, she didn’t want to leave!  She said she wanted to live there!  So I asked her,

How would you like to come back tomorrow, maybe sing a few of daddy’s songs?

That really excited her.  She was practising the songs all the way home on the metro, and all evening too…

La Basilique du Sacré Coeur and Falstaff

Spent the afternoon sitting in the Square Louise Michel, that hilly garden with steps leading up to the Sacré Coeur, the hot sun streaming down the back of my neck, writing a new song by Falstaff called “Dirty Laundry.”  It’s basically about playing hide and seek, hiding in a laundry basket, and finding yourself among the kind of dirty clothes and disgusting smells whose descriptions never fail to delight small children.  Writing about stinky socks and greasy napkins and soiled underwear made me think of The Twits.

  • Handmade bags and pouches
  • Sohyun's Paris Debut - after

Sohyun’s Paris Debut

What a crazy creative month it’s been!  Apart from working on all the KinderBard songs, I’ve played cello in a concert, and today Sohyun set up a stall at Message‘s 2012 Spring Bring & Buy Sale to try her hand at selling some of her beautiful handmade bags and pouches (made with wonderful and rare imported fabrics).  They’re also available on Etsy.  At first Sohyun was afraid that she wouldn’t sell any, but by the end of the day, she was worried that she wouldn’t have any left!  Here’s a before (above) and after (below).

Stock running low!

Daeshin’s Paris Debut

My first gig in Paris.  The wonderful and awesomely talented Jess King on vocals and keyboard, and me on electric cello.  At the Mona Bismarck American Center for Art & Culture.  Great crowd!  Thanks to everyone who came!  Photo by Youngsik Park.

  • Where street artists hang out in Montmartre
  • Fabrics Department Stores


Well we took a little trek to Montmartre, hoping to find inspiration at the Musée d’Art Naïf Max Fourny (naïve art gallery), only to find that it was shut!  They’re between exhibitions, apparently.  Really should have checked before we left the house.  But the day was not a waste, as we not only had a great time mingling with street painters on the Place du Tertre, but also discovered a handmade-lovers’ paradise – several street blocks housing department stores specialising in fabrics etc.  We have to incorporate some of our finds into our artwork!

Handmade lovers' paradise in Montmartre

First Compositions

We’ve been making some initial recordings of some of the songs.  Garageband on the iMac will do for now.  We’ve come up with a really cool concept for the arrangements.  Although the songs themselves are ‘popular’ in feel (they are like lullabies, or ballads, or jaunty pop songs), we’re using lutes and harpsichords here and there to give them a little Elizabethan feel.  It’s working nicely.  Also, instruments are chosen to represent not only the mood of the song, but also the ‘character’ of the character singing – fanfare trumpets for Henry V, a little music box sound for little Perdita (from The Winter’s Tale), a cello for Juliet…

Progress Report

Working deep into the night last night, compiled and organised enough material for 11-12 whole books.  We are now considering 10 pieces per book, so this involves a bit of a reshuffle.  Work’s going very well!

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Getting Serious

So when we’re not actually writing, what better way to pass the time than to keep up on industry news?  It is, after all, the business side of this creative endeavour.  Been looking at Publishers Weekly‘s list of Best Children’s Books to know what’s out there, and the Fall 2012 Sneak Previews to discover what’s to come.  Also planning to look at the February 20, 2012 and July 18, 2011 issues of Publishers Weekly (special Children’s Books editions) and see what more can be learned…

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Recently received two pieces of encouragement.  One was an email from former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen which said,

find a publisher quick!

and the other email was from Barney Saltzberg who really pushed the idea of working towards an app rather than going immediately to publishers, as

you would own it that way

Thank you both for your positive messages – we won’t let you down!

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KinderBard is formed

February 20, 2012.  An auspicious day.  Today, we formed team KinderBard, a talented group of people who want to introduce Shakespeare to children as young as 3 years old.  We are now counting down to the date when we can present our work to the world.  Watch this space!

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