This time last year, I wrote a blog that included my hopes for 2021.  Part of that was a lot of non-musical stuff, such as going for some walks in the Peak District, seeing more friends, living a little more.  

This year, I’ve managed to do that!

You see, when working in a studio, on your own, in a home environment, it’s very easy to become a hermit of sorts.  I’ve always felt that the career in music that I worked so hard for could be taken away at any point if I don’t keep going. 

And so over the years I did just that – lots of working and less time for socialising, fun stuff and exercise.  I’m ashamed to say that I’ve put on over two stone since I started doing this full-time, ten years ago.

So, what changed?  The first lockdown in March 2020 made me realise how valuable being sociable is.  I missed pubs, gigs and walks.  As I mentioned in the blog, I made a massive list of things I wanted to do when restrictions were lifted.  But at the same time, I kept working frantically as I was certain that my work would dry up at any time.

Kinder Scout in June.

My wife pointed out that I wasn’t really taking much time off, usually two weeks a year; a week for a holiday in summer and a week for Christmas.  And I’d invariably get sick at those times!

So this year I gave myself more time, no matter what the financial cost.  In fact, I actually had the month June off and took some time to do lots of walks, see friends, do things with family and just relax.  It was incredible, and easily one of the best things I’ve ever done! 

But even better than that is the fact that my work has improved.  I feel like I’m making better decisions and creating better sounds with a much clearer head.  I’ll ensure I do the same in 2022.

There have been a few other changes this year – I got air conditioning installed in my studio, which has been a game-changer and made a lot more sessions possible.  I recently re-arranged the studio to give me more space, and I bought a standing desk to go with my sitting desk.

I’ve had plenty of people in the studio this year, recording all kinds of things.  I’ve stopped blogging about things I’ve produced, for a number of reasons too boring to go into here – but I have another new idea; I’m hopefully going to do some audio podcast interviews with people I’ve worked with.  Watch this space!  

And finally, this year I have spent a lot of time creating library music.  I started in 2019 with the aim of creating 100 pieces of library music a year.  As it stands at the end on 2021 I have 277 tracks and they have started generating income.  I’ll write more about this in my next blog.

In the meantime, happy new year and here’s to 2022!

The only decent photo of me taken in the past ten years
– taken by my eight-year-old son…