72 Names (Hallelujah) Day 6: 72 second film

Today’s video and blog is all about you! I invite you to show your talents or creative idea and to record a 72 second film. The film can be recorded by mobile phone or professional camera – as the most important aspect is the idea and how it grabs us. It can be a from funny video of your children, to a beautiful view.

You have 3 weeks to upload your film.

Each video that will be posted on the walls of my sites will get a free download. To claim it go to www.tallykoren.com and enter the competition.

First prize – I will sing for your birthday.

Second prize – invite to the launch of my single 72 Names (Hallelujah)

Third prize – signed copy of my CD.

Good luck & have fun with it!

Advertisements

72 Names (Hallelujah) Day 5: Mixing advice

My blog today is about mixing, something that I’ve really learnt the importance of through my years of recording songs. If I take the parable of baking a cake – you can have the best ingredients to make a chocolate cake but if you put too much of one ingredient in, over the others it will destroy it, if you over cook it or under cook it that will make a big difference, and it is the same with mixing – watch my video from the mixing room of making of my new single 72 Names (Hallelujah).


“Beauty of the Duty” Remix Contest

Your chance to remix a hit record: the only thing holding you back is you!

This is your opportunity to have your music played throughout the UK and be heard by millions of audience members. Receive professional constructive criticism from people who know their music and can turn dreams into reality.

Tally, who is a London Fringe Award Winner of 2011, has been receiving national radio play for her single Beauty of the Duty to critical acclaim. Now we want you to remix it and put your own unique twist on her music

We at TCK are looking to get your track on the radio so it must ‘radio friendly’, we want to get you as a producer heard by the by industry professionals. With Tally’s heart warming vocals and the right creative direction from Neil Ashby (radio plugger), Mike Exachos (MTV award winning producer), Mark Pearce D-Rom (producers agent). They as a group will select and guide all applicants to make your track as good as it can possibly can be.

Every applicant will receive comments on their tracks and be given time to improve it before the final deadline, it gives you as an up and coming artist the chance to work to industry briefs and be guided by our industry professionals to help make progress your skills. The winner will receive studio time and guidance from the team to create the potential next single for Tally Koren which will be promoted out the UK on national and regional radio stations.

GUIDELINES:

To apply please go to http://www.tallykoren.com/remix.php and enter relevant info to receive remix stems for your track, once stems are received you have 6 weeks until 23.5.11 to upload your final mix to Tally’s group on Soundcloud. If upload is before the 6 week deadline you will receive guidance on how to improve your track to make it better and more radio friendly. The 10  tracks with the most plays go through to the final.

The track doesn’t have to be fully mixed and mastered, just to the best of your ability. If successful, it will be professionally mixed and mastered in a studio.

Everyone who enters WILL receive feedback from an industry professional, this your chance as a producer to be heard. It only takes one person with authority within the industry to change your music career.

The winner will be chosen by Neil Ashby, Mike Exachos, Mark Pearce and Tally Koren herself. Tally’s words about the competition: “I’m really excited about this remix competition, as when I wrote Beauty of the Duty, I knew it could be a hit dance track. There are so many undiscovered talents out there and you might be one of them so good luck  and I’m so much looking forward to hearing what you did with my song!”

First Prize

The winning remix will be serviced via Tck Producion  promotion team – mailing list, posted on all her sites, and tweeted by  Tally Koren and  will receive studio time only and guidance from the team to create the potential next single for Tally Koren which will be promoted out the UK on national and regional radio stations. If the single will be release via Tck production digitally the winner will get 5% of the net profit.

Second Prize

Will receive a free dj/producer  account on D-rom for a year. D- rom brings together the best in dance music from top international DJ’s & Clubs.

Third Prize

A free mastering session for your track by Robin Springall at Repeat Performance.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

All files are the property of Tck Production  (C) 2011 & made exclusively available for the sole purpose of the ‘Beauty of the Duty – Remix Competition’. Only one entry per person aged 16+.  By downloading the remix pack you enter the contest and agree to be bound by its terms and the judges’ final decision.

  • Samples and material used in remixes must not violate any laws or third party rights.
  • All remixes will be property of Tck Production and any commercial use is prohibited without prior written consent.
  • Non-commercial use of remixes IS allowed. You may post your work on your web page provided that correct credit is given to named artist and writers.
  • If your work is selected to feature on the digital release you do this at no charge and waive your right to royalty payments.

My visit to Germany

I was invited by German label FGS to come and play in Frankfurt on the 7th April. It was my first gig in Germany and I was very excited. I flew with Lufthansa in the morning direct to the Musik Messe conference the place of the gig and in less than one hour I was in a different life to the UK.

I must say the seats in the airplanes were very comfortable but I was very surprised by the airline’s hospitality only giving a muffin and an apple slice during the two journeys! But once I arrived the delicious German food, especially the sandwiches, compensated for my hunger!

When I came to the music conference I had the surprise of my life, the conference in Frankfurt can contain 50,000 people and is one of the largest in the world! To get from building to building there was a shuttle bus. When I got to the hall I was taken away by all of the instruments, all of the guitars and cellos but less comfortable for the ears were all of the amplifiers, which were all being played at once!

It was a very interesting view for me as a singer-songwriter to see over 20,000 people who occupy the same genre as I do, but as they were more from the musician side, rock and roll was the name of the game!

There were a lot of Asian people there as well, who were there to sell cheap instruments to beginners. So what can I say, this was heaven on earth for musicians and a must to visit at least once in a lifetime.

The label who invited me booked me a hotel at the last moment, but it was lovely www.roedelheimer-hof.de and we were lucky to have a hotel less than 10 minutes away from the conference. One of the things I was so amazed by in Frankfurt was the friendliness and hospitality of the German people, something that I didn’t expect.

In the first night the receptionist of my hotel recommended to us a local restaurant Loftage Restaurant Bistro and what can I tell you – I am going back there the next time I’m in Frankfurt! It was the most beautiful decoration, elegant and almost like a little palace but it was a warm and wonderful hospitality with delicious food – www.loftage.de

The gig itself was in one of the big halls, in a stand sponsored by the government for independent labels. There were different rock bands playing and I was told that I was the first female to play in the conference! When I heard the loudness of the voice, as a SOS plan I changed the set-list of the songs and I took the quiet and romantic ones from the list! The gig went very well but what can I tell you, I was counting the moment to leave as I didn’t take with me earplugs!

The next day I visited the Frankfurt town and we had magical weather and it was beautiful to walk by the River am Main. I went to visit the Jewish museum, which was by the river, it was nice to speak my language and recognize images there. Then, as always, I went to the shopping are and they have a very nice and long stretch of shops with incredible department stores.

When I was walking by the river there were many beautiful restaurants and because of the weather I really felt like I was on holiday.

The two days and change of atmosphere and the future looks great and I can’t wait to go back to Frankfurt!


How to put a record together – part 1

It is such an exciting time for me as in a few days we will announce the official release of my first single from my new album 72 Names. When you start such a big promotional campaign, you never know where it will lead. But at least I know that I made it and made it the best that I could! Many of my friends online and real friends have been in the process of making albums for years, as I was. People just don’t realize how much work it takes to make an album that starts with writing the songs, recording, producing, mastering, creating a CD cover, having photos taken etc, etc. What I’ve learnt from making this album will make it so much easier for me in my next project, and I would like to share with you a few points I learned on the way.

Firstly, the most essential thing is to find a producer who gets your vision and can manifest your ideas into songs. Some producers will take a song which you write a million miles away from its origin, to put his stamp on the track which most of the time doesn’t work and the track will sound over produced. A good producer is one that listens to your ideas and makes them better. We all know the stories of producers who have made it happen, a few of the famous ones, include The Beatles who worked so hard before George Martin turn the music into timeless songs. Norah Jones’ first album which the legendary Arif Mardin produced. The album was recorded first with someone else and it didn’t work until Arif came to the picture and gave it that amazing warm sound that she has got. Also I heard that Ken Nelson who produced Coldplay contribute to their sound. I was lucky to find Phil Curran who in the past has done remixes for Tears For Fears and some advertising campaigns and he got my vision completely. I also worked with Yoad Nevo who has worked with such big names as the Pet Shop Boys, Bryan Adams and Sophie Ellis Bextor and he took my music to a different level and created a much more big, electronic sound.

If the budget is not big, but we still want to stay true to ourselves the best thing is to combine electronic with live music. My living room for more than a year was a recording studio with amazing cello players like Laura Anstee and Alexi Kiseliov and other great musicians coming to record.  When recording drums, I had the privilege to work with two great drummers, one was Paul Robinson who has worked with Rod Stewart, Grace Jones, Trevor Horn and other big stars and who has an online drummer service: you will be surprised what you can do with the internet these days. The second drummer Jamie Fisher who is the drummer with the Genesis tribute band and Samantha Fox has played firstly percussion and drums in all of my latest gigs and also his drumming was very influential when I was writing the album’s title song ‘72 Names’ and the William Blake song ‘Man of the Thames’ with his darbuka playing.

The next stage is the mixing, you can have the best ingredients to make a chocolate cake or with any cooking but if you put too much of one ingredient in than the other it will destroy it, and mixing is like cooking. You need to get to that perfection state, and after hearing the songs hundreds of times that you know it’s there. Always good to give it few days and listen to it in different I had a great experience with Hez Theo who mixed my song ‘Beauty of the Duty’, after over 10 mixes with someone else he suddenly transformed the track to something commercial, as he loved the track and was so connected. This taught me that engineers have to be passionate and really understand a track, as with other tracks it took him much longer to get it right and I had to ring the producer to come and helps us sort out the situation. If we look at famous bands we will see different engineers working on different tracks, now I understand why.

The next stage is mastering. Mastering is the polishing part of the music, and if we talk about the cake, it is the icing and decoration! Only after doing this album I understood the importance of mastering as with my old project Timeless Melodies, which was more piano based, the mastering process finished after a few hours. But mastering can take a song to be pleasant or unpleasant, to a song that you want to dance to, or don’t want to move to. The best advice that I can give is to find a sound that one likes and bring it to the mastering engineer; it can make life much easier to get the kind of finish you like.

The next level, design, photos and duplication will be in the next blog but feel free to comment or ask me any questions. The most important advice is too never give up it is the most amazing feeling to put a record together.

A late blog from my trip to the Geneva peace festival

I had an amazing four days in Geneva, I always believe changing the atmosphere and refreshing yourself is helpful. The flight to Geneva is quick, and in one hour and a half I was in a different world, and it’s only 6 minutes from the airport to the town centre where the famous Geneva Lake is and the famous Mont Blanc Bridge.

The first night I was filmed for the B1 Nation TV, which organized the event. It was challenge and I tell you, I had to put a lot of makeup on to cover up the tiredness from my 7am flight from Gatwick! But it was a huge hall, with over 500 people there and I met amazing Arab singers who were very supportive and friendly, one of them was the stunning star Huda Saad.

The second day was much more intense, it started with breakfast in one of the most exclusive hotels, with lectures from different peace organizations. One of them was the World Food Programme (WFP), who are doing an amazing job delivering food in moments of crisis to every place in the world. There was also a very moving lecture from the Sea Shepherds charity, who save whales and dolphins, who showed an almost disturbing movie of how whales are killed.

One of the highlights of my visit was meeting the famous producer Jean-Yves Labat de Rossi, who created a music group named kolechad (one voice), of Israeli and Palestinian’s, it’s really interesting to see how the two collaborate together. The next day I performed in the grounds of the United Nations, in front of the main building which I was very proud of. The last song, I invited to the stage the Arab singer and producer Yusuf Azzar and we improvised and wrote a song together on the stage, which was really exciting, when I get the video I will send you a link.

I also met a very special man who was from Peru originally; he had nothing to do with Judaism or Israel, but he has spent a number of years of his life looking to prove that the Hebrew language is the origin of all languages. Check out his website www.edenics.org The star of the event was the French singer Francis Lalanne, who entertained us with pleasant songs.

The last night I felt already familiar with the town, I met new friends and we all went out. Geneva is a very easy place to get around on the tram, and I had a great time, the only problem was that I gained two pounds from all of the cheese and chocolate!

Music promoters & Gigs

First I apologise to my friends who came to see me last night that I had to cancel the gig. It was a professional decision that I had to make and I hope you’ll understand after reading this blog.

I was the headline performer of the night at the venue. The promoter booked me 2 month in advance and because I am quiet experienced of those kinds of gigs, promoters put different bands together that musically don’t match each other. I agreed with him that I would arrange the bands myself or he would book acoustic acts before me and we were really planning a great evening.

Unfortunately in my long experience in London venues and promoters. They book you and chat with you over the phone and promise you mountains but all they want is your crowd and they don’t even come to their own event. We do the hard work and bring loyal fans and friends who come to listen to our music. But the fans and friends of the other act, especially if it’s a young rock band or different music style will then talk when you sing or leave and go to the bar and the place will look empty.

A big publisher that wanted to sign me came to see me in one of those gigs and felt sorry when I was playing on the piano and people were talking. He said to me after, “you can’t go to a Mexican restaurant and expect to have a fine French food”.

I think he put it in the right words, and for me and other acts like me, that like to have quality night with good music and the right atmosphere its time to wake up.  I already did  few big events myself  and had over 100 people coming and  managed to pay good fee to my musicians and mostly enjoyed a whole gig, so there is definitely another way.

Coming back to last night, as I was already aware of those frustrating evenings I made conditions to the promoter to prevent that situation. I worked for 2 month inviting people, making posters and flyers, putting up a few times in east London, having a rehearsal and paying my musicians. The promoter didn’t keep his promise and booked 2 rock bands before me, which changed all of the dynamic of the evening and the situation with the sound check.

The sound check was from 5 but the manager agreed with me to come at 6. For the first time in my life I was late, sitting in the taxi in traffic that didn’t move. I left home on time also my band was 20 minutes late. But my drummer was on time. When he arrived at 6 the other band were doing their sound check anyway. When the other band finished the sound check, the band which I arranged to play at the venue, were about to go on stage to do their sound check, exactly when I arrived – bad timing for me, or maybe not. The sound engineer was immediately rude to us and said that he wouldn’t give us a sound check. I was shocked and answered him quiet firmly that I was the headline and we must do one, even if was just a few minutes. He again said that he would not do and even swore at me. Shocking!

My drummer tried to talk to him in more gentle way but he didn’t want to hear and wasn’t flexible. My drummer that plays with top bands including the Genesis tribute band, agreed with me that he had never had a situation with such an inflexible sound engineer. We all know that sound check is never on time and how many times we waited for over 2 hours to do it. There was a presenter there from the promotion company but he didn’t do anything, just stood there and even didn’t come to apologise or find a solution.

I also called the promoter who booked and “plan” the evening with me but was told he is on the other line few times. Although I have made so many gigs in my life in small venues with no condition, sometime even singing accapela or in great venues like the Forum, Pizza on the Park, Soho Revue Bar and many more, I had a choice: do I want to go and sing without a sound check, specially in a venue like that, that sound is super loud? My professional ethics say – NO!

Especially because the engineer was so rude, I was afraid that it would be a disaster. I was looking forward so much to that gig but something said to me; Tally, it’s time to move on. Find the right promoters and nice warm intimate venues that I and the audience will enjoy.

Any suggestion or comments are welcome. If you like my music and would like to do some events together get in touch.