Blakeney Music

Blakeney Music
Blakeney, North Norfolk
You can now pre-order my 14 song North Norfolk Coast album on my Bandcamp page

Blakeney music video

Blakeney is a small harbour village to the east of Morston and to the west of Cley next-the-sea, in an AONB, known for it harbour and Blakeney point, a spit of land reaching westwards into the north sea that is a popular location for common and grey seals, and seal watchers.

The light was really beautiful on the day of recording at this location, it was mid morning when i started and there was a general low energy bustle as people were heading out on kayaks and boats. The tide looked to have recently turned as there was a noticeable current that briskly carried along the kayakers and boaters that i saw.

The light and the setting made for some really nice visuals, but i remember leaving the place wondering what on earth i was going to do in regards to using the audio to inspire a piece of music as i thought i hadn't captured much in the way of 'useful' sounds.

Once home i started working through the recordings and came across one recording that contained something i hadn't noticed at the time, a man and a woman in kayaks had skated past briefly on the fast flowing tide and as they had the man had been half humming/half singing to himself. Aha! I took the audio, ran it through an online service that removed some, but not all of the background noise and then sampled the audio into logic. I then looped the sample of the man humming something a long the lines of "hey hey de dee de de dee". (i've no idea whether the man was singing a song, or just making something up, let me know if you have any ideas!), and played around on the keyboard finding some chords that fit the man's singing, i came up with a few different progressions before finding one i liked.

Once i had the basic chords i recorded them using various different intruments including a piano, and a cello virtual instrument. I also wrote a couple of different guitar parts, only some of which made it into the final piece of music.

The man's short piece of humming/singing made me wonder if it was a traditional song, or maybe even a sea shanty, which got me thinking of male voices singing together, so i recorded myself singing along and in harmony to the sample of the man, which became the intro section of the song. I then introduced the cellos playing the chord progression which then moved into one of the guitar parts (actually the same part recorded twice fed through two amps and panned slightly). I added quite a bit of reverb to the guitars and the short guitar solo, which for some reason added to the aquatic vibe.

So i had the basic pieces of the song in place, but the use of the man's singing and the sea shanty inspired (but not really sea shanty-like) harmony at the start made me wonder what other vocal things i could come up with to develop the song further. I pretty quickly came up with two melody ideas, and then in about 5 minutes hastily typed out some lyrics in my Notes app, then in the space of about 30 minutes did recorded the lead vocals and harmonies for the two parts. I'm not the best singer, and actually the quick note changes in the melody probably suit a better singer than me, but i felt thats what the song needed, so sucked it up :)

I'm really pleased with how this music came out and reflected the feeling of the moment of recording, a beautiful day, great weather, a relaxed carefree vibe, and people and time gently flowing by.

btw, if anyone who reads this happens to know who the man and woman kayakers are in the video between 3-23 seconds please let me or them know as i'd love to say thank you for the inspiration, and find out about the tune the man sang!

Below is the original field recording video/audio.

Blakeney field recording video