Tag Archives: opportunity

Day #260 – Thanks for holding.

Thank you

Oops. I left you hanging for almost 2 weeks. I’ve been so busy doing music stuff (hooray for Cosmic Order!) that first of all I forgot entirely about blogging. Then I was too tired to even think about sharing my thoughts. Then I’ve felt a bit silent.

I’m in a little band now. Rope Store. With that, my regular studio duties and a bunch of PR work I have been doing, my thoughts, time and energy have been consumed to say the least.  I’m not complaining. I’m so happy with what we are doing and making. I can honestly say that I’ve enjoyed every single moment of every single thing that I’ve been working on. We are having fun and little doors of opportunity have already started presenting themselves without too much effort from our part. Except for the soul consumption. Thankfully our souls are big.

Last week we uploaded one of our songs ‘Get Me Out’ onto Fresh On The Net which grew out of Tom Robinson’s show on BBC Introducing. Anybody/everybody can upload their music for the moderators to listen to and if they like it you’re put on the weeks ‘Listening Post’ where the public can vote for their favourite 5. We were so happy to be selected and made last weeks first ‘Fresh Faves’ batch of 2015. It still seems pretty surreal. Louis Barabbas, of Debt Records, wrote some lovely words about us here Rope Store Fresh Faves Review and fellow blogger Sean, over at Sonic Breakfast shared his sentiment. It made us smile a lot. Thanks for your support guys…

Despite the incredible music related stuff I’ve been filling every single freaking day with, January feels rougher this year than most. Everybody around me seems to be facing massive, life changing situations. It feels somewhat chaotic and at times dark. There is still enough light, but it’s an odd time. Must be something in the air. The Chinese Sheep will be here soon… Maybe it’ll all shift then. Until then tuck and roll.

As my regular readers already know, I try to blog about topics and issues that I’m working through and/or dealing with so that it might help you think about things too. Or maybe just make you feel less alone in your thoughts. I’m jumping back in the blogging seat on Monday morning. First blog back is going to be all about acceptance and being present….

Right now though, I’m accepting that I’m exhausted. I need to sleep.

Sorry for the slight pause there. All in the name of Cosmic Order! I promise!

You can always come follow me on twitter, youtube and instagram for snippets between blogs. Oooh and if you want music specific news we now have a new Facebook page. How exciting. Find all the shlinks below!

Thanks for being patient and awesome xx

http://www.youtube.com/user/gemmadietrich or http://www.ropestore.bandcamp.com

http://www.facebook.com/ropestoremusic

http://www.twitter.com/gemmadietrich and http://www.twitter.com/ropestoremusic

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Day #247 – Balance

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Don’t you just love the first week of January?! Everybody gets so excited at the end of December. Here it comes! Everything is going to change as the clock strikes midnight on the 31st. Life is going to suddenly be awesome! All the things that were giving you grief will magically disappear and you’ll be enlightened. Well here she is, in all her anti climaxing glory.

Happy New Year! Sorry should I have sugar coated her a bit more? Perhaps I can get you a donut.

You see, New Year actually means jack crap. Nothing is going to change of its own accord. You have to change it. You have to decide. You have to decide to stop your negative behaviour. You have to decide to stop letting other people affect you. You have to decide what you want and then put it into action. Yourself. At any given moment.

I feel grateful every single day that I have so many awesome things going on in my life right now and the opportunity to explore the things that I love to do. I’m so lucky. I’m singing a lot. I’m recording a lot. I’m learning how to use recording equipment. I’m co hosting an awesome radio show. I’m writing. I’m researching. I’m finally in a band! I’m doing some PR work on the side of that. I have a bunch of incredible friends who have been like rocks to me of late and three hilarious little girls that are bursting with love and potential.

On the other side of that though I feel like I’m in actual hell. I’m utterly and completely overwhelmed by how much I am doing and have to do. I’m trying to figure out how and when I’m putting carrots on the table. I’m looking after three incredible but demanding children. I’m sitting on this heavy broken heart. I just lost my best friend. But if I don’t do the awesome stuff above, then I’ll slip into this awful hole of a place. I know it well. I can’t stop. It’s not an option at all. So what to do Rose?

Im not one for New Year’s resolutions. I don’t really understand why you should wait until the turn of the calendar year to make changes to your life for a week. But I do understand making changes. And finding solutions to situations that aren’t serving you.

I feel like I need to find some balance. I need to schedule in sleep. I need to sleep. She says, sipping coffee and updating her blog with her eyeballs resting on the keyboard. And I need to nurture myself in a way that isn’t doing work. My free time is half that of a regular person (and also probably a lot more than other regular persons) so I’m always hell bent on cramming everything and anything in. There’s always something I want to learn or do. I can’t sit still. I need to learn how but the thought makes me screw my face up. I need to learn to balance my two entirely polar opposite lives. One minute I’m home giving everything I have to my children and the next I’m standing by myself, working like a crazy person making music and writing. Quite often with a beer in my hand.

Then I read this.

‘Live life in all possible ways; don’t choose one thing against the other, and don’t try to be in the middle. Don’t try to balance yourself – balance is not something that can be cultivated. Balance is something that comes out of experiencing all the dimensions of life. Balance is something that happens; it is not something that can be brought about through your efforts. If you bring it through your efforts it will be false, forced. And you will remain tense, you will not be relaxed, because how can a person who is trying to remain balanced in the middle be relaxed? You will always be afraid that if you relax you may start moving to the left or to the right. You are bound to remain uptight, and to be uptight is to miss the whole opportunity, the whole gift of life.

Don’t be uptight. Don’t live life according to principles. Live life in its totality, drink life in its totality! Yes, sometimes it tastes bitter – so what? That taste of bitterness will make you capable of tasting its sweetness. You will be able to appreciate the sweetness only if you have tasted its bitterness. One who knows not how to cry will not know how to laugh, either. One who cannot enjoy a deep laughter, a belly laugh, that person’s tears will be crocodile tears. They cannot be true, they cannot be authentic.

I don’t teach the middle way, I teach the total way. Then a balance comes of its own accord, and then that balance has tremendous beauty and grace. You have not forced it, it has simply come. By moving gracefully to the left, to the right, in the middle, slowly a balance comes to you because you remain so unidentified. When sadness comes, you know it will pass, and when happiness comes you know that will pass, too. Nothing remains; everything passes by. The only thing that always abides is your witnessing. That witnessing brings balance. That witnessing is balance.’  – The Book Of Understanding, Osho

In life, all opposites are joined together. They exist together. The art is finding the middle. The perfect balance. It’ll come when it’s good and ready.

Life is a crazy thing. Live it totally and true to yourself. The rest will follow.

When I find the next bit of mind blowing inspiration that will see us all out of this blue, full mooning, first week of January, I’ll let you know.

Until then I say hide.

That is all.

X

Want music? Head here..

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Day #239 – Welcome to Rope Store.

The week before Christmas I went to the studio to do my regular cable tidying and hoovering up of ghost dog hair. Whilst untangling a wire Jason asked me to do some backing vocals on a track he recorded a few months ago. I’m always game for recording opportunities. I want and need as much practice and experience as I can get regardless of the genre or whether it is something that I ‘want’ to record or sound like. Experience is experience. And I just love doing it. I love the process.

Somehow though we never really got around to doing that. Instead, Jason started playing a melody on the guitar that he’d been working on. I thought it sounded awesome. So we recorded some drums. And some bass. Then some guitar. A bit more guitar and before we knew it we were sitting in the control room co writing a song on scraps of paper in my fairly illegible doctors scrawl. I also found myself thrown into my first 8 track master class. Talk about being overwhelmed. Two recordings and lessons later though and me and the machine are starting to understand each other a bit. Those buttons aren’t as intimidating as they’ll have you believe. The cables. They’re another story. I have been pesting Jason for months to form a band with me so to say that I’m happy about this new endeavour is an understatement. Obvs I’m playing it well cool…

And that’s that really. ‘Rope Store’ were born that evening. Jason wrote another song yesterday and we went to the studio last night and recorded and learnt it from scratch. We work fast. We share that with our love of cheese sandwiches.

Rope Store’s sound is essentially 60s soul/rnb I think… There were some definite Mamas and Papas vibes in the room. Jason said the word Abba at one point and I just chose to ignore that. Last night was bluesy. It’s not necessarily how I want my solo material to sound but this isn’t my solo material. This is an awesome band I have the pleasure of being in. We just need to find some hardworking, talented and dedicated to the cause musicians so we can do some gigs. We are going to find you. Look out.

Everything has been produced by Jason at Old School Studios onto 8 track. It’s such a beautiful way of recording. There are always little accidental quirks happening which make the track more turkish rug, guiding you in different directions. I find the lack of shine and polish that our ears have come accustomed to nothing but refreshing and wonderful. Recording onto tape gives the music a rawness that I couldn’t even try to explain and a physical connection to the sounds you are making. It’s not about closing windows and adding plug ins and auto tuning. It’s about being gentle with this seasoned and loyal machine. Carefully cleaning the tape heads, twisting and turning countless knobs and buttons, recording each instrument and vocal to the musicians best ability. If something goes wrong you can’t click ‘help’. It’s a real craft. Find me a laptop or piece of software that is so timeless and significant. If you’re a recording artist and you haven’t recorded onto tape, I highly recommend it.

If you want to take a listen to what we recorded so far you can check us out (and even buy it if you’re so inclined) on band camp.

https://ropestore.bandcamp.com/track/stop

https://ropestore.bandcamp.com/track/all-of-you

If you like what you hear please do spread the word with your little social media buttons.

Here’s to Rope Store!

Like the blog? It’s almost over! Come follow before it’s too late! Don’t miss the cosmic boat! You can also find me on …

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Hoping you have all had the best holidays and feasted beautifully xx

Day #233 – The Invitation.

Then, one day she decided to design a life she loved.

Then, one day she decided to design a life she loved.

I’m somewhat technically limited presently. I’m without laptop and constrained to this strange invention one calls an iPad. Honestly, not sure why anybody would have one. It’s just a massive phone. I could have put my cash towards one the other day, but I chose a bass over a computer. It’s all for the same cause. Far prettier than any laptop I’ve ever seen and she speaks a language I understand. I can’t complan… Not too much.

Instead of writing a blog today and hammering you with personal development ideas, I’m going to share this beautiful poem I read the other day. It is Christmas after all! And the Winter Solstice! That’s quite significant. Today is the perfect day to set your intentions for the coming year. This poem made me so happy and resonated with me on every level. It’s basically what I want to ask people the minute I meet them. Small talk is over rated. I hope it fits somewhere for you too.

The Invitation

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming, from the book The Invitation published by HarperONE, San Francisco, 1999 All rights reserved. http://www.oriahmountaindreamer.com

Ahh! That one. I love words.

Music news? Co wrote and recorded an awesome little song the other day down at Old School Studios. When I flew back from New York with Icelandair I also didn’t realise that they are the international version of ryanair. No food. No music. No movies.. No beers. Oh unless you pay extra for all of the above. Long haul, that SUCKS! But what I did have was a window seat, a notebook and a pencil. The original material is coming, slowly but surely. Tortoises are way cooler. They win too. I also just treated myself to a bass. Look out for these ninja fingers. And I had my first master class recording onto 8 track. Even managed to fit in washing and feeding the kids. God knows why I’m so tired.

Go CREATE X

What I would love for Christmas is for your jolly self to come find me on my other social media and follow and subscribe! If you find these posts helpful, share them with your friends!

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Day #198 – A song for boys.

Im finally working out how I want to sound. What kind of music I want to make and how I’m going to make that happen. It’s all falling into place mysteriously and beautifully. I’m working as hard as I can at any and every given opportunity.

My latest cover is Basement Jaxx ‘Good luck’. Rather than recording onto the computer we recorded and mixed straight onto 8 track so I could hear and see the difference. It is and was amazing. I love the olden days. Most things were better. I hope you like my technological analysis of the experience. I just feel like I’m in the Dharma initiative most of the time. Never watched ‘Lost’? Then you’ll have no idea to what I’m referring.

I was pretty lucky to have the help from Jason’s incredibly talented sound assistant Connor who plays in the band ‘Box Of Light’ on piano and Jason on drums. We recorded live take after take after take…. until it was as ‘perfect’ as it was going to get from a live point of view. It felt amazing recording with a band vibe rather than doing it all separate. It’s still a little rough around the edges but you know what? I’m getting there. Practice practice practice…

Check it OUT.

 

Music is happening and it’s making me feel alive.

Enjoy your weekend! X

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Day #190 – Last sad song.

The last week has sucked. It’s also been the best week ever. The reality of our decision has certainly kicked in and for you few folks who thought this was the ‘easy’ option. I beg to differ.

The parts that sucked sounded like this.

I’m going to record what the great bits sounded like next Wednesday at the studio. I’m pretty excited about that. It’s a maneater of a song. And I’m going to smack a drum. Really loud.

Thank you so much for the insane amount of support and love after my last post. I was blown away by people’s kindness and understanding.

I’m intent, more than ever, to make this music thing happen.

Things are different now. Same order. X

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Day #183 – Trust your instincts.

I-think-when-youre-young

Today’s post is pretty monumental.

Everything is changing. Everything has changed.

I feel in my heart that I’m halfway through my journey now. I couldn’t explain why entirely but I feel very connected to everything around me and what I’m doing. I just divided 365 by 2 and I was right. I’m out by half a day. It would appear I’m quite in tune with myself.

We are all born with strong, natural instincts. It’s why babies are so sensitive to their environments. They detect stress in a room without anyone even saying anything. We are born perfect. Then we start being interfered with. Numbed. We are taught to stop trusting ourselves. We lose touch with this inherent natural talent we all possess and spend the rest of our lives questioning everything that we do. That’s crazy isn’t it? How we would laugh if we saw a lion questioning his natural instincts to kill a deer. Or birds when they migrate. They trust what their body is telling them to do. You don’t see a crying bird.

When we go against our instincts, things don’t work. I’m sure you can remember a time yourself when, with hindsight, you’ve looked back at a situation and said ‘I KNEW I shouldn’t have done that!’ But you did. You did do it. Because you didn’t trust yourself. What you thought or wanted, didn’t fit in. You went with your head. With everyone around you. What they were all doing. What they were all saying. Your stomach told you otherwise, but you carried on.

Trusting your instincts is a scary business. It’s scary because we are all so out of practice. How do you know it’s your instinct?! What if it’s not?! What if you’re just having a moment of madness? I can only say that with practice you learn to tell the difference. Pay attention to how your body feels when you’re making decisions. Trust yourself entirely. Forget about how other people are going to react. Are you relaxed? Do you feel better? There is an abundance of literature on developing your intuition.

I wonder about the world. I wonder about everything. I wonder how things work, how things tick, how things can change. It’s never an occasional fleeting thought. It’s intrinsic. It’s in me. To change that would be to deny who I am. I want to explore everything. I’ve been trying to be someone I’m not. I’ve tried to calm down. I’ve tried to change the way I think. I’ve flattened and numbed myself to make something I thought had the potential of being a beautiful flower work. I’ve questioned the way I am. I’ve believed that there must be something ‘wrong’ with the way I see life and how I want to live it. I’ve tried to fit in and play the game.

Me and the T dog have decided to walk in different directions. And that’s ok. No it’s not ideal in societal terms. It’s not what ‘one’ does. We’re taught to stick out mediocre relationships because that’s just what a relationship is. They are hard and take effort. You have to take the bad with the good. You’ve got children, there’s no other option. But we both feel like numb, suffocated, trapped messes. We’ve killed each other. That’s not kind. Love doesn’t do that.

When two people continuously over a long period of time can’t make things work despite trying desperately, to the point they are no longer living in accordance with their own truth… It’s time to be courageous enough to stop it. I’d rather be alone than responsible for somebody else’s misery.

In my mind love is free. It’s so free. It’s a meeting. It’s a passing. It’s a nourishment. When two people bring out the very worst in each other and you slowly watch each other turn into people you are not, it’s time to change.

I am so glad that we have found the strength after 4 years and not 40 to recognise this. To respect each other enough to let each other go. Regardless of how much that hurts.

I have felt so disconnected. I’ve even questioned my mental health. There must be something wrong with me. I don’t aspire to live how I’m expected to. But last night I realised, I’m not crazy. I feel disconnected because I’m not following the set path we are told to follow. How can you connect with a society and people around you that you don’t believe in? Of course I feel disconnected. It’s a positive thing. For me. I’m finally listening to my truth and I’ll make sure I never forget that again.

It’s taken a lot of courage and time. It’s not a decision you come to lightly or quickly. And we have tried. God we have tried. Neither of us have anything left and what we do have left is ugly. We are setting each other free so we can both be great and inspiring parents to our beautiful girls. For the first time in 2 years, I see a spark in his eye. That is love.

Where do we go from here? Your guess is as good as mine. I’m just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other in what I think is the right direction…

Whack your name on the mailing list if you fancy it, or come find me on my other networks.

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Thank you for all your support and love as always xx

Day #176 – Sneaky bonus pimp post.

Im going to keep this small and sweet because my subject matter is somewhat camera shy.

I’ve been doing PR and PA and various other odd jobs to earn studio time. It’s like being Sonic the Hedgehog collecting gold hoops without the bosses.

My first ‘job’ was to write a press release and help with the promotion of this record… which was all very interesting and helpful for obvious reasons.

I thought I should tell you about it because unless you’re a funk soul lover, you probably won’t ever hear it again and it’s pretty bloody amazing. The lyrics make me happy. We all hear voices in our head.

Check it out!

Must dash and figure out some more ground breaking personal development ideas…. Although music seems to be happening now too. Good job as I’m half way through my project. I better get cosmic ordering harder.

Happy times X

Day #175 – Keep. Going. Always.

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Normally I have quite a lot to say.

I’m feeling pretty silent though. Sometimes there’s nothing for it than to sit back and reflect. Guess I’m going through a time.

It’s hard to find the motivation and the inclination to do positive and productive things when everything around you seems to be in the air. But you must. I must. It makes you feel better. Get busy with your bliss. It’s a light.

Life is ever changing and even when we have a solid plan, things will spring up out of nowhere. Sometimes out of somewhere. Things we have been hiding. Things we have been ignoring. They pop up. Think of them as plot twists. You  didn’t know they were coming. It’s a joy of life. You’ll look back and thank them.

I made a song at home. I like that I’ve learnt from someone I admire so much. I just sang it twice and picked one. I don’t have time for anything else to be honest.  Jason mastered all the levels for me and is giving me lessons in mixing and mastering in return for beer. We like Jason. Very much. I’m going to write a bonus pimp post all about him tomorrow. Look out.

In the mean time, eat this.

 

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Thanks for stopping by! X

 

Day #165 – Music milkshakes.

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First and foremost this blog is a personal account. It’s an account of me chasing my dream. It’s here to inspire you to have the courage to chase yours. By sharing my own experiences and finding ways to overcome popular and common obstacles, I hope that it encourages other people to do the same. The art of ‘Cosmic Ordering’ teaches that anything is possible. You can achieve all that you desire, with the right attitude and work ethic.

I’ve been posting a lot more personal development stuff than I anticipated to. It has been a massive part of my journey so far, so it’s been important to do that. It wouldn’t be a very honest account if I just said it was easy and starting banging out loads of recordings. It hasn’t been easy at all! Ive had to work through a lot. And I’m still going. A lot of times I’ve wanted to give up. This time though I’m going to carry on and see what happens. It’s both exciting and terrifying. I have no idea where I’m going right now.

Today though! Today! We have music.

My regular readers will already know, but for any passers by, I’ve been working at a recording studio in return for studio time. I’ve been cleaning, organising, setting up the studio, co hosting radio shows and doing a lot of promo work for Jason’s record labels debut release. Which is amazing. I have learnt so much already and feel more than lucky to have had such an opportunity.

I finally worked enough hours to get a few in the studio and we recorded our 2nd song last Friday. I’d had a version of this song in my head for a few months so I was both excited and nervous to see if I could express how and what I wanted it to sound like. Erm… I need to work on the way I describe things for sure.

The song was ‘Milkshake’ by Kelis. I wanted the chorus to be more melodic so I’d worked out a little tune in my head and I wanted it to have a really big bass sound. I was thinking along the lines of Dead Prez’s track ‘Hip Hop’. That’s pretty much all I came to the table with.

Luckily for me, Jason is incredible at making music. We started with the drums which Jason played and recorded live. I love the sound of live drums. As we were recording that, I sang alongside to guide him. These vocals weren’t supposed to be the vocal recording at all so I made very little effort. I changed key a few times mid song. It didn’t matter. It was just a guide. Jason played and recorded all the instruments live which included a Darkstar analogue synth doing bass and a Korg Polysix analogue synth doing the other sounds. He used a late 1940s RCA ribbon mic on the drums. And like on Happy, the only preamp we used was an early 50s Ampex one. The smiley happy looking one.

We sampled the lime in my beer fizzing which is the crackly sound you hear at the beginning of the track. After we layered that all together, Jason suggested we keep the pitch shifted vocal for the track. Come again?

GAH! I agreed. I absolutely and totally respect his opinion. I trust it too. We doubled up some of the vocal with me singing in the same way, but for the most part, we kept the rough, weird, partially pitch shifted vocal. I have had such a love hate relationship with this track all week. I was happy. I was sad. I lost all faith in my ability to sing. I loved it again. I still can’t really hear it properly.

I think deep down I was scared to share it incase people judged me. Incase people thought it was terrible. They might do that. I decided though that it’s so important to share both the things I’m really happy with and the ones I’m more uncertain of. If this is a journey, I can’t just show the great parts. I can’t only take pictures when we’re in a beautiful valley. I have to share the bad lands. I have to share the parts where I am exploring different sounds, different styles, different techniques. And it’s fun to explore. That is what this blog is about. That is real life. Nobody’s born smooth and brilliant. They all explored. It’s easy to forget.

So here is a sound. A song that I had in my head. That I tried to explain. Jason tried to translate that and add his own ideas and flair onto that too. It made our             sofa vibrate and our faces laugh.

Meet Milkshake. The Mr. Jason Edit.

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Much obliged as always! X