Tag Archives: rope store

Day #365 – The End. The beginning.

Wow. I can’t believe it’s the end of this chapter already. What a year…

Cosmic Order started as an experiment. I like playing with things. Life is supposed to be playful. I wanted to see if cosmic ordering actually worked. I wanted to see if anything really is possible  if we are brave enough. I saw so many people, including myself, stuck in the rat race, stuck doing things society said they should be doing, being something everyone else wanted them to be. I saw a lot of sad and frustrated people. I wanted to do this experiment for them as much as me. Hell, if I can do it, then we all can.

My cosmic order was that I wanted to be a singer. I wanted a record deal. I wanted the massive record deal specifically because I wanted to be earning heaps of money so I could pile it into the community. I wanted to help fix all the things our leaders and governments are ignoring. I’m so tired of seeing people sleep outside and then walking past a derelict house.

When I started I was not a singer. I was a full time mother to three young children. I’d been at home with them, doing nothing much for myself, for the best part of three years. I’d had some singing lessons and sang a handful of times on stage but mostly in secret. Nobody knew that I wanted to sing so badly or that the only thing I really ever dreamed of was working in music. It wasn’t a real job. It wasn’t realistic. It wasn’t achievable. There is a certain amount of stigma attached to non mainstream, creative careers. A sense of ‘That’s cute, but what are you really going to do? You need to get a real job’. So you can get the mortgage and picket fence and what not. I sang at home. All the time. The minute the house was empty, from the age of fifteen, I sang to the walls. I tried to want to do other things. I studied an array of different subjects and industries, both creative and academic. None of them stuck. None of them will ever stick. Because I want to sing and work in music. It is, was and always will be music. I feel better since being honest.

I had no idea how this was going to pan out. I was terrified that I’d shared my dreams. I was terrified that I was going to get laughed at. I was terrified that I was going to fail. Or look stupid. I had no confidence in myself or my abilities. I wasn’t good enough. I had not one clue how I was going to even start making music. I’d never recorded anything myself before. Computers aren’t my friends. I knew nothing. But I decided what I wanted and started walking. Whatever thought or feeling came into my head, I wrote about it and as I slowly worked through my own demons, opportunities started coming. I didn’t look for them. I didn’t think about them. They just came. I kept working on myself and working hard in the right direction and every time an opportunity came my way I said yes. I had no idea where anything would go, if anywhere, but I trusted something would come out of everything I pursued. I would learn something in every situation.

The amount that I took on this year has been insane but you know what? You’ll work hard for the things that matter to you. If you don’t, you don’t want it enough. I did a lot of personal development work as a result of the cosmic ordering research I was doing. The more I read, the more I learnt. Anything IS possible and there is beauty and love everywhere, sitting waiting to lavish us if only we would see it. We can all lead the lives we want to. We just need to fix ourselves and our thinking first. Life is fundamentally beautiful. Shit happens, but that fact remains. It’s not a rat race. It’s not a struggle. It’s not a battle.  We weren’t born for that. We weren’t born to live a life that somebody else thinks we should live. We weren’t born to be sad. It’s a wonderful life and it’s a gift. It’s yours.

So does cosmic ordering work? That was the question. That was the experiment. The answer is yes. Without a doubt. The law of attraction is as powerful as the law of gravity. It has worked in my life in both good ways and bad ways and I’ve observed them both. When I’ve been feeling awful and negative I attracted nothing but crap and blocks. When I felt happy and positive and open, when I believed in myself, opportunities came. All I did was say out loud, ‘I want to be a singer’ and focused on that. I didn’t sit back and wait for it to be delivered on a silver plate. Life doesn’t work like that. I got up off my arse and worked until I cried. I learnt how to use my computer (a little bit), I learnt how to record music at home, I got a job working at a music studio in return for studio time, I learnt how recording onto 8 track works. I learnt a lot about the music industry. How it works. How labels work. How actually getting a record deal isn’t the be all and end all. I’ve learnt about PR. I’ve learnt that you can do everything yourself. I started a band with one of the most talented people I have ever had the pleasure of. Last week our band Rope Store played the Norwich Arts Centre, voted the UKs best small music venue, supporting Speedometer, an incredible funk band. It was our 2nd gig. I am a singer. It works. Oh the record deal bit didn’t happen. Not yet. Maybe it won’t. Maybe it will. It doesn’t really matter. I know that I could make that bit happen if I worked hard at getting it and was clear about exactly what I want. I haven’t built shit loads of affordable housing either or solved the UKs unaffordable childcare problem. But you know, give it time. It’s time for a new order.

The most wonderful thing about this has been the unexpected opportunities and lessons life threw at me along the way. The blog reminded me how much I enjoy writing and for the last few months I’ve been writing for several online magazines, building my portfolio back up, so that I can do freelance writing alongside the music. The surprises weren’t all great. Six months in I became a single parent. Dealing with a major break up and turning solo definitely impacted my progress and had that not happened, who knows where or what I’d be doing. I almost drowned a few times. I’m not a great swimmer but my arm bands are incredible. I believe that everything happens for our greater good. I got shattered, bashed and bruised and I’ve never felt so open and broken and vulnerable in my life. I didn’t know a break up could create that much seemingly endless pain and suffering. I don’t believe it should actually. But I’ve also never felt so grateful or still. Maybe I needed that. Life is beautiful.

So that’s it! Cosmic Order is over! I’m taking off. I’ve got this bass that I have to get busy with, I’m turning this blog into a book (it’s much juicier), I’ve got some original solo material I want to work on, our band Rope Store are making little ripples and I need to go outside and shout thank you to the sky and laugh my head off with my little girls.

Thank you SO much to each and every one of you. You have no idea how grateful I am for your support. I have been absolutely over whelmed by the response I have received. Over 10,000 people from all over the world have taken the time to read my ramblings. Total strangers have emailed me with words of encouragement and it’s made me so happy that I’ve helped them in some way follow their own bliss too. Please do what makes you happy.

Mr Jason. I’ll be eternally grateful to you and EVERYTHING you have taught me and helped me with. Thank you for the ear upgrade, the corona addiction and keeping me going when shit got rough. Thank you for being such a wonderful and true friend.

I’ll be back in September with a new cosmic order and a new and improved soap box. It’s far from over. In the meantime you can follow me on twitter, instagram, Facebook.. Youtube. God social media, why are there so many of you?

Things end. Things also begin. X

Social media is all we have left! Come join the non stop party… 

http://www.facebook.com/ropestoremusic

http://www.ropestore.bandcamp.com

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

http://www.youtube.com/user/gemmadietrich

http://www.instagram.com/gemmadietrich

 

 

 

 

Day #342 – Look after yourself.

Gemma Correll Look After Yourself

We are all so busy. All running around like mad people. All trying to get somewhere to be someone. Constantly striving for the future at such a speed that we seemingly miss this moment we call now. Now’s never enough, we always want the next bit and then we get the next bit and we want the bit after… Bloody human beings. Amid this madness most of us have forgotten the importance of looking after ourselves. It’s right at the bottom of our to do list. Rest? No! If I sit down or, God forbid lie down, all progress will come to a halt. I need to be at this 24/7! Must. Keep. Going.

Having been generally unwell for at least the last two months, I decided to maybe look into this. No. Not maybe. I’m going to. I’m going to start looking after myself. I’ve been getting through my days loaded with coffee and painkillers and antibiotics. That in itself is quite hilarious as I used to be such an advocate of homeopathy and alternative health. What’s changed? I’ve stopped caring about my health. There was even a time back in the day I washed my hair with eggs and vinegar because I was so anti any chemicals entering my body. That, by the way, is a stupid idea. Eggs and vinegar neither smell fresh or clean your head. I don’t care what anybody says. So yeah, look after yourself, but let’s not turn into Swampy.

Sometimes the only thing that is going to make you strong and healthy so you can be your awesome productive self is just slowing down and nurturing yourself for a while. Sleeping good. Eating good. Removing all of the things that are stressing you out. Everything on that to do list can wait. You’ll have a to do list for the rest of your life. You’ll never get to the bottom of it. Ever. Don’t die trying. Break free from the ropes and chains that you’ve wound yourself up in. We live in an age where we are far too contactable. Our phones are constantly pinging with messages, whattsaps, facebook, twitter, emails, phone calls, more emails, more messages. More reminders. It’s insane. “Can you do this for me right now? Can you be here? Be there. Do this. Immediately.” This is all on top of regular work. Family commitments. Socialising. Our day to day life. We don’t stop to think that maybe we should slow down. We’ve got to do everything NOW else we’ll miss the boat.

Well, I beg to differ. Boats come and go. All the time. The sea is mostly full of boats. I’m tired and my body hurts. Mostly all over. My shoulder is cracked. My tonsils are probably the most angry they’ve been in a long time. My glands are refusing to back down. My knee is crying. I don’t really recall the last day I didn’t have a headache. All of that is fine. I mean really, it could be a thousand times worse and I’m grateful I’m just a little bit run down (wow is the British ‘Mustn’t Grumble’ attitude genetic?!) but what I’ve learnt is that you can’t actually be productive when you’re broken. There’s no point to it. Exhaustion is there to tell you to rest. But we don’t. We all just charge on. Ignore what our bodies are telling us. We refuse to stop. But nothing seems to flow because there is no energy left. You can’t be creative without energy. Coffee can only carry you so far.

You want to hear the truth? We are all fuelling a ridiculous machine of self importance and productivity. I don’t want to hear that so I’m sure you don’t either.  The world isn’t going to end if you don’t reply to your emails within 5 minutes. And if it does, what a world to live in! Your Mum can probably decide what pasta to buy without your instantaneous response to her picture message and you genuinely don’t need 5 different platforms for people to contact you on. You know what will end your world though? Not looking after yourself. Hearts pop you know. That’s a real thing.

Sometimes we need to retreat. That doesn’t mean quit. Or fail. Or digress. It means relax and welcome the spontaneous creative force of life to come and find you again. It’s only from this state of being that things can and will run smoothly. Do something every single day that nurtures you. And turn off your phone.

We are mere mortals. Let’s not forget.  X

If you love social media and crunchy music you’ll love these…

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

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/gemmadietrich

Instagramhttp://www.instagram.com/gemmadietrich

Day #328 – Doubt.

self-doubt

I remember when I first started this project. How massive my dreams were. Honestly, I was embarrassed to even share them because they sounded so ridiculous. I was inexperienced, had no contacts and no method. I was so worried that I was going to get laughed at, and maybe I did, but I chucked it out there anyway. I knew what I wanted to do, more importantly why my goal had to be so big, and that’s all I thought about. I had no idea how I was going to do it. None at all. But I believed so hard it didn’t matter.

In the beginning I was so fresh and naive that I had a lot of power behind my thinking. I knew nothing about the music industry. I mean, I knew it was one of the hardest things to crack. I knew that I wished I wanted to do something easier. But I also knew I’m not interested in doing something else. When I was fresh and naive and optimistic, my vibration was high, so many music opportunities came into my life. I was so busy learning and doing music related things. Once I started to properly learn about the music industry, I started to think that my goals were not only unrealistic but perhaps crazy. People told me there’s no money in music. That you need to come to a label with followers and experience. You need to look a certain way, be a certain way… You need to be the ready made package. I heard all that. Again and again. And believed it. I’m sure it’s absolutely true. But there is no set path for anything. You have to find your own. I’m not sure collecting fans on youtube and twitter is my route. Maybe I’ll be one of the first on the new wave. Where do we even go from social media world domination and free music streaming?

The last few months have been gross. There’s no hiding it. And it’s had a massive impact on everything. On my progress. On my plans. When you’re feeling pretty fragile and vulnerable, the last thing you want to do is put yourself out there. Whilst there are so many great people, who I am eternally grateful for, who have offered me so much unconditional support and love, there are other people out there, for everybody, that want to see you fail. They want to see you crash. You need to protect yourself from that so I took some time out from the self promotion that comes hand in hand with trying to establish yourself in music. I just haven’t been able to handle it. I don’t like attention. I never have.  I know why. I’m vaguely trying to deal with it. Attention when your life is a buggering hell of a mess? Come back later.

Despite the lack of blog updating though, I’ve been so busy doing a million and one different projects. I started to panic that perhaps I should have a plan B. A back up. At least a financial one whilst I’m trying to forge a music career… So I started writing again. If I couldn’t make music for what ever reason, I guess writing would be my second choice. It felt like a wise decision. One must be sensible and wise. Be practical about how one will put food on the table and what not. I ricochet between trying with all my heart to be this sensible person who thinks things through in a pre meditated and organised manner. Being the robot society would have us believe we should be. And this terrible storm of a woman who hates the idea of being still and manages her life in a carefree, straight talking, whimsical fashion. Follow your bliss, the rest will work out. The latter is the one who pleases me the most. I am her. But when you’re surrounded by life that tells you to constantly live and be the opposite… It is so hard to stay true to your cause. I’m not sure how many times I need to be taught the same lesson. Hopefully I’ve got it now. Gemma. You will never be a good house wife. Wait, that’s not the lesson I meant to type… You don’t have to do what everybody else is doing. Beat your own drum and do it wonderfully.

If I actually believed in myself to the extent I need to, I wouldn’t need a back up. I wouldn’t need a plan B. I fell into the easiest trap. All the energy I’ve been expending on finding and applying for writing jobs, researching, reviewing, listening to and promoting other people’s music. Helping out other people fulfil their dreams and needs. I could have been recording my own demos. Or writing some new songs. Promoting myself. Why aren’t I writing to producers and asking to work with them instead of magazines?

Doubt.

Amid all the shit that got flown around, I started to doubt myself. It was so gradual I didn’t really even notice. First of all I started to dislike myself. Then I started to question myself. I started to believe that what I was being told about myself was true. It is not. I started caring what people thought again. I started worrying and caring about all the things I took months to unlearn. At the same time, I was justifying my doubt. I was putting all my energy into these other great things because it’s for the long haul. It shows I’m committed. It doesn’t. It shows I need a back up because I doubt that I can do this. Wrong vibrations Gemma… But guess what? Never been busier writing in my life. Why? Because I’ve been so focused and working hard at it. I love it. And I’m going to keep doing it. But the energy and relentlessness I adopted in getting writing opportunities needs to be put into music. Writing doesn’t scare me. Music does. Time for round 2.

From what I’ve said, it sounds like the music isn’t taking off. It is. In ways I couldn’t have conceived. Our band Rope Store did our first gig at Old School Studios in Norwich a few weeks ago. We have another coming up on the 18th April and we are also supporting Speedometer when they stop in Norwich on tour. We’re saving like mole rats to get our first 7” single sent off in a few weeks and planning some very exciting things… Music is happening. I just know it can happen more. My dreams are big.

My life is still a buggering hell of a mess somedays. But I learnt something. Everybody has a mess they’re dealing with. We are all in the same wonderful, beautiful boat. Some people just paint their’s a little prettier. We can’t let our individual messes and circumstances dictate whether or not we will live the life we want to. It’s nonsensical.

Wash your hands. Time to reboot. X

Here you can check out the music I’ve been making as part of Rope Store http://www.ropestore.bandcamp.com

Cover songs are here. http://www.youtube.com/user/gemmadietrich

Life in pictures – http://www.instagram.com/gemmadietrich

Life in tweets – http://www.twitter.com/gemmadietrich

Day #295 – Delicious ambiguity.

d5f6075595361c684d4b83b9610e9044

I’ve done gone did it again. Twenty three days of silence. Twenty three days. That’s just short of a month. Even though I know how this all works. How you have to keep going when you don’t want to. How shit happens and you have to get right back up and keep walking. How when you feel like quitting and giving everything up you have to focus even harder. I know all of that. As do you. Didn’t stop me though. I’ve been busy thought gathering.

I’m here now. For the moment. This little heart of mine is relentless. Sometimes I  wish it craved stability and normality.

I’ve been pretty stressed about everything. Think I’ve mentioned that far too many times. I’m bored of it too. I haven’t wanted to write anything. Nothing inspiring at least. Nothing I’ve wanted to share. I’m so tired of people having an opinion on what and how I’m doing things in the real world, writing has just felt like giving them more ammunition to silently fire my way. I’ve been feeling somewhat naive and stupid. Perhaps even displaced. But I guess me being quiet would make me the loser in the long run.

I’ve been stressed because things haven’t felt like they are ‘going to plan’. Things have certainly been moving and developing but not how I had planned. I had this list of things I ‘should’ be doing. How to get from A to B. How to win. I threw my list away. I’m tired of it. I don’t want to do all the things I’ve been advised I ‘should’ do to succeed. There’s been a shift.

With my new found acceptance of life came something else. Trust.

Life just isn’t something you can plan out. It’s an uncertain, ever evolving, inexplicable old thing. You can work towards things and you can have an idea of how you want everything to pan out, but as for having control on how and when that happens. I’m not sure we have all that much say in it. Spanners happen. Things don’t work out exactly how we imagined. Then what? We run around in circles searching, panicking about what to do instead. Worrying it’s not going to plan. What if we just trusted that everything is unfolding exactly as it should? Everything will be alright in the end. Weezer said so.

A friend of mine was really upset recently. They had put all of their hopes into getting this promotion at work and planned the next few years of their life around it. When it didn’t happen they were really upset. All they could see was that they were stuck on the same pay scale in the same job going nowhere and everybody around them was moving up the ladder. They mustn’t be good enough. At that moment, even though I was trying to point out that something better would come along, that it wasn’t the right position, because their ‘plan’ had failed, they couldn’t see anything else. Nothing better was going to come. There was nothing better.

They’ve just been offered a much better job. With much better prospects. Doing exactly what they wanted to do. They didn’t see it before. But it was there all along, right in front of them. Do they care about the job that didn’t happen anymore? Not so much. This is way better. It’s the same for you. Maybe this isn’t unfolding as and how you had hoped. But it’s certainly unfolding and going SOMEWHERE. Whatsoever you are doing will help you grow and see new things.

It’s easy to do with hindsight. We can look at things and say that everything happened for a reason and without each step, both positive and negative, we wouldn’t be where we are today. If we can do it with hindsight, I’m sure we can do it in the present moment too. Just trust that as you’re doing your very best and working in the right direction, it’ll all work out. It just will. And if you have no idea what direction to go in, trust that something will be put in front of you. You just have to jump with no thought of what might happen next. Even if the idea scares you to death. Keep your eyes open and ears to the ground. If what you want to work out doesn’t happen as and when you want it, something else equally awesome will. You might not end up where you thought you were going but you’ll end up somewhere. You don’t need to make sense of it right now.

Not everything can be controlled. Maybe that’s the point X

Music stuff… 

http://www.ropestore.bandcamp.com

http://www.youtube.com/user/gemmadietrich

Twitter and all the irrelevant rest… Follow it if it makes you happy.

http://www.twitter.com/gemmadietrich

http://www.twitter.com/ropestoremusic

http://www.facebook.com/ropestoremusic

 

 

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

http://www.instagram.com/gemmadietrich

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 …

Instagram – http://www.instagram.com/gemmadietrich

Youtube – http://www.youtube.com/user/gemmadietrich

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/gemmadietrich

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