Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Today I have mainly been feeling very cross with people who are ignorant, arrogant and self-important.

I felt buoyant this morning, like I had achieved things over the weekend. However as much as I tried not to let it, an interaction I had with someone today sought to bring me down and deflate me.

It wasn't a huge deal, to be honest. I think that perhaps the nature of what I'm trying to do means that I am very protective of my victories and feelings of success, and when someone is dismissive of them it makes me angry. This comes from me, obviously. It is my interpretation of what someone has or has not said that engenders such feelings in me, and that isn't their fault. I shouldn't take things that other people do and say as a reflection of myself, that is self-defeating and self-centred.

It is ironic that when I slate people who are self-important and place too much stock in their own view of the world, I do it on my blog, O Place Of Self-Aggrandisement. We shall not dwell too long on that.

Crikey I used the word 'self' as a prefix a lot in those last few paragraphs. Self-obsession, anyone?

Over the weekend I wrote two songs, recorded one, and re-recorded another one that I wrote about six months ago. I am very pleased with the re-recorded one and quite pleased with the other one. I will go back to it tonight to see if I can make more sense of it. I haven't yet affixed my new A-string onto my cello, but I am planning to do that tonight as well so that I can start experimenting with that. I have been listening to a lot of interesting new (to me) jazz recently which has given me some ideas about where to start with the cello/voice combination. I'm so excited about it, I really feel it's the right time to be opening that door. I've been instilled with a bit more confidence in my own ability to write, and I think that has given me a lot more freedom to make mistakes and to take my time.

The workshop on Sunday was great, very useful. It was given by a guy who's currently in the West End production of The Producers, and he was lovely. Absolutely bloody gorgeous, as well. Camp as a row of tents, sure, but lovely to look at and very nice. Perhaps part of the reason I liked him so much was because he was so very complimentary about my performances, recommending me some post-graduate musical theatre courses to take should I want to get into musical theatre as a career. At this point in time I don't, but it was interesting nonetheless. He said he thought I was fabulous. The man is clearly a genius.

Friday I went out with, um, PIMOTI, I think is the acronym to use. People I Met On The Internet, that is. I had a wonderful, great time.

Saturday night I went out and got resonated with friends from home which culminated in a very post-resonation-esque taxi journey home, during which I vaguely recall making the taxi driver stop at a service station so I could stumble out for some salt and vinegar twirly crisps. It was a lovely evening in Shoreditch where all the trendy people like to hang out, with their hip eighties-style clothes and asymmetrical haircuts. I have neither of these things, and neither do my friends, but we had a good time anyway and nobody launched themselves at us with some sharp scissors or thinly disguised shoulder pads, so we were safe and had a great time.

This week I am going to meet up with Lucy on Thursday. She doesn't know this yet because I haven't replied to her email as of yet. This isn't some deliberate, tricksy game I'm playing, I'm just a bit scatty.

Tomorrow I have another one of these workshops, this time on Jazz Improvisation with an acclaimed jazz singer whose name has escaped me. I hope to learn things and all that sort of crap, but primarily I just want to be told I'm fabulous again.

I also need your help. Not with the telling me I'm fabulous thing, although it couldn't hurt. Really what I need help with is ideas.

I need to update my singing website (see sidebar) and I'd like to put interesting things on it. I want to put my tracks on, obviously, and I need to record those. Also, though, I want cool stuff that's interesting. Perhaps photos, links, things like that. I don't know exactly what to do, though. If you have any suggestions it would be really useful.

Please de-lurk and suggest some things! What sort of photos? Action ones or posed ones? Tasteful and artistic or just downright slutty?

Suggestions in a comment, please.

(ALSO IMPORTANT: It's my sister Alexandra's birthday today. She is 26 years old and lovely and pretty. Happy birthday, Alex.)


Anonymous Adrian said...

Sorry about you being cross. I suggest having those people who made you cross killed. It always helps.

Before I start I must warn you, I am a web geek. I apologies in advance.

Well for starters I would say your singing website looks fantastic and does a really good job of giving one a flavor of Léonie (the singer) as opposed to Léonie (the blogger). So any changes mean you need to decide what you want to achieve with the site. What experiences you want people to have with the site.

Do you want people to visit the site more regularly? Or do you want the site to remain as a base to talk about Léonie (the singer)?

If you want people to come to the site regularly, which is a great way to keep people up-to-date with your gigs and music as well, you need some sort of regularly updated content, be it a blog or something else. A blog can be a really good way of keeping people coming back to a site, even if the blog isn't the main thrust of the site. If you put a blog on the singer site, then I would suggest talking about music and the way you make music and how you compose and why you sing and all those interesting things, that would create a music audience. As a parallel, Neil Gaiman does very well at doing this in the writing sphere on this blog.

If you want to just update it as a base for people to find and refer to for Léonie the singer, then it's more about the way you present the content that's their. Currently the site is great as a all in one page format, as their isn't too much content to overwhelm a reader. However if you are going to add further content I would consider breaking it out into each individual section being it's own page (this also allows people to link directly to individual sections which is useful too). Breaking up each section into it's own page, allows you to expand each section more fully.

As for the sections, I reckon what you have there is great. I definitely would add a gallery section, with some photographs both from live gigs and some general nice photos. I don't know, some artful outdoor shots of you kicking through autumn leaves or something like that. I would suggest going for something more posed (well not quite posed, but staged) and get some really good shots as opposed to "just out drinking with my mates type pictures". And try get some really nice gig pictures as well. A live video of one of your gigs would also be great, as it allows someone to see how you are live and get a feel for you. Setting one of your songs to a video as well would be quite cool, and give people something to download. We all love downloading off our favorite bands and singers sites so the more you give your fans the better.

The only other thing I might suggest is doing something like a podcast. I set this up for my mate Dan, and it works really well as agreat way to distribute music. Not only does this get you into iTunes, but it also lets people get your music really easily as it just syncs directly to your ipod. And any sort of podcasting you do over and above your songs is a bonus. It's quite a nice way to release songs, as you can talk about the song and why you like it and why you chose it.

Other than that, the more tracks you can put up the better, just make sure they are properly tagged (which yours are). Although you could add some cover art to your tracks which would make them even funkier.

If you want any help with anything let me know I would be glad to help. Otherwise apologies for the long comment, but you did ask, and as I warned, I am a web geek. This is what I do.

p.s. I downloaded and listened to your tracks properly for the first time (previously I had just listened to the live flash thing on your site) and got to say they are fantastic. You have a beautiful voice.

10:12 pm

Blogger Ant said...

Blimey - I'll be grabbing some of that advice adrian...

Um, yeah... what he said.

And you're fabulous.

10:07 am

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

You are totally fabulous!

I like the podcast idea. I have some of your tracks that I downloaded from your site and I play them in my car but new stuff would be great. I would also read a blog about your singing.

Why is there a little man in a wheelchair picture next to the word verification thing? So weird.

10:32 am

Blogger treespotter said...

Hi there,

That previous advice definitely sounds good and worth considering. I’m also a web geek and had some experience in building commercial/pre-commercial website so I can concur the advice does sound very sensible and worth doing.

But for what it’s worth, when I first read the post, I immediately thought of something else. Not sure exactly how, but I thought of the site more like an extension of you. I mean, you write really, really well and I’ve thoroughly enjoy reading your stuff as well as listening to your music. This is despite that you’re using standard template and annoying quirks what with the lacking links and all that. I’m only saying that we’re not really here for the packaging. I’d say you should build something that is more of you. Something you’d feel like an extension of you and not a presentation.
Combine the two sites, write what you write, sing what you sing, update whenever possible. Pictures would be nice, though you’re the artsy type, I’m sure you can get some good photos or art works that you feel is an extension of you. You can always add gig photos whatever with your posts or setup a special gallery section. Write more of your music, what you feel about them, what you think, etc. At least I come here to read and listen to your things, to see more is probably interesting but that wouldn’t be the main thing. Well.. you probably ask the wrong person since I am a reader. Just make sure that it is you that we visit and not a recording company kind. I just dread if you turn the site into some marketing page.

10:44 am

Anonymous Adrian said...

Dancinfairy, the wheelchair is for blind people. It will read out the word verification letters, as they won't be able to see them.

I agree with Treespotter too. Like I said, it depends on what you want to achieve with the singing Léonie site. If you want to keep them separate as you want the audience of the signing Léonie site to experience a different side of Léonie to the audience of the blogging Léonie site, then they work best separately. I think combing this blog onto the one Léonie site would be great, but if you think it may effect how freely you write, then you may want to consider that too.

It all goes back to what your requirements are and what you want to achieve with the sites. Once you know that, the web bit is the easy bit.

11:37 am

Blogger Miss Devylish said...

Sweets.. you're extra fabulous! How can anyone not know that?

And wtf does this mean: 'Camp as a row of tents'?? I'm gathering he doesn't play for our team.. but I've never heard that phrase before.. you crazy brits! :)

10:46 pm


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