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Hashtaggers Anonymous…

April 13th, 2014

10247504_648065905249263_5030328804221164101_nHello from the depths of this newly repaired and now watertight Siiga website…

Struck by some kind of virus/spam/internetty plague type thing… This site was completely obliterated in the new year…

Left as nothing more than my own personal link to a fairly suspect website which I can only describe as an 80′s Cold War/Hunt For Red October type of Russian social media submarine strategy game… Or something along those lines…

It was pretty funny the first time I dropped by and got an earful of music (and opinions) that were definitely not my own!…. Then not so funny when I realised well… My battleship was sunk!

Cue handy web bloke out in Colorado to the rescue who in his most polite American tones, hinted that the Soviet security breach was possibly down to my ‘DIY web making skills’… In short… I built a dodgy website…

So onwards he went… Sifting through the wreckage to where we are now… Match fit, spit shined, doors bolted and ready to go back to work…

The only unfortunate battle scar being all the great comments gathered here until now have been lost…  A real shame as they were a lovely part of what was becoming an interesting ongoing diary…

So… We begin again…

It’s a little overwhelming to consider that your voice or creations will be even slightly bright enough to be seen in amongst this infinite sea of updates and information that buzzes around out here amongst us all… So it’s often easier to just get on with what you are doing quietly and not worry too much about who gives it the old ‘looky – likey – thumbs upy’.

But… I have this little pocket of the internet fenced off to myself again… No competitors… No adverts… No trade-offs… Just me plus anyone who wishes to drop by and that’s just how I like it…

I wasn’t really sure what ‘blogging’ was before I started writing here, I’d shelved it with twitting, tagging, liking… selfies… and I dunno… twerking?!… Basically the flood of online shenanigans I seem to really struggle to keep up with or commit myself to…

One of my most reactive Facebook outings was prompted by a pumpkin I carved, I made it with the Siiga emblem on it and wished a Happy Halloween to all and as much as I  really appreciated the kind response it received, it only further highlighted how lightly this Social Media stuff needs to be treated… Especially as a route by which as a creative person, you let go of your work… Shakey territory and not for the faint of heart I say…

You see, i’m a terrible social networker anyway and even worse at keeping in touch with people – I have a friendless personal Facebook account gathering dust, my actual friends get irritated with me for taking a week to reply to a text, if at all… and sitting down to write an email takes me about a month…but … i’m trying to get a little better at it all… I understand the ironic standpoint here as I self-indulge in this little bit of online meandering… But I guess I decided that I should really try again and be a bit of a better online communicator, at least intermittently… for now… it’s a start… right?…  It just always seems to be a commitment I find slightly uncomfortable and if I don’t have anything much to say I always think saying nothing is probably better…

So… for now at least, i’m on the Social Network road to recovery… I’ve stopped smoking my Hashtags, my Instagram filters are menthol flavoured and my twits are well… They’re just twitting…. Blabbering aside… I’m just trying to use it all a little more often…

Every time I post something on Facebook as Siiga, i’m now faced with the option to ‘pay to boost my post‘… Just enter your credit card details and you can possibly be in with a chance of a few more people thumbing you… Well I don’t know about you but I’ve got enough people trying to thumb me for money on services of no actual value as it is…

When I post here though – like right now with this little moonboat scribbling I made late last (pictured above)… It’s free, gratis, no toll… nae cash required matey… For anyone who wants to join in… Give or take the odd hacker who wants to get involved… But to be honest with you… I kinda liked his style… He at least seemed brutally direct and dedicated to wanting to screw me over by destroying my website for his own gain…

He wasn’t offering me free passage through them there waters then flipping out the Visa machine asking for credit card compensation for the life-jackets like those slippery Facebookers…

I’m almost starting to like this blogging again…

Onwards me hearties…

:-)

To The Shore…

October 20th, 2013

Rich Shore PicI’ve missed writing these blogs over the last few months as life takes me on unexpected and incredible adventure across the USA…

My plan is to return to where I left off here very shortly…

For now though, i’m incredibly happy to be able to announce that from humble beginnings, tucked away making music through a winter on the Isle of Skye…

Siiga is now under the American representation of 7S Management in Denver, Colorado… Whilst also joining the very talented roster of artists with U.S booking agency, High Road Touring…

Lots of exciting work to be done!….

Thanks for listening, caring and following the journey so far!

Over The Ocean…

June 14th, 2013

Here I sit… back at this blog after some time away working on the bringing the world of ‘The Sea And The Mirror’ out from behind the screens and live to you… It’s lots of fun and will continue to grow from the roots of Siiga here as more branches begin to unfold…

As you know if you’ve been someone whose read and followed these little windows of words arriving on this page from time to time… You’ll remember that the pebble dropped in the water, responsible for the ripples of creativity which have occurred here, was surrounded in spontaneity, free headspace and patience.  ’The Sea And The Mirror’ grew from a journey on the waters of the North Atlantic, around the islands where the music was inspired, created and cared for.

All good stories start with an adventure…. Sailing between weaving porpoises… building light-box animations… exploring haunting forests… all contributed to the creative burst and spark that brought Siiga this far…

I said it here some time ago…. good energy attracts good energy…

The moment you stop looking for something…. it begins to arrive….

Today i’ll be embarking on a new creative adventure to the USA, spending my time submersed in music and all surrounding sparks of spontaneous inspiration…

Last year the world of Siiga existed around sailing trips on the seas I grew up staring out from… This year it will travel beyond those horizons, over the ocean…

A new adventure takes time to experience… To find the new stories it will bring…

Back soon

 

‘The Sea And The Mirror’ – OUT NOW

April 1st, 2013

It’s the first real day of Spring and renewed growth outside, so it seems the right time to be finally letting go of this today and looking toward the next chapter and where this musical journey may head…

The Sea And The Mirror’ is released officially today…

It took a year of day-dreaming, imagining and creativity to make it… A song released on the last Sunday of each month coinciding with a diary here to explore along the way… It was the best decision I ever made to attempt to make an album in this way and I hope you enjoyed the trip just as much as we have…

I want to take this chance on behalf of both myself and everyone else who has been involved in making this to say thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts for the support and energy you have passed on here as you’ve come across our little world…

There have been people here from the very early stage, downloading each track as it was being made and truly jumped aboard for the trip…
Others who arrived later and back-tracked through to the origins of what they discovered and showed true kindness of spirit towards what they’ve found…

However you got here, your kind words of encouragement and support have been the force which has keep it going…

I’ll close this post with a well wish to you reading this and say that I hope to see you somewhere along the way as we bring Siiga out there and begin to look to the start of the next creative adventure…

Richard

BUY ‘THE SEA AND THE MIRROR’ ON LIMITED EDITION CD AND DOWNLOAD HERE

ALSO AVAILABLE ON ITUNES

Siiga – The Limited Collectors Edition…

February 17th, 2013

So… into 2013 we go…

I didn’t really intend to continue this blog past the end of 2012… and as you can probably tell from the fact we’re now into February without a peep, I hadn’t really made much effort to come back here and pour my thoughts into words…

Writing here was an integral part of creating the debut Siiga album each month and I figured that was probably enough…

But…

After a few beers and a gaze past the horizon to celebrate the physical creation of ‘The Sea and The Mirror’ this afternoon… maybe it’s worth another little go?!…

In 2013, the debut Siiga album will be released on a very Limited Edition Collectors Remaster.

The CD has been pressed, the definitive audio has been tweaked… and even if I do say so myself, it’s looking and sounding just fine!!…

Over the course of 2012 as each track was being put together, I was secretly collaborating on what I can only describe as a sort of washed up scrap book of the creation of Siiga.

So… to accompany the final physical version of the album, an individually hand stamped and limited number edition of ‘The Sea and The Mirror’ books will be release exclusively here via Siiga’s very own ‘Mina Stac’ label.

This book is an artistic collaboration between myself and American visual artist Mark Todd which records a unique account of the world of Siiga leading up to this album and the year it took to create.

I must stress that once these CDs and books are gone, they’re gone!!

The work is beautifully presented as you will see in these images and will be available exclusively to you as mailing list members weeks before the official launch date in April.

A private email will be sent to mailing list members on how to get your hands on this exclusive release in advance very soon…

Seamus, Iain and myself will be performing a special version of the album in full at Glasgow’s Ubiquitous Chip on Thursday the 7th of March to celebrate… It will be a unique and advanced opportunity to get your hands on a copy of both the CD and book before the official release in April.

It’s been quite something to look and hold the final physical version of this album and book over the last few days and I hope for those of you who also get your hands on it, you enjoy it just as much as we have!

It’s good to be back here…

‘The Sea and The Mirror’

December 30th, 2012

I’ve been on the receiving end of lots of lovely compliments, praise and positivity this year…

So sitting here writing the final piece before this album is complete…

It seems a good time to tell you a little about some of my friends…
Who also just happen to be people who’ve played a huge and important part of transporting this little idea here, they have shown nothing but belief and kindness toward Siiga and will continue to grow with it as we head into 2013 together.

Seamus and I met not long after I moved to Glasgow…
I think fate may have pushed us together to test each others patience at first, two head-strong teuchters from the North-West, we spent many times pushing and pulling at one another until we realised one day that we’d actually become the closest of friends, protective over one another and working to be part of something that meant much more to us than just playing music…
Aside from drumming, his voice and natural melody have weaved within the fabric of Siiga… over the year we’ve grown together as musicians and taken our first step together as writers with ‘Stay Home’. Something exciting always happens when we sit down together to play music, an energy you can’t quite put your finger on but it gets you right in the chest and we can’t wait to see where it takes us next.

Iain and I tend to talk a lot!… So much so we forget we’re meant to be finishing working on music most of the time…
To call him a musician would be an understatement… Iain is a bit like a musical octopus, he has more equipment, gadgets and noise making machines than anyone i’ve ever met. Right up my street!… No matter how many things i’ve asked him to do, he keeps on juggling the lot with ease… and still finds time to make coffee.
Iain has welcomed Siiga to set up home in his beautiful studio, a far cry from the make-shift cupboard recording set-up it started in. We recorded and mixed ‘Hollow Bones’ together in one day and haven’t looked back since.
He’s been a fundamental element in mixing and helping translate the sounds of Siiga into these monthly bursts of life we’ve tried to create.
Our journey takes us into 2013 with Iain joining Siiga not just as an engineer… but as a functioning musical cog in the next evolving chapter. We both recently decided to try taking up learning to surf and chose October to begin… So far… neither of us can surf.

Graeme arrived much later to Siiga, as I fumbled my way around the bass to fill out some of the earlier recorded tracks, I spent a lot of time clearing my head cycling with Graeme. Realising I was taking time out from music by spending it with… another musician, Graeme kindly stepped in and applied his talents and beautiful vintage bass to a couple of the final songs (Jenny & Fras Mara).

…and there we have the next stage of Siiga…my friends ready to head into 2013, taking this album out from behind the speakers and beyond, to wherever the next musical starting point may be.
On a personal level I want to express my eternal thanks to Denis Blackham, a first class mastering engineer living at home on Skye who has supported every single note of this. He has taught me an awful lot over the years about sound and carefully given these recordings that final polish to help make them shine.
My mate Dave Manvell who sat and spent night after night through a bleak Skye winter, fuelled by cigarettes and coffee turning my website design into this functioning page you’re looking at now, never losing his temper even when I ask him how to do the same thing over and over again!
The talented Mark Todd all the way out in Texas, he has poured his heart into working with me to design and come up with the ‘The Sea and The Mirror’. The complete album and beautiful book which will be released this coming year. Our Trans-Atlantic phone calls and head scratches have almost paid off, can’t wait to tell you more and let you see it.
Tui…(pictured above with Graeme failing at releasing a Chinese lantern on my birthday) she has supported and nudged me forward all year, been my second ears and eyes and as our home has been in chaos, taken over with drawings, animations, drum-kits, cables, microphones, noise, people, talking….LOTS of talking… she has calmly kept reminding me I was doing the right thing.

…and finally if you are reading this (and reached the end!), thank you… for dropping by, leaving kind words, listening and enjoying Siiga with us this year.

We hope to see you somewhere along the way in 2013 with ‘The Sea and The Mirror’

The final track ‘Ikuenora’ is FREE for you to download.. a thank you for your kind support.

Happy New Year

Richard

The Frosty Tree…

December 2nd, 2012

There’s a tree that sits outside my front door on a pocket of ground where the sun almost never has a chance to shine, year after year it watches me walk back and forth through day, night, sun, rain, wind and snow…. pondering my plans and thoughts as I live my life year by year.

I walked past it the other morning and noticed that it looked almost exactly as I remembered it a year ago to that day, where the winter had taken hold of it for a while…

I remembered it was around the same time as I had been finishing work on the first Siiga song ‘Hollow Bones’ – I remembered the way the tree had looked in the midst of cutting masses of black silhouette paper into crooked branches not too unlike the ones it held.

The extreme frost had crept over it throughout the night transforming it’s bare, leafless branches into a flourishing, twinkling burst of life in the shadows.

It got me thinking about how this tree had come full circle and seemed to be back where it started that day a year ago… I realised i’d done the same thing. I was standing looking at this tree at a moment where I was in the midst of writing the very last Siiga song, about to come all the way back to where I started again.

Siiga began with just a couple of microphones in a make-shift studio I made in a cupboard on Skye, coming full circle with the frosty tree that day I decided to head back to where I started…

Set up the mics with an old creaky nylon strung guitar I’d found buried away in there and recorded the last song.

‘Ikuenora’ will be the final track this year to complete the first Siiga album and will be released on the last Sunday of 2012 – 30th December..