Dark Islands

Misty mountains

How do you collaborate? Nick the musician wants to write the music first and get someone to add words. George the writer wants to write a lyric and have it set sensitively  to the right music. The path we have found is to create separately and then come together and adapt to each other. Nick develops twenty or thirty musical ideas as riffs, sometimes with an added melody line, and sends them on a CD to George. George listens carefully and tries to match the emotional flavour of the riff to one of his lyrical ideas. Then he will have to adapt his language to the riff’s rhythm and line length. The rhythm may suggest a way of adding to the theme or intensifying it. When the two of them come together Nick improvises, singing a melody to the lyric, and they jointly develop the song’s structure. The refrain may be added later. Nick cuts lines that don’t work, or asks for better syllables to sing. George insists on being true to the original conception and tone in the singing performance. The refrain somehow emerges from both or neither.



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We wrote several songs for a female vocalist, and we have recordings made with the wonderful deep voice of Krystyna Jankowska, the third collaborator.

K singing

The songs that Krystyna sings will be released here and on Bandcamp later in the year – watch this space! They are rather different in character to the songs Nick sings, so they will appear on a separate EP.

This Dark Islands website will update with Nick’s other collaborative projects and new pieces of music. You can also see work from his other projects on Nick’s blog page.

The portrait photographs are by Jan Fowler of http://www.aposites.co.uk who also built the website.

The CD cover image is a photograph by Denise Elliott.


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