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Coasting : Issue 13 July 2010
6 central coast • new south wales COASTING MUSIC 6-22 Pacific Highway, Ourimbah Ph: (02) 4362 1104 Information for Members and their Guests Is Gambling a problem for you? G-Line is a confidential annonymous and free counselling service. Call 1800 633 635. TEXAS HOLD 'EM POKER Monday & Thursday nights from 6.30pm Saturday, 7th August from 7.30pm FREE what's on at SATURDAY ENTERTAINMENT IN AUGUST 14th: Mandy Shamin 21st: Rory McVee 28th: Shane Edwards FAB FOUR BEATLES SHOW A8769045-1Jul Mike McCarthy By David Stewart Mike McCarthy admits that it started as just a bit of fun; a challenge for his own amusement, doing something that he loved. It was something akin to a young boy testing how long he could juggle a soccer ball. Or how many push-ups he could do in one minute. The Avoca Beach singer-songwriter, instead, set about writing and recording 10 tracks in 10 days. "I had 10 days free at the end of the year and my home studio was set up, so I set this creative exercise to write and record 10 songs in 10 days," McCarthy said. "I felt it was a challenge as a composer, and I wanted to see how I could work within the confines of time. Usually I wouldn't do that to myself. And I almost didn't expect it to work." Inspired by an installation of coloured halogen lights at the Art Gallery of NSW, McCarthy got to thinking about how colour affects our mood. The result was 10 tracks, each inspired by one of 10 colours, and all recorded on a new instrumental CD entitled (what else but) Colours. Sticking to a one-song-a-day timetable was demanding. "Unlike my usual self, I was very disciplined about that," McCarthy said. "I made sure that within the 24 hours that song was done -- even down to the mixing." Some songs would come to fruition inside three hours. Others would take an entire day and lots of midnight oil. "The last colour was black, and I did that one on Christmas Day," he said. After devising the concept early in the morning, and making a promising start, McCarthy said Christmas lunch with the family intervened. A big Christmas lunch was followed by the obligatory snooze on the lounge. And pretty soon it was time for Christmas dinner... "By 9.30 that night I was panicking and knew that I had to get home to get back to work. I literally finished within a few minutes of midnight." McCarthy said he never planned to release the tracks: "I really just did it as an exercise." But as he played the tracks to people in the industry whom he respects, McCarthy received the same advice again and again. "These people were saying 'You have to release this... You have to!'" So McCarthy headed to the US and teamed up with producer Tracker John, in Portland, where the tracks were polished. Half of the tracks on the CD have since been picked up by Californian filmmaker Cyrus Sutton who plans to use them in his next surf movie. "Cyrus really dug the concept. It spoke volumes to him," McCarthy said. "So it will be interesting to see what he does with them." McCarthy said he was particularly fond of matching music and visuals, and some of his earlier work had already been used in some short films and documentaries. "I really like the marriage of film and music, so I'm hoping that releasing this album might be a step forward towards doing more of that." The album has had another unexpected spin- off. It has led to McCarthy starting a little side business called Hatch Music, in which he travels to high schools around NSW to teach students about composing songs based around a colour. "I love having people tell me what each track makes them think of. It sparks imagination, and I really like that." SPONTANEOUS: Mike McCarthy said the quality of Colours had exceeded his expectations. Picture by Aaron Brown. GAMBLE: Mike McCarthy admits releasing an instrumental album was risky. After all, his previous albums had been heralded for his lyric writing.
Issue 12 June 2010
Issue 14 August 2010