NANCY 'NOW' - MONTHLY DIARY
This year is already gearing up to be exciting, mostly because so many projects I've been working on are coming to fruition. Life as a musician feels risky at times; we spend so much of our lives working on our craft without knowing where it will lead. Still, the creative force is so strong, as is the will to refine, learn and progress as an artist, that we continue.
I've written dozens of songs in the past few years, and when I'm in that process of creation, which balances skill, experience, and intuition, it feels all-consuming. I follow the process until I get the song to that point where it can rest, then put it away in a drawer.
When some time has passed, I pull it out, see if I still think it's any good, and if it feels right, I start thinking about instrumentation and how I might arrange it, and who to call to lay down the tracks.
This month, I pulled out eight songs that I've written over the years and decided to bring them to life. I called on my long time musical colleagues Luis Robisco (gutiar) and Juan Soto (bass) to lay down the bed tracks with myself on piano and vocals, and from there I'll be calling on some special guests to play percussion and flugelhorn.
Here are a few moments of video from our time in Estudio 555 in Malaga, Spain. Songs will be released as singles throughout the year ahead on Salerosa Records. Stay tuned :)
This month took me to Toronto, Canada! So great to be back in my native land, and to dust off my winter gloves and hat. As well as catching up with colleagues, I'm pleased to announce a new partnership. I've signed an Admin Publishing deal with Red Brick Songs Music Publishing; it was great to meet the team of pros there - they really care about music.
Later this month I'll be back in the studio to finish production on the songs I recorded in New York: Turn the Lights Back Down, and Where the Sea Melts to Sky which features members of the New York Philharmonic. Three more songs are in pre-production, and then there are those I'm still writing... it's an ongoing, never-ending, always exciting process.
The Morocco project, phase one (music video) is also completed, and I'll soon be working on the documentary portion and plans for its release.
It was a busy month of travels to Valencia and Madrid, culminating in the long- awaited movie pre-premier of La Ley Del Embudo, a new Spanish film that features two of my songs, Sigo Viviendo and Llórame. It was fun to do the whole red carpet thing, and sing for the 'who's who' of Spanish cinema. I'm really pleased with the way the music complimented the scenes, and of course that the film's director/ producer Alfredo Carrasco used my music. He said, 'the lyrics and vibe are so perfect for these scenes'! And of course that people left the theatre humming the melodies made my night. It was a great event, which took place at the Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España. Here are a few photos...
New York, New York! It's always great to be back in the Centre of the Universe... I'm here recording two new songs: 'Where the Sea Melts to Sky', which will feature piano, voice and a string quartet. Joe Gianono did the arrangement and we've got an all-star lineup ready to record at Zampol Productions, with multi-Grammy award winning Oscar Zambrano engineering. The other tune is a jazz ballad called 'Turn the Lights Back Down', which will feature piano, vocals, and bass. More details on all that very soon... for now, I'm enjoying the vibe, catching up with colleagues, hearing great music, and trying to cross streets like a local.
Thanks to the wonderful Frankie Sticks for this fun, freestyle romp of an interview - we talked about what’s great about the New York music scene, playing with people you have nothing in common with, cipollino, Jack Sheldon and Charo, following musical instincts despite good logic, projects in Morocco, why my dad sold his drums, and bringing the band to Africa. And this is the condensed version ;)… get a cup of tea, relax and hang with Frankie, Preston and me for this 25 minute conversation in New York City.
Still working on release plans for 'Breathing In Indigo' which is in the bag! The video is spectacular, thanks to Jorge Pérez' direction. Can't wait to share it with you all.
Also working on the Morocco Project 'Just Can't Let It Go', which will be a long form single/ video (more than 7 minutes), featuring footage from travels to that fascinating country.
I've also written new material this summer which I'll be recording soon - will feature strings for the first time... music for movies.
L-R: Antonio Soto (guest star in the 'Breathing In Indigo' video), Nancy Ruth, and director Jorge Pérez.
This is the first summer in eons that I haven't been touring - as much as I miss it, I needed this time to get caught up on some creative projects. I've been spending time in Morocco to finish both audio and video recordings there. The music I wrote for my documentary project which explores cross-cultural music collaboration turned out to be a challenging piece to play and record with so little rehearsal time with everyone in one room, but it's coming together in the studio now that I'm back in Malaga. We had a great time in Tangier - here's a photo of the whole team, below. It was a joy to work with everyone involved... it's amazing what can be accomplished when the right people come together. Stay tuned for the winter video release of the song, and then in 2020, the 30 minute documentary.
I've also been working on the release for 'Breathing in Indigo' - video is in the editing stage.
I've got lots of new music in the works and as always trying to balance the daily practice and paperwork routine with getting fresh air - summer on the Mediterranean is a great time to recharge, get in shape with kayaking and swimming... getting set for Fall travels!
Photo L-R: Simo Chakli (violin, voice), Khalid El Haddouchi (logistics), Juan Soto (bass, sound production), Manuel Soto (camera), Nancy Ruth (voice, composition, producer), Hamza Bakhati (oud, voice), Khaled Meliani (percussion). Photo taken at the Melting Pot Hostel rooftop in Tangiers, Morocco.
After a year of preparation, I'm finally filming the music video for 'Breathing In Indigo'. It's one of my favourite songs that I've written, so I'm really excited to be working on the video for a dual release with the song for 2020. Here's a bit of the 'making of'