Category Archives: butterfly bones

Been there? Done that? Now you can get the t-shirt!

Standard

Last night I had the pleasure of playing the piano at the Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall, here in Orkney. It’s one of my favourite restaurants, so I naturally accepted when they asked if I’d play for a couple of hours on a Saturday night.

With a cosy welcoming fire, comfy antique furniture, a fine selection of single malts and excellent food, it’s a lovely place to while away an evening.

Looks like I’ll be playing there again as part of the schedule of Christmas delights they’re planning, so watch this space!

In other news, the Kathie Touin Shop is now open at Café Press. Come peer inside and see what we’ve put together for you.

Everything from t-shirts to teddy bears, mugs and wall plaques, hats and bags, badges and underpants! All featuring quotes from some of my lyrics.

And yes, now you, too, can own THE t-shirt made famous by the song, ‘T shirt’ on my CD Butterfly Bones. Go out and proudly show the world, “Yes, it is. Really.”

Visit www.cafepress.co.uk/kathietouin
 

See you there!

Kathie Touin

PS With only a matter of weeks until Christmas (sorry) my shop is also a great place to find presents!

Advertisements

My chat with Voice America’s Terah Tucker

Standard


Last night I had a delightful 60-minute conversation with Terah Tucker on her radio show All Things Music, broadcast on the internet radio station Voice America.

We chatted about my earliest musical memories and the first song I wrote – see photo of me at the keyboards – what was going on in my mind when I wrote some of my songs, why I am living in England, what inspires me about classical music, best and worst musical experiences… and Terah played tracks from my Butterfly Bones and Soliloquy Deluxe albums… the time just flew by.

The interview is available to listen again or as a podcast through the Voice America website, www.modavox.com/voiceamerica/. Better still, go direct to Terah’s page.

Terah describes herself on the Voice America website as “singer, songwriter, music composer, wife, and mother”. I look forward to hearing some of your music Terah – it sounds as though we have a lot in common.

Kathie Touin

Me and David Bowie

Standard

BBC Four’s excellent Pop On Trial series included a number of clips of David Bowie in performance. And it reminded me of my musical connection to David Bowie. Yes, pay attention, trivia fans.

I was recording my album Butterfly Bones and had just finished the vocals on Gobsmacked when my husband telephoned. We have a loud old-fashioned telephone in the hallway and recorded on the vocal track. However, it fell on the beat and seemed to fit, so I left it in the final master.

It was only after the album was completed that a friend reminded me that David Bowie’s Life On Mars, which appears on his Hunky Dory album, also has a ringing telephone on the fade out. So there you go. Me and David Bowie.

I’ve started work on my latest album – I’ll be sure to let you know of any unexpected musical trivial links that crop up.

Kathie Touin

Missing Rob Leighton

Standard

I was shocked this week to discover that Radio Caroline presenter Rob Leighton died on 17 January. Rob was a wonderful presenter and his love of music shone through his programmes. I was thrilled when he played tracks from my album Butterfly Bones on Radio Caroline.

Not only was Rob great on the radio but through his emails he came across as a really nice guy. I was delighted when I sent him a copy of my classical piano CD, Soliloquy Deluxe, knowing he would not be able to play it on his programmes, to get an email saying “it’s what we’ve been listening to in the car for the last week”.

I had not realised Rob was ill, it was clearly something that he kept to himself and hid well from the outside world. He sent me kind, supportive emails when I was recovering from my operations, but never mentioned his struggles with his health.

There is more about Rob’s illness and what a great guy he was in a beautiful tribute on the Radio Caroline website written by Station Manager, Peter Moore – http://www.radiocaroline.co.uk/

Thank you Rob for your support and wonderful nature. My thoughts are with Rob’s wife Sharon.

Kathie Touin

Soliloquy Deluxe – my new CD release

Standard

I’m very proud to announce the release of my new CD, Soliloquy Deluxe. It is a collection of some of my favourite classical piano pieces, a few things I wrote myself, and a gorgeous piece by Keith Emerson.

This CD may seem like quite a departure from my previous release, Butterfly Bones, which was made up of my own original songs and had me playing and singing on it. This one is solo piano, but it has a little bit of history behind it.

My first official CD release was the original Soliloquy. I chose the pieces I performed from ones that I love playing, some of them from back when I first began playing piano. It was a mix of styles, moods and time periods, including Bach, Chopin, MacDowell, Debussy, and some less well known pieces by other composers.

The initial run of Soliloquy sold out and not long after the record label quietly folded. I hoped that someday I could get the album back out on the market. So many people had told me how much they loved it, whether it was because they found it relaxing, emotional or just because it reminded them of their own childhood piano lessons.

This summer, I decided the time was right to finally bring Soliloquy back to life. I’m in a space between the last CD of my own songs and the next one, still recovering from my ankle operation, and this seemed like a good time to have another look at Soliloquy.

I had it re-mastered by the ever-fabulous Adam Helal at Q Sound here in London, changed the running order around a bit, and added a handful of bonus tracks.

These came from a solo piano demo I had completed at the urging of my then manager, way back in the early 90s. I gave this demo to the record company, Sundown, they then signed me, and produced the first version of Soliloquy.

I decided it would be fun to include these original demo tracks. There is an earlier version of my composition Silver Song, two others of mine, and the Emerson piece. I sent Keith the recording to check that it was okay with him to include the track and he very kindly gave permission.

Another change I made was to remove the one and only edit that had been put in the album, on the first track, Shepherd Song. Originally I was told it wasn’t long enough. It always bothered me the edit had been put in, because I intentionally recorded the album live so it would sound spontaneous and natural. I’m very pleased that it has now been restored to its original short but sweet self.

I hope you love the cover art as much as I do. The original is hanging on my lounge wall in pride of place. It is the creation of artist NM Burdikin, a multi-talented American friend of mine who now lives in Colchester here in the UK. I never get tired of looking at it – such a wonderful blend of colours and styles. Just look closely at the trunk of the tree, and what about those reflections of the trees in the water? Amazing. Please go look at her website to see more of her work at http://www.burdikin.homestead.com/.

I also want to mention Ricardo Memez who did the photography for the CD. I had a very enjoyable afternoon at his studio near Little Venice in London that resulted in the portrait in the CD and some great new promo shots. He also captured the brilliant clarity of the front cover art. He’s a very talented photographer, and you can see samples of his work on his website at http://www.ricardomemez.co.uk/

Finally, I just want to make a small mention here of how sad I am that due to the new RIAA restrictions on internet radio stations, the lovely Radio Samantha in Bristol had their final broadcast last night (Sunday 3rd September). This is a shame because everyone there has been very supportive of my music, and featured my CD Butterfly Bones regularly on several programmes. Thanks to PJ and everyone else at Samantha who has been so great. Of course, we artists need to be paid for our work getting airplay, but for those of us who fall outside the grand sweep of the performance rights societies’ sampling, the exposure is invaluable. Hopefully we can find a happy medium for everyone involved before too long.

I hope you enjoy the new CD.

All the best,
Kathie Touin

An introduction

Standard

Hello,

I am Kathie Touin, a musician, songwriter and recording artist. Originally I am from California, I have also lived in Washington state, but now my home is in Ealing, London, England.

This is my first blog using Blogger – up until now I have been using MySpace and Yahoo 360! but I want a blog that gives me more options and that allows folk to post comments more easily.

I have recently returned from a holiday in California visiting my family and I have lots of thoughts to share in future blogs about my home state.

The really exciting news when I got back from California was that my album Butterfly Bones was reviewed in the July/August issue of Rock’n’Reel magazine! Hurrah!

The review talks of “a particularly healthy fifteen self-penned numbers” and describes the songs as “smartly arranged piano-led pieces”, specifically mentioning “the attractive Stop Me, the sparse beauty of Clarity, the ambitious sweep of Only Sky and the unpredictable delight of closer Does It Really Matter”. Needless to say I’m very chuffed about this, particularly as I like the magazine. Thanks guys! Check them out at www.rock-n-reel.co.uk.

Also on return from my holiday I had an operation, not life-and-death, but quite serious, on my right ankle. I twisted it badly in the street more than two years ago and have already had one operation. This latest operation – look away now if you are squeamish – involved taking a piece of cartilage and bone from my knee and putting it into the damaged bone in my ankle.

The surgeon, Mr Thomas, feared he would have to break the big bone in my lower leg to do this but, thankfully, managed to find a way to do the operation arthroscopically. So I now I’m spending six weeks in a surgical boot – but at least it’s not in plaster.

Another bonus was that they were able to do the work under a spinal anaesthetic, so I am not having to recover from the effects of a general anaesthetic. And it meant I was awake and alert during the operation, which was fascinating, and not at all frightening.

I want to thank all the staff at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, London who helped me, they were fantastic – professional, cheerful, helpful, reassuring – that goes both for Mr Thomas and his team in the operating theatre, many of whom were blurred faces and voices in the background to me, and for all the nursing staff on the Ravenscourt Ward. If you were there – thank you.

Next time I will have something to say about California. In the meantime you can find more about my music at http://www.kathietouin.com/.

Love and best wishes,
Kathie