I haven't done a blog entry for this website since January 18, 2014. (And www.simonchate.com is the main hub site of all my websites so it really should be my main focus!)
I've done plenty of blog entries on my voice education website - The Singing Voice for my Recording Sessions - These are available here:
And I've done a few blog entries for my community choir, Awesome Voices - based in Alstonville, NSW, Australia. These are available here:
And I've done one or two other blog entries in various other sites, as well. But ... I haven't really written anything here lately, and more and more I've been thinking that maybe this place - www.simonchate.com - should be the central point from which I blog!
And so it begins!
Since I wrote my first blog for this site, over two and a half years ago, such a lot of water has gone under the bridge. At the end of January, 2014, I hit the wall and was unable to continue as a music teacher in my school due to excessive anxiety brought about by workplace bullying. I needed some real time off to assess my situation and slowly put myself back together. This became my focus for these last two years and, I am pleased to say, that I'm now back at school and doing well - although life can still be very challenging at times! I have written of my journey with anxiety in my website: www.anxietyland.com.au.
During these last two years I have continued to work extensively with two choirs - Men Wot Sing and Awesome Voices, and these two choirs still bring me a great deal of satisfaction. More than anything, it is the people with whom I am singing that make such a difference in my life. These are good people, loyal friends and it is a pleasure to sing with them.
My first solo album, Reality Changes, is just now about complete. I've worked on this album for over 5 years now and I am just putting the finishing touches on it now. I was in the studio on the weekend and, after a successful session laying down a few more electric guitar tracks, I am at a point where I'll only need one or two sessions to complete the song and therefore the album. You can read all about Reality Changes here. As soon as I've completed all the 13 tracks (12 tracks plus one bonus instrumental track), I'll send them all to be mastered at Benchmark Mastering with Don Bartley. This is a BIG THING! I can't wait till it's done! Then I've just got to sort out the CD artwork - and we're done like dinner. I've got some good ideas for the CD artwork too.
STOP PRESS: I will be mastering Reality Changes with Don Bartley in January, 2017! Hooray!!
On top of this, I am spending more time writing as well. Not just music, but short stories, kids books and co-writing an awesome comedy adult fiction novel as well. It's been a challenging couple of years, but a very rewarding one as well!
Rous Unplugged - a monthly community performance night at Rous Mill, near Alstonville, NSW continues to thrive - we've raised almost $14,000 for the New Alstonville Preschool and are now saving money to build a new deck on our beautiful venue - Rous Mill Hall.
It is such a pleasure to be involved with the community in so many ways.
And to top it all off, I've been travelling in Europe with my partner, Shirley and our two kids Jessi and Ewan - we went to Scotland this past June and July to see our family and also spent a magnificent week getting back to my Nordic roots in Norway as well.