Tag Archives: music video

Il dolce far niente

“Il dolce far niente” is an Italian saying literally meaning “the sweetness of doing nothing”.
It doesn’t mean being lazy, but refers to that good feeling you can get from being idle and living in the moment. “Dolce far niente” is thoroughly enjoying the taste of that good cup of coffee, it’s taking a walk and breathing in fresh air, it’s watching the sunset, enjoying a nice home cooked meal with family; it’s meditating, but it’s also staring out the window or spending time with friends…it’s basically anything you like doing that gets you relaxed, makes you feel good, brings energy…seize the day, live in the moment. It’s something a lot of people aren’t great at (including me!!). The Italians however embrace “il dolce far niente” – they know the art of doing nothing, they see it as an important day to day activity and there’s a lot we can learn from that.

This summer we went to Italy again. Same place, same apartment as last year…arriving at the apartment felt like coming home. We were welcomed by the owners, who’s hospitality and kindness are absolutely great; providing us with fresh fruit from the garden and homemade prosecco. Being there again, made me realise how much I missed the place, the views, the sun and the beautiful sunsets.
“Dolce far niente” – it pretty much sums up my summer holiday…
Spending time with my family, meeting up with friends, watching the sunset, enjoying a glass of wine, enjoying the Italian sun and beautiful weather, walking barefoot on a sandy beach, feeling the wind, seeing the moon and stars at night, swimming in the sea, eating pizza, watching the geckos chasing bugs, being in nature, visiting ancient medieval towns, playing cards and board games and so much more…
Good times always go by way too fast, but the memories will last. Memories of joy and laughter, memories of funny and awkward situations, memories of feeling good and relaxed… Oh yes…I’m definitely having the holiday blues!

Back to reality it is now…holiday is over and life is turning back to ‘normal’ again. It’s very easy to get caught up again in the busyness of everyday life, so I made a promise to myself…I’m going to practice “il dolce far niente” much more than I already did. It’s a fact that mindfulness, consciously focusing on the present moment, will increase energy levels, bring clarity of mind and greater focus, but it’s so easy to forget about this… Time to adopt the art of doing nothing, weave it into my days and make it a very important daily activity!

“Dolce far niente” is also a lyric from Robb Murphy’s new single ‘Italian Dreams’ which he released in July. The perfect song to end this blog with… The song was written during a long summer in Italy. It’s a lighthearted song with a 60’s vibe, a hint of The Beach Boys. The single is supported by an animated lyric video created by Italian artist Marco Burani.

Watch the video:

or stream the song on Spotify:

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Take A Stand – 5 years

Take A Stand…Robb Murphy’s solo career started with this…the album was released 5 years ago on the 27th of April. Something to celebrate…and to write a blog about! I’ve been looking back into the blogs I wrote over the past few years, but I didn’t write a blog about Take A Stand and how this album came about. This 5-year anniversary sure is a good reason to do that!

‘Take A Stand’ is an album with an electronic pop sound. Robb had no intention to officially release it. It was all just something he did, because he liked it. It was an experiment for himself to get familiar with the studio programs that he was using. He sent a rough copy to BBC, not expecting to hear back from them. Robb then went on holiday and while he was away a few friends told him that they had heard his songs on radio and that a few DJ’s had been saying really positive things about it. In the next months BBC Introducing played a lot of the tracks and Robb made the decision to officially release the album. Robb was invited to do a live session for BBC Introducing and at that stage he didn’t have a band yet. The opportunity was reason enough to get a band together and do the live session for BBC Introducing, which was recorded and broadcast in the UK.

‘Love in Abundance’ was the first single Robb released. It wasn’t until later when the video for this single was released, filmed and edited by Carl Best, lead roles by Kelly Long (HBO Game of Thrones) & Ignacy Rybarczyk (BCC Ripper Street/Faraway):

The story behind the video is guy meets girl in a coffee shop with a twist. The male lead played by Ignacy Rybarczyk (Ripper Street/Faraway) is dumped by his girlfriend, seeking solace he heads for coffee and encounters Angela, played by Kelly Long (HBO Game of Thrones) who is on a blind date. He is mesmerised by her and when her date doesn’t show he ends up being the one sharing coffee. The concept for the narrative of the video was developed by writer/director and DOP Carl Best. Together Robb and Carl worked out the ideas, keeping the plot line simple to reflect the simplicity of this song.

‘Love In Abundance’ got a lot of attention and great feedback over the years. Recently the song was used for the documentary ‘Love In A Day’ on BBC Northern Ireland.

The next single Robb released from the album was ‘On My Side’, released in March 2012.
For this video Robb teamed up with award winning short film director Patrick Maxwell of Headline Films. He captured Robb and his real life girlfriend (who is now his wife!) over the course of a day in Belfast for the video of the single ‘On My Side’.

The video starts showing a young man shifting his weight, filled with the excited nerves that come before a big date. Will the following hours hold the potential for intimacy, indifference or even rejection? He resolves to rely on his tried and tested formula — ‘We will talk and I will smile’ — after all — he’s ‘got an act to keep up dear’. But what if he just goes with it and sees what the day holds. Could it live up to his expectations? Or even surpass them? Message of this video…Stop imagining. Drop the act. Be yourself. And she might just surprise you.

The last single of the album, ‘What Do I Say?’, was released in February 2013.
Robb teamed up again with Patrick Maxwell for the music video.

‘What Do I Say?’ was filmed over a six month period at various locations in and around Belfast. This music video was created using time lapse footage mixed with a real time performance by Robb Murphy and his band at a show in The Black Box, Belfast.

The artwork of all singles and the album were created by the very talented Ronan Reid.
Ronan Reid is an artist originally from Ireland, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. His work is really amazing. Whatever idea Robb has in mind for an album or single artwork, Ro is always able to translate those ideas into amazing covers. Have a look!

Take A Stand…5 years…a milestone! it’s good to look back and write about how the album came about.
It makes me think how much has happened since and how much has changed as for Robb’s music, but that’s a different story…
Time to end this blog and celebrate this milestone with a glass of wine! Cheers!

In the spotlight: Standing ‘O’ Project / Art of the Song

It’s Sunday night. After a really beautiful sunny day and a trip to a Christmas market this afternoon it’s time to relax… The perfect time to write a blog.
I’ve been writing a lot of blogs about everything happening behind the scenes and I thought it’s time for something different.

I wrote about the numerous opportunities there are for songwriters/musicians to spread the word about their music and the challenges that come along with that before. Over the years there’s one online community we came across that really stood out to us, The Standing ‘O’ Project. It’s about time that we put them in the spotlight!

What is The Standing ‘O’ Project?
The Standing ‘O’ Project is an online community for both fans and singer-songwriters. We were made aware of The Standing ‘O’ Project a couple of years ago. Back then it was a new community founded by Vivian Nesbitt and John Dillon.
John and Vivian are both singer-songwriters and former touring musicians. They understand like no other how difficult and challenging it is for singer-songwriters to spread the word about their music and to make a living from being a musician. About 12 years ago they started to produce a radio program, called ‘Art of the Song’, showcasing singer-songwriters. ‘Art of the Song’ can be heard online, via podcast, and on over 150 public radio stations across North America.

Both John and Vivian felt that they could do more for singer-songwriters though, which resulted in The Standing ‘O’ Project.
Together with Katie Mitchell (Chief Community Builder), they built The Standing ‘O’ Project-community, bringing fans and musicians closer together. Artists can sign up for free and fans can sign up for $5 a month. Unlike other streaming services who don’t pay artists very well, Artist Members of Standing ‘O’ Project receive a full 50/50 split of subscriptions to help support their music. All of it goes to the artists, not to big record labels or publishing companies.

Fan members get access to a wealth of exclusive music, video and interview content. Fans will get a closer connection through artist’s personal insights and stories. Over 300 artists already joined the Standing ‘O’ Project, so there is an enormous amount of music to find.
Next to that there’s an archive of complete Art of the Song programs with established artists that often include rare musical performances.

There’s not a better place for music lovers to find new music!
The short video below perfectly explains what The Standing ‘O’ Project is about:

Over the past couple of years we have seen The Standing ‘O’ Project grow.
Recently they introduced ‘Fair Trade Coffee House Music’. This a special curated stream of music from Standing ‘O’ artists for independent coffee shops worldwide.
Fair Trade Music, is available to any coffee shop wanting to support independent artists and wanting to show the social responsibility of playing background music that doesn’t exploit singer-songwriters. Shops earn a referral fee when their customers join the Standing ‘O’ community. Again…another initiative of which all Artist Members will benefit. Any coffee shop wanting to know more about this can get in touch through the following email address: support@standingoproject.com

Katie, John and Vivian passionately continue to support independent singer-songwriters. They keep coming up with new ideas and services of which Artist Members will benefit. It’s all for the love of music and singer-songwriters that they are doing this which makes The Standing ‘O’ Project very special. Their support really makes a difference. Without The Standing ‘O’ Project a lot of amazing music would be overlooked.

Over to you!
Please take a moment and check out the following websites to learn more about The Art Of The Song and The Standing ‘O’ Project:
http://artofthesong.org/
https://www.standingoproject.com/

You can sign up as a fan for only $5 a month and there’s also an option for a free trial.
Robb Murphy also has an artist page on there where you can find his music and back ground information. You can also listen to an exclusive, very interesting interview John Dillon and Vivian Nesbitt had with Robb a while ago for their radio program The Art of the Song, by far the most in-depth interview Robb ever had.

https://www.standingoproject.com/artist/robbmurphy/

Time to end this long blog…with a song…as always…
It’s the start of December, not long now before it’s Christmas, so here’s a song to get you in the mood! ‘When Love Is Tangled Between Friends’, Robb released this song last year along with a Christmas themed video. Watch & enjoy!

Summer

Summer… I always enjoy summer more than any other time of the year.
The long days, sunshine, warmth, hearing the birds, seeing the butterflies, beautiful flowers, blooming bushes and trees… Windows and doors open, fresh air coming into the house… I love to just sit outside and look up to the constantly changing sky, watch the sunset or the stars…

We just returned from a holiday in Tuscany, Italy. Visiting Italy has been on our bucket list for ages, but we never had a chance to see the country until now. It’s the best holiday we’ve ever had. Thinking back of it all makes me aware of how fortunate we are that we’ve been able to do this.
We’ve experienced and seen so much. Tuscany really is one big open-air museum with a beautiful variety of landscapes, from mountains, to hills, sandy beaches, sunflower fields, olive groves, vineyards, cypresses and ancient medieval towns. A place where it’s warm and where you will see the sun every day… Italy brings a certain feeling, it’s a beautiful country which (like any other country) you will just have to visit and experience yourself. We enjoyed our stay there a lot and we will definitely go back there again. There was just too much to see and to do, we couldn’t see it all in 3 weeks!

Italy, it’s also where Robb found the inspiration to write the album Sleep Tonight. We saw many of the places that have been an inspiration to Robb, which was good. Every song on the album brings a certain feeling. A feeling that is even more intense now I’ve seen and experienced Tuscany myself. Sunny Mountain is probably the best example…”I’ve got a feeling that I’ll long for this place badly when I want to be free”…

We’re just back and I’m already longing for this place… We took home so many great memories. The house we rented was just perfect. It had a large porch where we would sit every morning when waking up with coffee, having a view on the mountains…we could see the sun go down from the porch as well and were treated on beautiful sunsets every day. I’ll not forget the moment when I went for a swim in the pool for the first time and looked around, being overwhelmed by the view…the mountains, the vineyard and around the pool the olive trees, peach trees, pear trees, fig trees and lemon trees. The owner of the house kept providing us with fresh fruit from the garden and homemade wine. Not to forget the great Italian food and ice creams! I just so loved the place, it was close enough to the beach and cities/places we wanted to visit and far away enough from the very busy touristic places to get our much needed rest.
And then there are the great (and often awkward) experiences of being in a different country…the language issues, learning new words (mostly in the supermarket), the traffic…Italian people drive slightly different than they do in The Netherlands… It’s a totally different culture where people are busy in the mornings, shops are closing in the afternoon and where you will see local people gathering on the piazzas until the most warm part of the day is over. After that the shops open again and cities and towns come back to life. Below some of the pictures we took during our time in Italy.

Right…back to reality 😉
It’s time to start working on the music again. There’s a lot to do in the following months. Robb and the band will start rehearsing again in September, followed by a tour of The Netherlands in October.
(dates can be found here: https://www.reverbnation.com/artist/artist_shows/1492877 )

Meanwhile we’re working on the last release from the album Sleep Tonight, which will be the title track. Teaming up with The Samaritans, this release aims to help raise awareness for mental health. Currently an animation is being created by very talented artist Maria Becvar using the full album version of the song, 6’30”, featuring The Ulster String Quartet.
Next to that Robb is also writing and working on songs for a new album.
Busy times ahead of us, but with our batteries charged again, we’re looking forward to what is to come!

Time to end this long blog….with a song…as always.
A new song, ‘Knock Me Down’. Robb recorded an acoustic live version of this song in Italy.
Watch, enjoy and feel free to share!

Music business??

“…you have the wrong understanding of how the music business works”

Just a quote from an email I received a while ago…
Little did I know when I started helping out and started doing things behind the scenes. Over the years I would be surprised over and over again about the music business. Surprised at the many people we’ve met who have been really supportive and genuinely kind. People who encouraged and inspired us in more than one way. Surprised at the many great opportunities that came by.
But also surprised at how rude, insulting or ignorant people can be.

“…you have the wrong understanding of how the music business works”
The person who sent me that message is right…I didn’t understand how his music business works…
In this case I sent music to a radio station, not being aware that I would be added to a mailing list and would be spammed with promo offers of the owner’s other business…
I received offers to get the music played on (mostly online) radio stations, get music placed on their own blog, get music posted on their facebook groups and and social media network, and an offer for ‘great’ gigs…all for which we would have to pay a lot of money. Maybe this works for some artists, but it’s definitely not something that we prefer to do. I unsubscribed from the newsletter. Robb’s music was removed from the station’s playlist and I received an email from the owner in which he mentioned: “…you have the wrong understanding of how the music business works”

Did that comment bother me? No, not really. It actually made me laugh. The comment did get me thinking though, because who does understand how the music business works nowadays? If one business is confusing and hard to understand it’s the music business. Sometimes I even wonder if the music business understands itself…

The only thing that really matters is to do what you love, do what brings you energy, do what makes you feel good, do what you’re good at and become better. (This counts for anyone, regardless if you’re a musician/artist or not.) Don’t take any of the negative things happening personal. Just move on and surround yourself with people who motivate you, work with like-minded people and stay true to yourself.
Music world has changed so much and today there are so many opportunities and so many ways to get your music heard. There really are so many aspects of the music business. What works for some artists doesn’t mean that it will work for others too. Keep doing your own thing, do what feels right. Try new things and always keep in mind with everything you do that it’s always better to try and fail than a couple of years later thinking ‘What if…’ Believe in yourself, trust your instincts and never give up on what you love doing.

As for Robb’s music, it may seem quiet, but behind the scenes we’re very busy. Robb and the band are working on new songs and we’re planning one last release from the album ‘Sleep Tonight’.
A couple of weeks ago Robb released a single ‘To Be A Fool’. The single got great support and some really nice feedback! Robb made a video for this single filled with silly photos and video snippets from the band and fans from around the world. If you haven’t seen the video yet, have a look:

Thank you to everyone who sent in photos and videos!

 

Where’s Wally?

The ducks are back! After not having seen them in months they’re back again since early this Sunday morning. It’s 1.30 pm and they’re still here, swimming, sun bathing and napping in our pond. It’s nice to see them again. A couple of days ago  I was looking at pictures from last year…I actually forgot about the ducks, but seeing the pictures made me wonder if they would come back again. Last year they suddenly were there in April/May. They didn’t stay for long. After a week or 4 they didn’t come back anymore and we haven’t seen them since. Looks like Spring is coming now! The weather is great out here in The Netherlands. It’s a bit chilly but the sun is shining and I’m sitting outside in the sun for the first time this year. It feels so good to be outside. Nothing is better than sunshine and fresh air!

We’ve been busy behind the scenes. A new single will be released in 3 weeks from now, on the first of April. The single will feature a new music video with silly pictures and clips from the band, fans, friends and family. Big thanks to everyone who has sent us their silly pictures and footage!

There’s also a gig coming up on Saturday the 26th of March, 12 pm.
Love Coffee NI (http://www.lovecoffeeni.com/) will be organising a marquee tent at the Good Life Festival full of great coffee, wonderful treats and 10 of their favourite artists from their Thursday Night music nights!
http://goodlifeoxfordisland.com/

Meanwhile it’s Monday morning…I’m waking up with coffee and I’m finishing this blog. The sun is coming up…another beautiful day out here!
The weather was so good yesterday, so I spent most of the afternoon outside. I started writing the blog and I meant to finish it yesterday, but the ducks distracted me and kept me entertained all afternoon.
They seemed to have had a good time in our pond, there’s plenty of food for them to find in there. We just let them be and enjoy it that they’re here. We want to remove the pond, so next year they might be disappointed when there’s no water in our garden anymore…

Time to end this blog…with a song…as always…Where's Wally?
“What Do I Say?” from Robb’s debut album “Take A Stand”.
Robb teamed up with Patrick Maxwell (http://www.headlinefilms.com/) to film this time lapse video over a six month period at various locations in and around Belfast.
This makes me remember something I forgot… Did you know that you can find Wally in this video?
Robb once did a Where’s Wally?-competition. It’s not so easy to find him, so it kept people busy for a while…;)
Have a look and see if you can find him!

 

Where’s my inspiration??

Ever tried writing when you don’t have any inspiration?
I am actually doing that right now… Since the start of the year I’ve been telling myself that I should write a blog again…which I did a couple of weeks ago. I hoped that by writing that blog inspiration to write more blogs would come back to me but it didn’t…
I really love writing but for some reason I am not inspired at the moment…
Somewhere in the past few months I lost my inspiration and I can’t remember where I left it 😉

Last Friday I told myself to write a blog again during the weekend…nothing happened… All that is happening is a little voice in my head telling me that I haven’t been writing for a long time and that it’s really time to get back into it again…
Numerous times I decided to write a blog. Determined I would start my laptop, open a blank page  and start writing…well…not really… 9 out of 10 times nothing would happen and if I did write something I was kind of disappointed after reading it…the delete button has been used a lot! What often happens is that there’s always something that distracts me…I end up searching for new music, watching silly videos, reading totally not important and irrelevant posts on Facebook or I put my laptop aside and start crocheting…or start doing things that are on my way too long to-do-list.

I’m off for two days now and yesterday I (again) decided to write a blog.
Well, here I am…writing…
And to my own surprise I already wrote more than I did in the past couple of weeks!
The subject ”no inspiration” seems to bring inspiration…
I might as well keep it going now!

As you’ve probably already noticed on social media or read in my previous blog, Robb will release a new single ‘To Be A Fool’ on the 1st of April. We’ve been receiving lots of silly pictures. Thank you to those of you who’ve already contributed to the video! If you didn’t join yet, you can still be involved!
Send your silly clips and pictures to fool@robbmurphy.com and you’ll see yourself in the finished video!

The artwork for the new single is finished and is created by Ronan Reid.

Artwork 'To Be A Fool' by Ronan Reid

Check out his website to see more of his great work! www.roistootall.com

Last but not least, there are a few gigs coming up in the following months:

Saturday 5th of March, Belfast Nashville Songwriters Festival http://belfastnashville.com/, In The Round Session in the Pretoria Concert Room in The Clayton Hotel Belfast http://www.claytonhotelbelfast.com/, doors 2.30 pm

Saturday 26th of March, The Good Life Festival, 1 pm http://goodlifeoxfordisland.com/

Saturday 9th of April, Irish Vegan Festival at the Ulster Hall, 1.30 pm
http://www.irishveganfestival.com/

Time to end this blog… No blog without a song! An old song this time, ‘Never Letting You Go’.

Listen and enjoy! And…don’t forget to download the song, it’s free!