A huge opportunity and serious illness.

Told by The CiC's manager / mother. 


And then THE HUGE RECORD LABEL CALLED

In May 2016 I was contacted by an A&R man from one of the biggest record labels in the world. He invited us to London for a meeting with him and his boss. After a very good meeting, it was agreed that The CIC would record two demo songs, in the classical crossover genre. They wanted her to make her own versions, including adding new parts. Both  songs that were chosen would be almost impossible to play on electric guitar, live, something I was very aware of. The CIC, however, accepted the challenge, despite the cautionary words from me regarding one of the songs. My words were something like this;

"It is the most beautiful song. but given the hell you will have to endure to try to make it sound good, especially in that one section we discussed, I am worried. My concern is about how it will have to be played,  technically speaking, and what that might do to your hands and fingers. the result might not justify neither the effort nor risk of injury. In my opinion, that song is NOT suitable for guitar."

i voiced my opinion in a very cautious way, knowing full well that in the end it would have to be HER decision. This was, after all, a huge opportunity.

However, my concern was over ruled and the project began. It reqiured putting everything else on hold and work on only that.

AFter  a few weeks of very intense and hard work she was asked to show them the result, by performing live in front of around 10 people, at a business meeting they were having. We both warned the label people that it was way early, but they still wanted her to do it. All of a sudden she had to incorporate moving around with stage presence, while learning to play impossible things on guitar and coming up with new parts and arrangements. But she accepted the challenge. She performed the "easier" one of the songs In August 2016 and it was a success.

Moving around, being on top of monitors and kneeling down on the floor, while playing it, was doable.

 

 

In September 2016 we went to London for some days and she recorded the Demo versions of the songs at the record label's studio. The result was amazingly beautiful, catchy and very cool. We were all very upbeat after that.


In October 2016 she played both songs for the person responsible for the project at the record label. Before we went there we were told that they did not care about the stage presence that day. They wanted to see that she could play the songs perfectly. She played both songs flawlessly (I have it on video), but then the man in charge said he wanted her to move around more, "have more stage presence" or whatever he thought of that day. Keep in mind that she played for him inside the recording room at the label's studio, and she had about 1 x 1 meters of floor space that day... She went back home and practiced some more. Again and again, all the time filmed by me, until she found a way to do it the way the record label wanted it.

The next stage would be a performance for the boss himself, they said. They would organize rehearsals in London, on a real stage, with cameras and everything, to make sure it was all ready for the big day. 

The date for the rehearsal was pushed back, again and again and eventually it never happened. Everything dragged out and all of a sudden it was Christmas. We still had not heard anything specific, apart from that this was pretty much a done deal. "Don't worry. They really want to sign her," was the message I got every time I spoke to someone involved.  I had my doubts. Something seemed too random for me to make me convinced. Or maybe that is the way the record labels work. I really do not know.

ILLNESS STRIKES

At the end of NOvember 2016 The CIC was struck by a vicious parasite infection in her stomach, called Crypto.  She probably contracted it from petting farm animals, on our daily walks. She was seriously ill for weeks, just when  we were waiting for the final news about a performance for the "big guy."

In mid January we got a call from the A&R guy who had discovered her online. There would be no rehearsal in London, but he would drive all the way to where we lived, to see her rehearse. "She is not at her best," I told him. "She has been terribly ill and I really think we should push this back until she has fully recovered. She has only been playing again for a week!"

"NO worries, it is just a rehearsal," he repeated.


Again, against my advice, The CIC also insisted on performing for them. 

The man arrived and  again he said "It's Nothing to worry about. It is just a rehearsal. It does not matter if it's not perfect. I want to see her ideas for stage presence and movements." He pulled out  the phone and started to film her. It gave me a very bad feeling. Not because she wasn't good. She was great. But  she wasn't near her usual self, physically or mentally, after the parasite infection. She delivered and I have it all on video. She moved around and gave it all. Despite playing only one mistake in a challenging part of one of the songs ("don't worry, it is just a rehearsal...") The A&R guy waited two weeks before he called me. He said that they did not think she was ready, since she had played some mistakes. The conversation made no sense to me and to this day it doesn't. They were apparently really interested in her if she had other projects, but they had decided she was not ready for that project.  both The CIC and I were appalled by their decision and also the lack of understanding for the fact that she had been seriously ill. In fact, when I told her doctors about that event, no one understood how she was able to hold a guitar at that point. Let alone play classical virtuoso pieces on it!

Her health showed some improvement over the next weeks. In March 2017 she and I flew to Norway to be part of a recording of a song for the world championship in road cycling. The project was very badly organised, which added a lot of stress and irritation to both of us, in addition to long days in the studio.

Shortly after returning to our home in England, the CIC's health started to deteriorate rapidly. She became bedridden and the long journey of finding out what it was and how to recover from it started.
The first challenge was the public health care system, NHS. To see a gastroenterologist, she would have to wait up to six months, for an appointment. I saw my daughter getting weaker by the day and there was no way I was going to let her wait for months.
After seeing  various private experts in the medical field, they all agreed that she suffered from a post infectious syndrome and that recovery would take from 12 to 18 months. The key to recovery would be pacing and not try to push herself, while at the same time adding enough exercise and activity to not fade away completely.
At that point she was bedridden most of the day and had problems tolerating any kind of food, due to severe stomach pain. I had turned into her care taker, despite fighting Glandular Fever myself. It was not an easy time for the family.

The intense guitar playing she had been doing, while preparing to perform for the record label had resulted in another problem, a very painful sholder injury, to make matters worse. This required another set of private specialists and regular treatments for months.

In October 2017 she was strong enough to fly to Norway and be a judge and coach on the nation's biggest TV show again, "The Battle of the stars." She loves the show and had a great time doing it.  However, after the live broadcast she was exhausted. That was a reminder that she still had some way to go, before she would reach full recovery.

In November / December 2017 she all of a sudden felt much better and was able to start exercising "as normal", with pilates and light jogging, again. She also started to play guitar again and was pleased to see that she had not lost anything, when it comes to technique and feel. However, her eagerness to do everything again backfired and she hit the wall again during Christmas. Her Gastroenterologist had warned her that "If you push yourself too hard, too soon, all wheels will come off and you are back to square one again!"

Wiser from the experience in December she is now pacing her activities, playing and recording guitar every other day, instead of many hours a day, working on the final details of her upcoming album. She spends her time reading lots of books, resting, doing light exercise and getting engaged in local projects in the village where we live. She has also completed her training as a professional opera singer, in the old school bel Canto technique, over the last six months. She loves singing opera and her very unique vocal range, up to C8, puts her firmly in the pure coloratura category, among sopranos.
The main challenge in her everyday life is still that she "shuts down" mentally and physically and falls asleep, after just a few hours awake. At times, it is very frustrating for both of us and it makes it very hard to plan activities from day to day. But, she is getting stronger and that is all that counts. Every doctor we have met have said she will make a full recovery. Just give it time.

We have been a professional team for almost 10 years. To everybody's surprise, we have achieved everything we have done alone, without any big budget or network to help us. We started out with nothing but our combined talents and skills + a willingness to work harder than anyone else.
The support of independent magazines / websites, online radios and online fans during the first years helped us taking The CIC to the next level, then to the next level and then the next.  The entire career of The CIC, from the first small radio playing one of her songs, to nationwide coverage on big TV shows, being featured and interviewed in world leading magazines, etc has been "Organic" in the sense that no marketing budget was ever there. It is truly a result of fans sharing music, word of mouth (online and offline) combined with her very unique gifts and qualities as an artist appealing to a wide audience. Many of those first online supporters have turned in to life long friends of ours, something we both appreciate a lot. The love and support over the years have drowned out the vicous haters she has also encountered.

CURRENT PROJECTS AND the FUTURE

The CIC has recorded 75% of a new album, with new original music. She wants to get it ready and released this year, preferably before or during the summer.
With the new album, the circle will be complete, in many ways.


From her first EPs, where she unleashed her fury at big corporations, corrupt politicians, the big brother surveillance state etc, when she started out in Heavy Metal. To her classical crossover album, where she showcased her excellent technique and feel, as a guitarist. Both genres displaying her willinges to go her own way and be a trailblazer.


On the new album, she goes personal. As an artist, she has matured. this is the grown up Commander-In-Chief telling you exactly how she feels, with the ease and skills only a seasoned artist can display.  It is her voice and two guitars. Both played by her.
All the vocals were recorded live (no auto tune, as usual) as was the acoustic 7 string guitar.
In addition, she is adding electric guitar, with a very smooth, clean tone, reminding everyone who listens why she has been called "1 of 10 modern guitar gods!"

She has developed her very own sound and feel by now, something the listener will recognise. The songs are hauntingly beautiful, with catchy hooks and lyrics many can relate to. In my humble opinion it is the best music she has ever written and I look forward to promoting the songs and the album.

Needless to say, the last 18 months have been very tough on our family, financially. The absence of income, combined with expenses to private specialists and treatments have been a true challenge to cope with. For that reason we wrote this update, in the hope that someone will think she is worthy of some financial support, to help her finish her new album and also finish her 2nd children's book.


If you would like to contribute by making a donation of your choice, please use the link below to do so. Your kind love and support is greatly appreciated!

On a personal note; the journey we have taken together with my daughter's fans over the last 10 years have been the most exciting time of my life. I cannot thank each and every one of you enough for the time, loyalty, love and support you have showed her! As a manager, it is great to see that. As a mother, it warms my heart even more.

Support this independent artist by contributing to the final part of her new album recording and her 2nd children's book, by donating here. Thank you so much for your support!

With amazing platinum  producer John Haywood and The CIC's brilliant producer of many years, James Mottershead.

Watching her playing through the songs once more, before her performance for the men at the record label. It was a surreal day.