Before signing to Warners in 1995 I had already taken a few turns around the record companies and although I was signed I had little else to show for it. In the meantime I was watching the progress of artists who were skilfully controlling their own destinies such as Ani Di Franco, Sarah McLaughlin and Loreena McKennitt. To put it kindly, the attitude of my major record label was not supportive of creativity which didn’t rigidly follow the crowd; a little disheartening when people like Massive Attack, William Orbit and Vangelis are asking you to collaborate with them. As my friends in the same position as me, ie signed to majors, were all having similar knocks to their self-confidence, I felt that broadly, the attitude of the other major record companies was the same as that at my own; so it seemed there was nowhere better to go.
After a brief detour with Warner Classics, Ringing Tree Records was brought into being for the release of Brilliant Midnight 2.0.
This process of invention has been almost completely enjoyable and A Distant Bell was my first recording from scratch with no record company to fund it or to hinder the creative flow.
I am not planning to release music by any other artists in the immediate future but that too will come as soon as I’ve convinced myself that I can take on that responsibility without doing unto others as was done to me!
I would dearly love to be able to make all my music available to you and I share many people’s frustrations at the continuing difficulty of finding ‘Spirit’ and its related singles and mixes. I am doing my best to try and bring some of this music to you. In the meantime I suggest you look to the likes of eBay and Gemm.com where the early records can often be found at alarmingly bargain prices!
If you happen to have got my music for free via P2P services or simply copied someone else’s CD then please remember that this is my life and work. If you feel the music has entertained you please go to CD Baby and buy one for a friend.
Finally I would like to particularly thank Yoko Nozaki, Richard England, Giovanni Mazzucchelli, Steve Gardner, Chris and Susan, Kelly Pike and all the other lovely people without whose support taking the high road would have been much more difficult.
Having now seen the business in closer detail from this side, my admiration for those artists who have forged their own labels has only increased and if you have any comments or suggestions as to how I run Ringing Tree feel free to drop me a line.