Letter 1

After signing with Warner Classics in the Spring of 2000, the sessions that eventually produced the Brilliant Midnight album took place in my home studio and a local chapel in the summer and autumn of that year. A stream of visiting friends, aides, musicians and well wishers. brass bands, djs, drummers, guitarists and many other talented individuals passed through the village, found their way to the cottage, and made their contribution to the sessions.
From there Freya and I went to Real World studios to mix the tracks with Stuart Bruce and we celebrated the year’s end by presenting the album to the record company on Christmas eve. Sadly, once the record was delivered it became clear that the label and I were not quite singing from the same hymn sheet. There were many arguments and eventually compromises made over the running order, remixes, artwork, photographs, the album title and even the names of individual songs. As you know I’ve played the cello and sung with a few quite well known artists and the record company was very keen on having some of these people playing on the album but, for this record at least, I had rejected that idea out of hand. I think this was rather a disappointment to them.

A lot of the record company ground troops really loved the music but the folding of classical and pop stylings into each other had clearly confused the issue. The confusion stretched as far as the company’s classical and pop sales and marketing departments in the neither of whom seemed entirely sure whose ball it was.

So it was a slightly botched version of the album that was rush released in the United States in May of 2001. Those fans that managed to find it seemed to like what they heard but the record had yet to be released in the Uk, Ireland, France, Italy, Spain and many other countries close to my heart when Warner Classics abruptly ceased to exist in December of last year. Essentially a year had passed and we were back to square one. Fortunately my contract afforded me the rare luxury of being able to walk away from Warners with the masters to the album and a second opportunity to correct mistakes, including my own, and give the record another shot at finding its place in the world.

So, after all that I have been back in my studio, this time in a different house and in a different county, reworking three tracks which were omitted from the original release. I’ve also come up with a new and more organic running order rather than putting all the pop material at the beginning and all the ‘difficult’ music towards the end. I hope there will be many things in this new music that you will like but in order to make room on the cd we’ll also be omitting the remix of ‘All I Have’ which I had no direct input into.

To release this new version of the record I have also started my own label called Ringing Tree Records and hope to bring you many more releases both from myself and other artists with whom I share some kind of musical affinity. We will launch Ringing Tree Rrecords with the release of ‘Brilliant Midnight 2.0’ in the UK on September 9th.

As an aside, for those of you who have also followed my erratic parallel career as a bemused dance diva, there will also be news of some interesting collaborations that I am involved in but are, as yet, a little hush hush.

What we have yet to address is how to compensate the people who kindly bought the original version of the album and are effectively being asked to think about buying it again for an additional 15 minutes of music. Chances are that we’ll make these three tracks and the ‘All I Have’ remix available for download from this site during the Autumn.

Finally I would like to thank a few people who although thanked on the original cd have stuck with it and been there still working away, often for no money (so far…). Stuart Bruce has been fantastic as usual, generous with ideas and time, Karen Shook spent ages building the great website; for that many many thanks; my dear friends Ingrid Schroeder and Barry Flynn who have been involved since before I thought of going to a major – I’m back where you said I should be all along! And above all Ian Blackaby who’s stuck with me through thin and thin. So, apologies for the delays in getting this record to you and rest assured I’ll be heading back to the studio for record number three very soon.

– Caroline Lavelle

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