The Future of Dr. Carmilla

doctor in kimonoWith the impending release of Arcadia City Blues, I wanted to spend a little time talking about Dr. Carmilla’s future.

At the beginning of December, I wasn’t sure when my I was next going to return to recording. There’s a huge backlog of work to be done on the Dr. C continuity. Lots of careful planning, writing and practice. I’ve been doing the Dr. Carmilla project for over 4 years now and there are plenty of songs that need working on to fit them into some sort of sensible order.

Least not, I need to get back into the swing of things with the studio before I turn my attention to re-recording Ageha and Zouka.

Both of which, by the way, had been half-finished before losing them to a computer hard-drive failure. I recorded Exhumed & {Un}plugged for many reasons, least not that it was a much quicker job to complete than something as laborious as either EPs.

And, in a turn of events that seem almost comically bad in timing, I became homeless, moved city and the condition of my health plummeted. Three months into homelessness, I finally got a wheelchair accessible house, but my health did not improve much. Fast forward one year and it’s the end of 2013: more than a year since my last release.

In that time, I didn’t always have access to a place where I could make noise or set up my studio. My health kept me in bed a lot and largely I’ve been around the house, pulling bits of studio out of storage slowly over time. A fair bit of it is still there. Needless to say, things have been pretty quiet on the Dr. C front this year. My closest companions have been pen, paper and a computer with the occasional wifi connection.

But things haven’t been *all* that quiet this past year. I did a lot of Dr. Carmilla behind-the-scenes work with the fabulous Elenor Einhorn, played a fantastic gig with said Einhorn at Nine Worlds festival, created a text-based adventure game, wrote a short comic which then got published in a wonderful comics anthology… And got invited to take part in an exhibition, which will be held late next month. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget the zine I’m one of the editors for.

Whew! Now that I look back at it that’s a lot of work. However, I guess that’s all *slightly* off topic. Now that I’ve covered the past year and a half of life (twice, sort of), it’s to bring all of this information into context.

Firstly, if you’re reading this on my website, you will have almost certainly noticed that it’s ‘Maki Yamazaki’ dot com, not ‘dr carmilla’ dot com. Does that mean that I’m ditching Dr. Carmilla?

Certainly not, No.

I’ve worked for years on Dr. Carmilla stuff and I really love it and enjoy it. Dr. Carmilla really showed me how to be a professional musician and general creative-type professional. I’ve also far too much material to simply ditch on the project- too many stories that have yet to be told.

However, Dr. Carmilla is a lot of work. Marrying not just one album, but a whole repertoire to the story of an immortal character and her life is hard work. Not something that I can just straight-out record for. Also, for all my enthusiasm, 4 years is a long time for me to dedicate all of my musical abilities to, alone.

To be brutally honest, I feel sometimes that it’s quite stagnating, trying to keep focus on only one musical project. I need to spend more time exploring what else I can do musically.

Obvious difficulties aside, part of the reason that Ageha and Zouka lie unfinished is because I’ve banged my head over and over about how to proceed with them. I definitely need to do something else with my music for a while before re-approaching them so that I don’t risk making half-baked recordings. Being a solo artist is a different challenge to working as part of a team. I don’t have many other musicians dedicated to helping me write things and checking that the material fits in with the general continuity.

The future of Dr. Carmilla is a little uncertain. I know it’s something that I’m definitely going to be returning to working on full-time, I just don’t know when. In the mean time, there will possibly be the occasional Dr. Carmilla gig and some song-writing, but things are looking to be pretty quiet on that side of things.

But enough sad news: Lets roll on to the good news!