Hey Olyvia

Olyvia turned 30 last Saturday (4th October 2008).  She probably won’t get around to writing anything about it, so in brief: in the morning she, Sam, and I went to the Matakana Farmers’ Market (good, but very difficult with a 2-year-old), then to the market at the Matakana Country Park (the one where the combined coffee group 2nd birthday was).  In the early afternoon we had lunch with Nana and Poppa, who took Samuel back with them to stay the night at Nana’s.  In the meantime, Simon, Jo, Debbie, Ben, Antony, Geoff, Vanessa, Tobey, Mike, Jacs, and Erica (did I miss someone?) came over for a BBQ dinner & party.  Everything went well – Olyvia only making it to bed at 6:30am!

For her birthday, I gave Olyvia a song.  No, not a 99c iTunes song – I commissioned a song for her.  I chose Geoff Smith as the artist – I really like his music, I figured it was likely that he would be open to doing it (and not unreachably expensive), and I thought his style of music would probably be ok with Olyvia.  A few months back, I emailed Geoff asking whether he’d be able to help out, and started the process off.  He got me to compile some information about Olyvia, we exchanged a few emails and talked over Skype (the most clear, no-lag, Skype conversation I’ve ever had, for some reason), and then he set to work in his studio writing something.

I got the song back in August (my first day in Whangarei for the year – I had to listen to it up there on headphones!), and really liked it.  Then I just had to wait weeks to be able to give it to Olyvia & see whether this was a big mistake or not!  Turns out that she likes it, and the idea, so all is well.  You’re welcome to listen to it: “Hey Olyvia”, by Geoff Smith (right-click and ‘save as’ if you want to download it, or just click to listen).

I’d definitely do this again – I think next time (if there is one), I’d write a little story and use that as the background material.  Not because I dislike how this one came out, but I’d be interested to see how well that works.  I’d definitely use Geoff again – I can’t recommend him highly enough to anyone interested in getting some music made.  Not only a great musician, but from all the contact I had with him, one of the nicest people you could meet.  Looking forward to a NZ tour!

p.s. I obviously also recommend checking out Geoff’s other music: in particular I really like “Set the Music Free”, “Rose”, “So I’m Writing”, “If This Geek Ruled the World”, “Not on the Radio”, and “Loving on a Big Hill”.  For non-tech people, his first album (available in iTunes) is probably best – for those in the tech world, “Ones and 0s” is great, too (and the concept of a ‘dynamic album’ I find really interesting and I hope others follow suit).  For those with iPhones, there’s also RingtoneFeeder.com, featuring iPhone ringtones and short (30 second) songs suitable for ringtone use.

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