Song Stories - Mi Ritiro•
Posted on June 09 2023
I have always been interested in knowing more about the production process behind songs and music videos, and I thought you might be too! I wanted to share the story behind the creation of the second single from my debut album, ‘Lost In Love’.
Read on to find out more about the writing, recording and filming of 'Mi Ritiro'!
The Story Behind 'Mi Ritiro'
'Mi Ritiro' is a bitter-sweet love song that I wrote for my debut album, 'Lost In Love'. It’s essentially a story about falling for someone and realising that person is not who you thought they were, then having to admit that to yourself.
I wrote 'Mi Ritiro' in Italian as being classically trained, some of my favourite arias that I sing are in Italian. This, in combination with the call to write in the original language of love, seemed appropriate.
I had written the lyrics, and most of the melody, then I teamed up with my good friend, and wonderful pianist, Stefano Marzanni. He helped write the harmony and arrange the piano in a way that sounded classical yet simple. I wanted the song to sound like something in between an aria from a modern opera, and a song from the soundtrack of an old Italian movie.
Stefano leads the instrumentation with the beautiful original piano arrangement alongside the string section. On violin, I have award-winning violinist Dermot Crehan who has played on the Lord of the Rings Soundtrack, with Andrea Bocelli, Annie Lennox and many others; I am so blessed to have him on my track! Then I have Alice Sophie on cello, Alexander Verster on double bass; Graham Pike on brass and Tom E. Morrison playing keyboard. Oh, and myself as the vocalist, of course!
Making The Music Video for 'Mi Ritiro'
Once the track was ready I knew I had to make a beautiful music video to accompany the song. I started story boarding and planning my outfit. The dress I wear in the video is the same dress that is on my album cover ‘Lost in Love’.
Producing music videos is something that I have really started to enjoy, it feels like I can engross myself in the final presentation of the song I wrote and although it’s always hard work I think the end result is worth it!
I wanted this music video to capture the simplicity and elegance of the song. My last video for ‘In Too Deep’ was a really complex shoot, in 4 different locations, over 4 days which I thought worked well for the nature of that song. However, for ‘Mi Ritiro’ I wanted to bring everything down to the key elements and keep it in a very linear dimension.
I asked my brother, Laurence Hardy, to shoot the music video. Although he lives in Melbourne, Australia, he happened to be in England at the time when I was looking for a Director. He agreed to be the Director of Photography and Editor and once I knew he was on board I was so excited!
We discussed our ideas and he suggested I took a look at the Coldplay, ‘Yellow’ music video. He explained that to shoot the video like that, we would have to speed the song up to double the original tempo and then slow it back down to normal speed in post-production. This way you get this very light, ethereal effect, which sounded perfect so it was just a matter of timing as he was leaving in a week!
I already had the location and look in mind, but singing the song double the speed and in Italian took a lot of practice. However, I got there in the end!
The location we chose was a beautiful woodland in Hampshire, England, and we filmed at dusk to try to get the beautiful golden light. When it was time to shoot, everything came together seamlessly as I was well rehearsed and my brother has such a good eye. There is something to be said when working with your sibling as I found that we could read each other’s minds. We ended up shooting the video in about 3 hours!
I really enjoy the experience of producing videos, but it is a lot of hard work! Currently, as an independent artist, I am doing everything myself, from costume design and hair and make-up through to finding locations, storyboarding and organising the shoot.
I can’t complain though, I find the whole process fascinating and exciting and I am looking forward to making more as it’s the time I get to put together my two loves; acting and singing.
I hope you have enjoyed getting to know a little bit about the background of ‘Mi Ritiro’ from my debut album ‘Lost in Love’!
Sending you love and light,
To watch the 'Mi Ritiro' music video, click here!