SoulJahm Timeline


April/May 2009 - A vision of Music & Europe presents itself in a dream.

Summer 2009 - Move flat from Springvalley Gardens to Jordan Lane.

Summer 2009 to Summer 2010 - Daily discussions between David & Kate spontaneously occur, building and expanding on the original Europe Music vision.

Summer 2010 - Kate increasingly becomes frustrated with her admin job in Edinburgh. Signs begin appearing relating to Barcelona and continue in frequency as the summer progresses.

August 2010 - Kate resigns from her job. The feeling to leave everything behind and head to continental Europe is very strong. When this news is relayed to SBC (see Beware Of Darkness) she completely freaks out, which leads to a bust-up between Kate and I on one side and she and her husband on the other.

October 2010 - Kate and I fly out to Barcelona at the beginning of October, intending to spend several months there. Within days our laptop is stolen (no insurance) and our path is diverted. By the end of the month we are in Paris.

November 2010 until February 2011 - We travel around mainland Europe, following signs & synchronicities, with no laptop, phone or digital devices. We spend the winter in Berlin and with little else to do, we begin manifesting automatically, through enthusiastic conversations.

February 2011 - We end up in Vienna where we acquire a ukulele, melodica, mic/audio interface and a new laptop. This signifies the beginning of Music entering the picture in Europe.

March 2011 - After months of moving around, staying in hotels and short-term apartments, we manage to get some stability with a long-term stay in Budapest. With our new equipment we begin playing Music and making videos. The name SoulJahm presents itself in what we think is a temporary vehicle to carry these new songs and videos. The first video we put out is a ukuele/melodica performance of "Why Do You Run" from our flat in Budapest. The song was written in Edinburgh back in 2009.

April 2011 - Still in Budapest, we change flats a few times, and by the time of leaving we've put out several new videos - "Karl-Marx-Allee", "Spitting Out The Shit" and "Suzanne".

May 2011 - In Salzburg I write "Walking Through A Postcard" on ukulele.

June 2011 - Moving on to Giudecca, an island off Venice, two songs are written here on ukulele - "Giudecca" and "Italian Saturday".

July 2011 - After stays in Florence and Bologna we end up in Milan in an apartment with a piano. We now have capabilities to record 'studio' tracks and in an intense 5-day period in the piano apartment, we put down the skeleton arrangements of around 13 new songs, based around this piano. These were intended as demos for our own reference which we'd work on more completely somewhere down the line.

August 2011 - We go through a crisis period, trying to stay afloat and at the same time progress with these recordings. Circumstances seem to be working against us. We move on from Milan to Turin and back to Milan then Turin again before we end up in Nice, France. The song "U-Turn" is written in this period. In Nice, the apartment has a digital piano which I write the song "Nice" on.

September 2011 - Meet with Kate's parents in Barcelona for a few days. Discuss our plans about moving forward. We regain some stability after the crisis period. Move on to Amsterdam and spend a few days with my brother, Mark. Kate and I then move on to Paris.

October 2011 - After a shaky two week period, moving from hotel to hotel in Paris, we manage to secure a month long stay in an apartment. We are able to replace our suitcases for bigger ones but still desperately could do with a third person as our belongings are growing and we're struggling to carry everything.

November 2011 - We move into a second month long apartment in Paris where, despite my hesitation that we couldn't travel with anymore stuff, my guitar arrives from Edinburgh, after I was persuaded to bring it into the picture. The Christmas atmosphere in Paris inspires me to re-record an old Christmas song, "Christmas (C'mon)", with the guitar. We move on to Berlin intending to hibernate for the winter.

December 2011 - Finish up "Christmas (C'mon)" in Berlin and it becomes the first official SoulJahm release as a digital single on December 7th. To celebrate we go out to the Alexanderplatz Christmas market. Out of nowhere, Kate gets an electric shock feeling up her leg and has trouble walking so we have to go home early.

February 2012 - Intending to leave Berlin after January, we decide to stay on an extra month when we discover the premiere of the Bob Marley documentary film, Marley, is taking place in Berlin. We move into an apartment in Friedrichshain and buy tickets for the film, where Neville Garrick appears to introduce it.

March 2012 - We move onto Budapest for the second time and stay in a modern apartment for a month where we continue working on songs and practising. "Why Do You Run" is recorded here and this apartment features in the video. It would become the next official SoulJahm single.

April 2012 - We have to move to an apartment on the outskirts of Budapest for a couple of weeks. We can't do much work there so find ourselves taking a break, playing Sim City most of the time, despite usually having no interest in computer games!

May 2012 - Mark and my Dad come over to join us and we all get an apartment in central Budapest, on Rózsa utca. The apartment is on the top floor and has a large terrace where we recorded a few live performances of our new songs. This became known as the Budapest Terrace Sessions.

June 2012 - After Mark and my Dad left, with Kate's condition making it difficult to move around freely and easily, we were having trouble moving on from Budapest. Another crisis period where things almost fell apart somehow miraculously turned around and we recorded vocals for "Giudecca" and "Voice" in our final apartment before moving on. In total we stayed there about 5 months, our longest stay yet in one place.

August 2012 - By this time we had managed to fly to Rome, staying first in a hotel and then a short-stay apartment, where we watched the London Olympics Opening Ceremony. Remember it feeling very dark and unsettling as we watched. After a few weeks we moved onto a place called Spello, in Umbria where we were able to continue our work. An acoustic version of "That's How It Goes" was recorded here.

September 2012 - From Spello we moved onto Perugia where we stayed a few weeks in an apartment. During this period we were in an arcade mall across the road from Bologna train station when two Italian girls in their early 20s approached me and were gesturing. They couldn't speak English but seemed to think I was somebody famous and were asking for my autograph. During the encounter I had no idea what they were trying to ask me but afterwards I realised. We recorded two acoustic performances in the apartment in Perugia - "Sunrise" and "October Rose" - and also wrote and recorded "Where Are The People".

October 2012 - Moved from Perugia to Bologna and managed to remain in Bologna until January 2013. During our time there Kate upgraded her tiny little Korg keyboard to a full-size digital piano. The intention was for us to spend a lot of time practising on acoustic guitar and piano. As crazy as it sounds, it all made sense at the time as our stays in places were becoming longer and we figured we'd ship the piano onto our next destinations via courier. In Bologna we mostly practised but also recorded these tracks - "Spitting Out The Shit" and "Borders" - as well as recording vocals for a few songs we were working on.

January 2013 - Moved on from Bologna to Ventimiglia where we secured a several month stay in a small apartment looking out over the sea. We had passed Ventimiglia on the train a year earlier, on our way from Turin to Nice, and I had commented that we will stay here one day. The digital piano arrived a few days after us and we were set-up to get on with work for the next few months. Kate's condition had worsened at this time and gradually she found it hard to go to the shops for groceries so I started going alone. We carried on practice and recording through till the summer. Tracks recorded here included "Europa Spezial" and "The Professionals".

July 2013 - We moved back to Bologna for a week to meet up with Kate's parents again. After a short stay in Bologna, the four of us took a night train to Paris and then onto Amsterdam where they had booked a house stay for a month. Since Kate was finding it increasingly difficult to move around, we discussed with her parents what our next move should be. We all agreed that the best thing was to base ourselves somewhere more permanent and where we could focus solely on the work. During this time we recorded a couple of piano versions of "Karl-Marx-Allee" and "That's How It Goes".

August 2013 - Kate and I returned to Edinburgh to stay with my brother Mark for a few months. We began acquiring music gear and equipment to enable us to move into the next phase of SoulJahm. It was premature to how we'd imagined it, but we were now going to set ourselves up with a small home studio. The only question was where would we be based? Kate made enquiries about Berlin, Budapest and we briefly considered Edinburgh.

November 2013 - Out of nowhere, one of the Budapest apartments Kate enquired about back in August got back to us. Of all the places we'd enquired the landlord was the most friendly and enthusiastic about our music plans, she was into spirituality, and the apartment itself seemed welcoming for what we wanted to do. It was also by far the cheapest. The warning sign was her name - Bogi. Still, there was no other options so we committed to it. We agreed to a 6-month stay with the possibility of extending.

January 2014 - After arranging a removal service to transport our stuff to Budapest, we flew out to Budapest, assisted by my Dad, who stayed with us for a week, helping to set-up the studio. Then we were on our own. Bogi, who had been friendly to begin with, began to become more intrusive and eventually somewhat unhinged the longer we were in her apartment. By this time Kate couldn't do much but wanted to be around the Music so she'd sit on the couch behind me, watching and listening, as I worked on more elaborate recordings, attempting to take the Music to a higher level.

April 2014 - Kate's condition deteriorated rapidly and, reluctantly, we had to call her parents over from Australia. She was taken to hospital where she remained for a few weeks.

May 2014 - On the 13th May 2014 Kate died in hospital after an unsuccessful operation. It seemed the SoulJahm journey had come to an end just round the corner from where it had started - in Budapest. After Kate's parents returned to Australia, I was left to pack up our stuff in Budapest (with the help of my Dad who had been called over by Kate's parents) and with Bogi on our back, being difficult, we tied up the loose ends and go out of her apartment. My Dad returned to Edinburgh and I moved on alone to Berlin (after many signs pointed in that direction) in an attempt to continue the work Kate and I had started.

  • A more detailed account of the early phase of our Europe travels (pre-SoulJahm) can be found here.

  • Listen to the SoulJahm album 'Sketches Of Europa' (2023).