Thursday, 5 November 2009

Studio Log: Days Three and Four

I need to fill in a bit of background to this studio log entry. Bear with me!

Sometimes a composition takes years to come to maturity. A long time ago, I'm guessing that it would be around three years ago, I went over to the studio to record some music that I hoped to punt to an agency who deals with film music. One of the compositions I took with me back then proved too hard to 'let go'; I felt it had a bit more life to it than to see it spend its days waiting for a director to pick it up and use it for some anonymous purpose. I came over all possessive, y'see...

So when I knew I was recording a new CD, I immediately thought of this particular tune and how I should seize the opportunity to at last give it wings and let it fly. But its metamorphosis wasn't quite done, because when I said I wanted to use it, producer Martin Holmes said he thought I should play it on classical guitar as per the original session and not on steel string as I had intended. The thing is, I've been playing the tune on steel string for the past three years or so and so I had got used to hearing it that way, but Martin's major point of reference was those original sessions.

Now, never let it be said that I don't respond to ideas and so I practised the piece on nylon string (an Admira Elena-E) and went over to the studio to record it. It turns out that Martin was right; the fragility and vulnerability that the classical guitar brings to the piece breathes new life into it.

So far so good, but there was another element on those original sessions. Back then, I was in the studio with a double bass player called Ken Knussen, someone I've known since we were at school together. We both had professional music in our sights back then but Ken went into classical music and is now a very busy freelance player. So I called Ken and he was able to fit a session for me into his incredibly hectic schedule.

We haven't mixed the recording yet, but it's safe to say that the piece which has the working title 'Come Find Me' has changed yet again, Ken's bass offering another dimension, not to mention a new counter-melody.

I'm wrestling with the idea of expanding it still further by adding strings, but we're adopting an 'acoustic only' policy and so it's quite likely that we'll be wrangling some faded-in guitar chords to sound like a violin section instead.

I think it will sound grand and can't wait to get back over to the studio to add the final touches.

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