I’ll skip the excuses. This poor blog has been ignored. We’ve been busy!
2015 is the year we learned collectively what it’s like to record a lot of music –– two CDs worth, make editing decisions for one, and still rehearse for concerts. It’s been exciting and tiring.
As I write this, we are very close to completion of our first recording, which will be released by PARMA Recordings. On TV and in the movies, recording looks so glamorous –– THE ARTIST blows into the studio with their entourage, who scurry around to make sure THE ARTIST has everything they could possibly need before they even know they want it. Works are thrown down in one take. Playback is painless, inspiring, and as they listen, headphones that never mess up a strand of hair are used. Moments later, the project is miraculously ready for release.
You have to love TV.
In real life, we shlepped out to Brooklyn on the Q train. (Just to be completely honest, Suzanne was able to walk to the studio.) Every single session day, it either rained, poured or snowed. Our entourage never showed, though the fabulous Peter Karl, a terrific engineer with a great studio, always had coffee and tea ready.
We’d dry off, then start tracking. We always followed the same general plan: Record the whole movement through, complete –– sometimes twice –– then record the movement in chunks. If there was a particularly problematic section, we would do that a few more times. Most of our sessions were about three hours, and thankfully we had Peter and our producer, John Frisch, there to keep us on track.
In November, right before Thanksgiving, we finished tracking for our CD (and yes, it has a title, but I am not saying what it is yet) and immediately starting recording Scott Brickman’s works for his CD, which will also be released by PARMA.
(For his CD, Scott wrote each of us a solo piece with piano, as well as a piano quartet. French Suite, which he wrote for us and we premiered last November, will also be on this recording. In addition to the continuing work on our CD, we were also rehearsing with pianist Beth Levin, and heading out to Peter Karl’s –– in the rain –– to record.)
In my imaginary world, once you, THE ARTIST, is done tracking, you’re done. This is how it works when you’re hired to play a session: Show up, do your job, get paid, go home.
But when it’s your project you are in for the long haul –– all the way –– so with the same intensity of our rehearsals, the three of us and our producer, John, listened to everything we recorded and figured out which takes we were going to use. Fortunately, everything was perfect every time, and so the selection process took no time at all…
I like to live in my fantasy world. Everything is so easy there.
After a few more trips to Peter’s –– in the rain –– all the edits were done. (And as I write about Peter Karl and his excellent studio, it has begun to rain again!)
And then the files went off to Parma for mastering… and we’re done!
Well, not quite. More listening. The Parma engineers are wonderful. They created masters, listened to our feedback, and responded with adjustments. They gave us many final versions to choose from, but ultimately we could only choose one. And this time it happened: All three of us chose the same one. And so now, we really are done.
Of course when one project comes to a finish, the next one gets cooking. Very soon, we’ll start the edit process on Scott Brickman’s CD….but maybe a trip to the beach and a Hell’s Kitchen Fizz* first!
*Recipe for Hells Kitchen Fizz, courtesy Matt Goeke
- Bombay Sapphire Gin (Or whatever Gin you like)
- Black Currant Juice
- Club Soda
- Lime for garnish
Put ice in a nice tall glass
Add gin and juice (1/3 gin, 2/3 juice)
Top with a splash of the soda
Garnish with lime