Tuesday, August 23, 2005

And now the end is near............

Blogging has been the red-headed step child of my recent interests. The musical biorhythms have been waxing, and I have made the final push to finish my long-gestating album. I started this about four years ago, foolishly thinking I'd record a three song EP. Two months until done and dusted, at most, I thought. Oh, how wrong I was. I am always overly optimistic about these things. Three songs became eight. Eventually, the songs were recorded, mixed, and mastered, in the interim, however, there was 9/11, two babies born, and two houses bought (I think myself and Tash may be masochists). Our new home came with a studio, and it was an utter delight to have a room for my gear and a place just for music - but it also meant construction, re-wiring, and setting up a whole new studio. No small feat. I happily discovered that vocals recorded in the new studio sounded much better than in the spare room of our old apartment, so a few songs got new vocal tracks, which means remixing and re-mastering. An expensive lesson. Mastering is not cheap.
When all was said and done, I realised that my rock and roll side was a little under represented. I had the perfect song. I took music lessons with the lovely Jessica Will for a few years, and last year, as a bet with myself, I decided to write a song for one of her student recitals, as opposed to doing a cover or singing one of my own long-written tunes. This was a fun experiment, I had limited time, and I wanted the song to rock, but also sound good with just voice and acoustic guitar. I pulled out all the musical tricks, and rewrote the lyrics until all the fat was trimmed. I hadn't intended recording it for the album, but it was perfect as an opening song. So, everything got delayed again. I also wanted to rehearse with Gareth, my drummer, before recording, as opposed to putting down a click track, layering the instruments and then having the drummer come in and work out a part and record it - a process that takes a few days, as he is essentially learning the song on the fly. Rehearsing and recording as a band first gives more of a "live" feel to the music. Anyhow, finally, the bones of the song are recorded and so far, I love it. A funny thing happened along the way - I discovered a new side of my voice. I am still in the process of discovering my singing. My voice used to be a limited instrument; I sang by default, as I usually wrote the songs in the bands I played with. I really saw myself as a guitarist. After recording the album, "One last Bonfire," with Stride, on which I sang, I decided that the vocals sounded decent, but if I wanted to do this again, I needed the help of an expert. The lessons really helped, but I was always a teensy bit disappointed that my voice was somewhat sweet, without a whole lot of gravel. I was an Irish tenor, as my teacher kept telling me. But while recording the new song, I discovered some grit. Not sure how this came to be, but no gift-horse-looker in the mouth am I!
The upshot is the end is in sight, and as the bones of the song are together, over the next few weeks, I am going to post some mixes of the song, called "Outside Looking In." They will be relatively rough mixes, but each new one should be an improvement on the previous. I would love your feedback...

In the meantime there are some other songs here.


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