More Random Notes, Spring 2015

Wave Form

Hello again. I'm glad to say that my third full-length album (I still call them albums) is in the home stretch. The tracking is done, now it's just a matter of adding the little touches and pixie dust.

Recording is just about the best thing to do. You set up the conditions to create a controlled environment, you book the studio, gather the musicians, get everyone settled in the right place, get the microphone placement just right. You want to have the right amount of preparation (enough, and not too much).

Then, when the little red light comes on, you just let it rip. When the tape is rolling (I still use tape), there's no time to think. Verbal thought would just get in the way. Dial back your mind down to zero. When you're really swinging it, not a word comes through your brain. And since I record with a full band, the last thing I can think about is my own performance. It's all about bandleading, cueing the other people in the room. When we finish the take and the last note fades away, and the engineer switches off the tape machine, I very often cannot remember anything I did. During playback, I often don't recognize anything I did. It's as if somebody else played it. That's recording at its best.

In other words, when you make a record, you go to great trouble and expense to get everything under your control, but what you are after are the moments of spontaneity and the happy accidents - exactly what you cannot prepare for, but for which you can set up the right conditions.

And you have to keep everyone happy and well fed. Sometimes you have to talk a lot, sometimes you want to talk but it would be better not to, and sometimes long stretches pass when no one says a word.

So that's what's happening. Opus No. 3 should be ready for public consumption this summer. 

Thanks for listening,


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