Sunday, December 21, 2014

When things get loud...

Yesterday, I tracked guitars for nine new songs. The album is being recorded at Veneto West studio in Santa Monica, CA, with producer Ronan Chris Murphy (who also took the amazing photos in this post). The experience thus far has been really great. It's amazing to see the music begin to take shape right in front of your eyes and ears. We started the session off by tackling the acoustic numbers.

This album is going to have a lot of dynamic to it, in the sense of different moods, different perspectives, different intensities of expression. The working title is "Multitudes," after all... There are several themes that tie all the songs together, and it has become impossible in my writing to really separate fact and fiction. I've come to think that this is probably for the best. So I decided to let them both swim together in this music and we'll see what happens.

After getting some good rhythms, we turned to some of the more experimental sounds. I had a very refreshing time getting a lot of loud feedback in the attempt to capture some texture for one of the album's darker songs ("Marcy's Lament"). The tune is written from the perspective of a murdered woman, and she calls out to her killer from the afterlife. So yeah, it seems like some dark, swirling textures might be needed on that track! Anyway, things got loud at this point in the session.

Next up, I'll be doing the main vocals. We've already tracked the bass and drums, and I'll be posting about that a little later. I'm super thankful to be working with such talented folks on this record. And I can't wait to share this new music with the world.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

I'm back and I ain't a-fray'd. New album in the works!

I started this blog awhile back, when I started recording my first album, Seven Years Now. Basically, I wanted a forum where I could express my thoughts on recording and the making of records. And it only made sense to do that when I was in the midst of that process, content to be the weatherman reporting on the swirling storms all around me. So thus the huge gaps here in the blog: time spent writing songs, performing, living, and getting ready to jump back in to the fray. But now I'm pleased to announce I am back in that fray! YES, the fray. Except maybe "fray" is the wrong word. It connotes competition. Yeah, it's not the right word at all. Scratch that. I'm really not doing this for any kind of reward. Absolutely no trophies will be distributed in the making of this record! It doesn't accurately capture what it means to me to make (and record) music. Which begs the question, what does it mean? What does any of this mean? Why am I doing this at all? Okay, I'm going to attempt here what they call a "mission statement."

I feel that music is necessary. Necessary for life, for the proper experience of living. Just as necessary as food or air or water. As human beings we are blessed and condemned with a degree of self-awareness that opens us to particularly human ways of suffering. We are aware of our own mortality. We are haunted by our own memories. We are aware of the violence and injustice that can descend on the individual, on the family, on the group. And somehow we must live through the dark weight of that experience. Music enables us to not only live through it, but to somehow transfigure it. And perhaps, in the end, to leave us transfigured as well. In effect, music allows us to ease the burden of suffering, to lighten the weight of contingency. So that when the rhythms of life take a dark and unexpected turn, we can keep dancing. We can keep singing. We can truly be alive.

Okay, rant over. The high horse has been sent back to the stable. The soap box has been re-filled with soap and is back on the soap truck, headed to the next soap store... But the fact is I am back making a new album. And I'm very excited. Please stay tuned to this blog for updates, digressive meandering, and the random slipshod musings of a songwriter who doesn't know any better.