Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Magical Moment 202, "Fifth String"

I spent several hours today in artistic creation, sandwiched between 2 dreadful bus rides and 4 smelly trains. Though the weather is gloomy, windy, and even chilly, it didn’t dampen my spirits for my 5th pre-production meeting.

We picked up on “A Builder,” still completing the demo recordings for my EP, which the musicians will take their cue from when it comes time to record the actual tracks. Recording musicians are really amazing and talented people. They can come into the studio, listen to a song they’ve never heard before, and in a day, play it to perfection for a permanent, professional recording. My producer explained that guitar, bass, and drums will take slight liberties in their renditions and are encouraged to explore spontaneity and creativity. Often, fresh ideas will flow when artistic minds begin to wander. But strings... strings get printed music and play only the notes that are written. And that’s what we worked on today. A string arrangement for “A Builder.”

The strings in a song are like nourishing water to a surviving plant. They envelop the song and make it warm, complete, and full of life. I found myself being very picky and uncharacteristically vocal as we decided on harmonies and melody lines for the cello and violin. There has to be the right amount of intensity and balance, yet it cannot overpower the voice or bury the other instruments.  If we get the strings just right, the song will be amazing, and I think we’re on the right track.

Sometimes I catch myself wondering if this is too good to be true. Will my songs really sound like I hear them in my head when this is over? I know I can’t control every note that's played by the dozens of instruments that will contribute to this EP, but I am putting my trust in Modern Vintage Recordings and praying that the result is just what it ought to be. Music to my ears. And hopefully a few other ears as well.

Here are my entries in order, as I chronicle my process to record an EP with Modern Vintage Recordings:

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