Thursday, August 5, 2010

Magical Moment 182, "Pre-Production Meeting Two"

So I’m continuing on with chronicling my quest to record an EP with Modern Vintage Recordings. Today was our second pre-production meeting in which I recording 6 tracks with only piano and vocal as a blue print for the production to come. This stage in the process is the equivalent to a movie pre-production stage in which story boards, drawings and models are made so that when true production takes places, every one knows exactly what to do. One song will still be eliminated within the next few weeks, leaving us with only 5. The production team will add some very basic guitar, bass, and other musical effects to give each song a true musical feel. Our next step will be to add sound effects, mood, style, and color to each song. After we have a basic idea of how each song will sound, we will hire professional musicians to lay down the actual recorded arrangements of each track.

The songs we whittled it down to are:

1.     A Builder

It was a bit emotional for me today. Maybe it’s something about the plexiglas divider in front of me and the smell of a real recording studio. The microphone with a soft, un-faded black cushy cover. The brown baby grand piano, (which I’ve always secretly wanted in my house) that sits among cables, wires, and music stands. The headphones and controls in the adjacent room that make my voice sound so heavenly “reverbed” in my ear. It’s like being in a glorious chapel. It’s surreal.  I wanted to pinch myself to see if it was truly happening and I was terrified of ruining it.

As I played with the click track in my ear (like a metronome to keep time), I felt a twinge of despair. I know I can play with a click, a drum, a band, anything, but today I was so in my head, afraid of ruining the experience that I couldn’t get control of myself enough to get the job done. We did take after take. I eventually simplified my piano arrangements to a skeleton of what they were. My producer told me to just focus on the music. He knew I could do it. It was no big deal. Everyone has trouble at first.

I wondered where my trouble was coming from. No, I knew. Personal lives and relationships always spill over into the professional. I thought I was good at quenching emotions when needed, but today I could not. There was something gnawing at me that I could not shake or forget, as if a cloud continuously hovered above my head. 

In a room that made me feel as peaceful as a church, I did what I always do when I don’t know what to do. I recited the Lord’s prayer. There was no immediate miracle. I didn’t suddenly feel rejuvenated and capable. But I slowly accomplished what I needed to do. And by the time we got to the final song, I was smiling with pride. I can do this, I know I can.