Studio Journal 11-1-09

halloween 2009

Associated Audio Track :”Little Friend” roughmix-1

I was only able to get two days in the studio in the last two weeks, It seems ridiculous, but that’s the facts. There are just so many distractions here, all fully justified, even nescessary, but still distractions. Well, maybe they aren’t all justified… but I have to get of th studio and socialize a bit, at least try to be human. Still, I’m able to post a studio clip to show what is going on as I try to record “My Little Friend”. It is difficult because it is new, so it hasn’t hasd time to develop and settle into a groove. I recorded it with several beats, trying to choose one. I’ve sung it slow and more like an adult remebering, but in the end I wanted the faster paced sound of the child’s voice, that enthusiastic patter, really being there. I settled on a key where I can sing in two octaves, finally choosing to sing the lead high, being there, then filling the bass with my voice again, low enough to be almost indistinguishable from the lead, but filling the area of the sound fully. I used two takes of the bass vocals, so they’d be slightly different, and panned them slightly right and left. I do a similiar thing with the guitar, using two mikes, a large diaphram and a standard sm57, then panning one mike left and one right. Then I added a flute part, instead of a harmony vocal, since I didn’t want more of my voice. Though in the end, I use it to re-inforce the melody a lot, to add lilts and continuity to the more sing-song patter of the lead vocals. I improved a lot of takes, as I listen to them I see what I like, and will probably re-record the flute part, pulling together everything I liked in the improvs, just the way I would if it evolved naturally over months of playing. Of course, I don;t play the flute live, not sure how I would pull that off without a band. I haven’t even tried playing the dulcimer with it yet, and perhaps I won’t. But I need to get a mix done and move on before I get tired.

It is a worrisome time. I don’t know what I did wrong, but my shoulder has been really hurting me these last weeks. It hurts to even hold the guitar, much less play it. This doesn’t bode well for recording. Though I can grit my teeth and get it done, but it takes away the fun, for sure. I know I hurt my shoulder almost a year ago, and it didn’t really bother me so much till just recently. I had no problem when I was practicing guitar all through September. I played guitar at the songwriter’s meetup in early October. I just don’t know, and perhaps that is the problem. On the other side, I have to accept that I can’t have any time line for getting the recording done. I just have to keep at it. I’ll pack up the gear and take it to Florida this time, and keep working there. Though I have to get back to playing. I can’t stop for so long, since I have to keep playing and practicing, and have to keep learning and developing the music. It seems strange that trying to record the music is hurting it, making it stagnate, putting me out of touch with it. Though if I really was working in the studio all the time, instead of all these ditractions, important things, but distractions. I have to accept that I I am trying to juggle a lot of things at once, that was my choice, a “coordinated wave”. But I recall I recorded the last CD by staying in my friends isolated cabin in the mountains of Montana and doing little else for 6 weeks but record. Perhaps that is the way top get it done. Even writing this journal is a distraction, but it is part of the big picture, like many things. Still, if I just don’t worry about how long it takes and focus on just keeping at it, despite all the distractions, I’ll worry less and maybe enjoy it. Feeling pressured isn’t good for anything.

The big distraction this time was my ma’s 80th birthday party was November 1st, with friends and family coming in from out of state, a lot of guests here in the house, and a party at my sister’s house. A lot of getting ready, but it went off great. I gave her live flowers and houseplants, so I was busy re-potting some or planting others in the yard, crocus and lilies. I cut flowers and bring them in spring and summer. As I worked, I was thinking about the music. For all this effort, it is hard to feel it is significant, compared to the state of the world. And while the electric hammered dulcimer is a great thing, I can’t deny that, how imporatnt is it really? Playing music seems more important, making a good scene, positive energy. But the recording and “doing more” is hard for me to think is that important or practical. Then there’s flowers. They seem so practical, so real, so simple, beautiful, and useful, though they aren’t “important” or “significant”. But planting them is a good thing, something undeniably “right”. It just puts “importance” and “significance” in their place, as just one part of the scheme of things. So while it is good to do significant things, so much of what is needed, what is “right”, is not significant, and perhaps deserves more honor for being so. I honor the unknown and unrecognized heros the most, those who fought their battles and paid the cost, all without the solace of knowing their actions were “important” or “significant”, even if they were, or even if they were not, but still as nescessary, without the glory. How would the “hero” have done if the erson who made their shoes hadn’t done their part, and done it right?

Maybe I just think too much.

halloween karaokee party

I did go out and helped host a costume Karaokee party for Jane and Dave. I made some custom mixes in the studio, dropping the lead vocals, so I coud do karaokee with the my originals. That way I can feel like I’m still working on the recording project even as I go out to socialize. I’m also trying to get togetehr a list of new songs to learn that I can practice as karaokee. I’ve never done karaokee before I started going out with dav and Jane, or they started asking me out, though I’m still left wondering. I used to get out among people by playing, but it gave me something to do, I was there to play. I love singing, and it is fun to sing songs I never play myself, but well, its hard going out when I am still alone. Its a lot easier to be alone if I don;t have to go out and see women or couples, be reminded of that great lack in my life. But there doesn;t seem much hope of meeting someone like me at these places. Except it is a place where people sing, so in that much, I guess it is a place to meet a ladysinger. So I guess it isn’t that far off base. But so far it hasn’t worked out, I just end up more lonely and depressed. I suppose it is just cyclic, the moon, and I’ll feel better about it eventually. Focus on the work, on the music, and forget the pain, whether in my shoulder or in my heart.

It is getting into the 30’s at night now, so I had to start other jobs that need doing before it does freeze. I stripped the old, rotten roof-rack off the van and started on the job of replacing it. I still have to finish that, now that theparty is over and the guests are gone, and when it stops raining. A warm day to bolt it together and caulk the holes in the roof. Bu it makes me think about the upcoming trip to Florida and what I’ll do there. Dad has had to stop driving so looks like I’ll focus more on Gainesville than St. Augustine. But maybe I’ll lookm for a gig there, just in case. I need to make money this winter after all this time off. I think about Alaska, too, next summer. And the west cost, maybe finally getting the van out there so I can tour there again, like I used to.

I’m also slowly emailing people to tell them about the new effort, this journal and the website. And continuing the webwork, which the home site was just the start of. Now I am working on “web presence”. All the other sites to have profiles and presence on, active or passive, and sites to submit my site to. There’s a whole world out there I haven’t been in touch with much since I am not on the net much. I was focused on live performing, and touring,and the ability of the net to give me a constant presence with content I could upload whenever I could, but people could find 24/7 if they wanted. But I have only so much time and energy to maintain presence, and can’t upload to every site up there. It is a task to figure out where to focus my efforts.

Like right now, I think I’ll add some wood to the woodstove and go to bed!

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