I haven’t blogged in a while, not because the CD isn’t proceeding apace, but because the academic year has begun, with all its responsibilities and time commitments. I know my loyal readers are wondering anxiously where we stand, and are undoubtedly curious about my present tour as well, so herewith is an update.
I have recorded about 53 minutes of music. This includes some of my previous improvisations as well as a lot of new songs. Looking back, I have very little idea how those songs came into being. It feels like they just arose: they weren’t there, then they were. Some began as a bass line, others as a little piece of melody, I guess. They often developed by growing a branch here or there. Sometimes I would find a sound I liked and that would turn into something. It all feels quite vague, but the wonderful thing is that I am almost done with the writing and recording phase of the project.
Once I have recorded all I will record, I am flying a friend out to record drum parts and also having a bass player record bass parts for some of the songs (they will do this recording together, as drummers and bassists are accustomed to working as a unit). Everybody who has listened to my tracks thinks there should be bass and drum parts played by humans (instead of by the computer), and I certainly agree (although the mechanical sounding midi bass parts using the horn sound are good for some of the songs). We should be able to do that in a day, or a day and a half at the most, with Mike the Mixer taking care of the sound at the sessions.
The real trick is the weather. January and February are not good months to fly someone to Wisconsin, so I hope we can get it all done in December. When we have figured that out, we can go to work in the meantime on the mixing phase of the CD: getting all the sounds right, and balancing the voices. Then, after the sessions, we will mix the percussion and bass in with all the prerecorded stuff. Then, it’s the small matter of finding a label to publish the CD.
Meantime, I’m on the road with Meridian for a 9-day Rust Belt tour. We have congregated in Cincinnati, where we have a concert on Tuesday morning (we arrived, all but one, on Saturday, and rehearsed, all but one, today = Sunday, and will rehearse as a full group all day tomorrow). I’m also pleased to be giving a horn masterclass at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory on Tuesday morning, and some other classes in other places later on.
The toughest part of touring is pulling yourself together. My drive yesterday was seven and a half hours, which is murder on the joints and muscles. Plus sleeping in a hotel bed (we favor the flea-bag genre of hotels). As I always remind my students, however: nobody cares where you slept or how tired you are when you are on stage. So, challenge accepted. Tomorrow we will work our butts off, and we will give great concerts. I’ll try to keep you posted every step of the way.