The first best thought when finishing an album (or two) is that revelation that a big project was indeed taken on and finished.
It takes a while. A lot of hours. I mean, you can do an album project in 2 weeks or 2 years. It could be the same music. It could be the same end product more or less. There is no end to the tinkering that can be done. The layering, the “perfecting”.
It’s like any big project. Starts as an idea, takes its mutations, many different hangups, lots of different things to learn, and then, finally, after that final push it becomes a reality. It’s important to remember the process.
When you record and mix your own stuff, it’s a bit different than handing it over to an engineer to finish off.
That’s where a good amount of critical feedback is good, from yourself mainly. I am stubborn, but that’s not why I don’t like to hear about the flaws until after I’m done. I do get feedback though, and lots of good ideas from friends. But as far as the “artistic” influence, I try to stay true to my instincts. On the other hand, sometimes your ears can’t hear it anymore. I’ve had a huge amount of feedback from my girlfriend and good friends and family on these albums. Volumes too loud or not loud enough, ideas on how to introduce a new part of the song, inspiration for the concept… sometimes I just needed someone to listen to it so I could watch their face during certain parts of songs.
Redwood Summer and Juneaurevoir came about as a concept. They both were about getting down to my more straight forward roots musically. Do what comes naturally, don’t over think it. Why haven’t I recorded an all cello instrumental album yet? I mean, it’s fun, it’s rewarding, and it can be enjoyed by a huge spectrum of people. And with the rootsy sound of Redwood Summer, it harkens back to my earliest albums: no self-censorship, no attempts at adhering to a certain sound per se, just songs straight up.
In retrospect Redwood Summer is very pop oriented, in the sense that most of the songs have a traditional verse chorus verse chorus bridge chorus format. I always thought that would sound formulaic, and it is formulaic, but you can’t tell, that’s not what I listen for anyways. All my favorite popular music has that going on, and, yes, it’s trite, it’s been done before, but it sounds good.
In retrospect Juneaurevoir could be more ‘perfect’. I have been nice and open to the different tones and sounds. I didn’t use much in terms of effects, but I had thought I would use no effects whatsoever, like a recording of chamber music. I don’t have written versions of the songs even. Someday I’ll do that. This is the first in what I hope is a long string of cello albums.
Anyways, after mixing for 80+ hours the past couple weeks after work, I am struck by how big every ‘little’ project is.
But getting it done feels amazing. It makes it all worth it. I’m just waiting for a call and then they get mastered, and then I don’t get (have) to work on them any more…!
You can pre-order them now. They’ll be at itunes in September, and CDs will be available 9/9/9.
Thanks for stopping by!