It’s time! I’m heading into two intensive days of recording to get all of these pieces in nice, clean, studio versions.
I met with my excellent recording engineer, Todd, late last week to test mics and continue our discussion of the different pieces and different set-ups we might use. We’ve got some rad gear thanks to Studio Fast Forward Montreal. And I think I need to repeat that I have an EXCELLENT recording engineer. Todd Macdonald. If you get a chance, check out his psych-folk project, Norvaiza. (Bonus: name-that-soprano on the track “Cremation Ground”…)
[This is a great segue, read on:] While I’ve done a lot of collaborative recordings on other people’s projects, I haven’t done nearly as much solo recording as I have solo performance– it is a completely different game. Without getting too deep into the philosophy of the impermanence of the live performance vs. the work of art as “immortalized” in a recording, I must say it is liberating as well as stressful.
PRO: We can go back and fix mistakes, issues with levels, do a re-take if someone coughs or sneezes or if an ambulance screams by outside. I have a lot of freedom in terms of the palette of vocal sounds I can use, because there is no need to be heard by an entire audience in a large hall.
CON: Fatigue from repeated takes, one is most likely never completely satisfied with the end result, solo voice is very, VERY exposed and reverb can only do so much.
I’ve also had some really great meetings and discussions with my collaborators and am taking some time this evening to rest my voice in preparation for the next two days, and work on the album art.
For inspiration, I’m listening to some of my favourite solo voice recordings:
Karoliina Kantelinen, an incredible singer and ethnomusicologist from Finland
This album, called Only, by Marianne Pousseur, which whom I had the privilege of studying with at the Banff Centre in October.
Theo Bleckmann’s solo album I dwell in possibility
And thinking about Meredith Monk, Iva Bittova and a lot of other singers who keep me strong on my weird soprano path!
See you on the other side!