It was a good day. We finished up pre-production on the last two songs this morning. One of them is a song I recorded in 1991, and it was played at our wedding. A love song, called “Dance Beneath the Moon”. We’re planning to have the clarinetist do the solo on this one – I do love the sound of clarinet!
The last song will be sung by John (I don’t know if he’ll get the last word on the album yet, though!). He is going to be channeling Elvis, I think, on this one – it’s called “Two Peas in a Pod”, and it’s very like “Heartbreak Hotel”, but in this case, the quilter’s husband is recognized in public by another QH. I’m so jealous – John is going to get to sing with a sax on his track. 😦 (I love singing with sax!)
That was it for the pre-production. All the songs are now charted, tidied up, and wearing their best outfits. They’re ready to go!!! All those months of writing, worrying and wearing out the Rhyming Dictionary are over. Now I can concentrate on giving them the best performances I can.
After a quick lunch, we started recording my “bed” tracks. (I know what you’re thinking, but “bed tracks” have nothing to do with quilts!!!) These are the tracks the other musicians are going to be listening to when they lay down their parts (that’s called an “overdub”) (Dub-a-Dub Dub, three men in a tub!) The last three times I’ve worked with Paul, the way we do this is: I sit in front of a microphone and sing and play guitar. I’m listening to a metronome in my headphones which keeps me on the beat. It’s a challenge, but possible, and the pressure is not as great as you might think, because neither my voice nor my guitar end up on the final product.
Today Paul suggested we do it a little differently, in the interest of time. He played his guitar to the click track, while I sang downstairs. This is a “scratch” vocal (no, my throat feels fine, thanks for asking: this is the first run at singing the song, and if I don’t like it, I can do it again for real. As many times as it takes. I love that about recording!). Then I played on top of his guitar part, listening to myself singing. I like accompanying, and hearing the vocal helped me stay with the song on guitar. Remember, I’m a singer first? We will not use Paul’s guitar parts for most of the songs.
It worked like a charm, and we breezed through SIX songs this afternoon! That’s a lot faster than I expected, and I felt fresh and not tired at the end of the day. Amazing. The last two days I’ve been exhausted when I came home. I guess it was the mixing and matching of instruments for me today that helped. And I was being more physical, and not so mental. (did that come out right?)
I’ve done all the songs I thought were “easy” to play today. Tomorrow, alas, I’ve saved myself all the hard songs. (One bonus with working with Paul, though, is that if I don’t feel like I’m the best one to play the acoustic guitar parts, he can fill in. Today, he did the heavy rock guitar on “Midnight Knitters” – it needed a bit of testosterone!
Tomorrow we’ll be finishing up the guitar parts, as long as my fingers can figure out what to do! I always think I should be doing more after this point, but then my job changes again, and I get to listen to some of the best musicians in Toronto playing my songs. Life is tough!
I’d better get in some embroidery before I lose the light. I’m working on a pink and purple stop sign (that’s a line from Midnight Knitters).