Late Studio Post & Future Plans

So I was able to complete guitars for The Dorothy Heralds' new album a few weeks ago. Since then Katy, our vocalist, has laid a majority of the vocals and everything is sounding great! We just shipped a few tracks off to our friend Bill of All The Way Rider to mix. We're giving him free reign over the mixes, so I'm anxious to hear what he's going to do with them.

In other news, I'm working on some new material for my group Tank! I'm currently reharmonizing "Experiment In Terror" by Herny Mancini to get my feet wet. I hope to bring more of a Naked City aesthetic to the material. I'm also thinking of putting together a smaller group to do some Cuban music. I really miss doing the Cubanos Postizos material, and I figure I might actually get more than one or two gigs with the group.


Good times...

I began tracking guitars for the new Dorothy Heralds album today. We're a little behind schedule right now, but not too badly. I was able to get down four songs completely and half of two others. I'm really excited by both the sounds and the performances we're getting. The best part of it all is that they are really coming together to underscore the moods evoked in the songs. I also have to mention that my one big solo on the album came out perfectly on the first take (see last post re: one takes). It sounds like a cross between Marc Ribot, Django Reinhardt and me.

We were also lucky enough to have Rob Dz come in and lay some rhymes on our tune, "Nora". The tune was inspired by an experience Gary (bassist and spiritual leader of the Dorothies) had at a convenience store. I won't go into the whole story, but the tune is about being dissatisfied with ones life and still being complacent about it. I have to rave about not only Rob's performance, but just how well he captured the essence of the song and enriched it. The tune was great before he came in, but it's 100% better with his perspective added. Gary and I were so giddy by the time he was done. Smiles from ear to ear.

Tomorrow I'll be in again at DNA Studios early. I'm hoping to be done in time to make the Bill Frisell show. I've seen Bill a number of times, but his music has affected my life and who I am as a musician tremendously. I never tire of hearing him. More tomorrow I guess...


That time again...

This Saturday, my group The Dorothy Heralds, is going into the studio for a couple of weeks to record our second full length album. I'm really excited as the material reveals some new directions for the band. We've also experienced some incredible growth as a group over the past two years. You can expect music that explores rhythm and groove a lot more than our past material. And although there's less movement harmonically, it's more thought out and in a sense more complex that where we were previously. Also, for you Musos out there, more solos!

The past two years have seen a lot of changes in this group. We're now a four piece with no permanent drummer. We've been lucky enough to have Robert Schoville of Reptile Palace Orchestra fill in for the new recording. His presence during the writing process has had a big impact on the group. His mastery of percussion and overall aesthetic has been a great boon.

As I'm preparing for my own parts I've come to appreciate the idea that "composition is improvisation slowed down". I always thought of this as something of a truism, but the past few days working on ideas for solos, etc. have begun to reveal the depth of this statement. Of course, I still have a twinge of guilt for working on the parts before hand. I've spent a majority of my musical life championing improvisation in its purest forms, and here I am working out melodic ideas for solos. In fact, I feel at times I'm actually writing them instead of trusting the moment to provide inspiration. I suppose this is what happens when your own money is on the line.

However, I think this will become more a part of my daily routine. Taking changes and writing out lines away from the guitar. Or taking melodies and writing variations. The process allows you to let certain things in and others out. It reminds me somehow of this quote from Stravinsky's The Poetics of Music.

"My freedom thus consists in my moving about within the narrow frame that I have assigned myself for each one of my undertakings. I shall go even further: my freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint, diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit."

Think of it this way, in space you have no ability to move without something to push against. I wonder what this says about the nature of strength itself. I suppose that's enough for now. I'm going back to writing chord subs and such.