Monday, July 8, 2013


I have said before, on here, and also when I was writing the column "Artistic Unknowns" for When Falls the Coliseum, that I don't believe in THE creative process. People speak of it as if there is one way to do things. Not only do I know that different artists and writers have different procedures, but I also know that I don't have a set procedure for myself. And I love that.

I am officially ready to start recording my second CD. This one will be an instrumental CD -- a collection of songs on which (among other goals) I can have a little fun on the drums; flex the chops a little. The tunes carry a concoction of influences from everyone from Rush to Ravel. Seriously eclectic.  The working title is Pigasus, taken from a character John Steinbeck used to draw on letters to Pat Covici: the pig, trying to fly, that was meant to be a humorous self-deprecation on Steinbeck's part: "earthbound but aspiring.... A lumbering soul but trying to fly...(with)...not enough wingspread but plenty of intention." In short: me.

As it stands, the songs are in the form of MIDI (computer) mock-ups. The arrangements were done on the computer, including the drum parts. What I need to figure out now is how to humanize things. I have no idea, yet, as to how I am going to do this. I do know it will involve guest musicians, recording of the real drums and, likely, a replaying of all of the other parts.

What's weird about me (among other things) is that I absolutely love the fact that I have no idea as to how I am going to proceed. This is probably why I'm obscure. I adore creating so much, I seldom stop to peddle what I have created.

I was in the same position when I recorded my first CD. I knew I wanted it to sound like a band, even though I was playing all of the parts and had to "track" them. I think I pulled it off.

So, off I go, with an upgraded recording studio, a new drum kit, new microphones and a summer ahead of me.

I've added a new page to the blog: Pigasus (above). I'll collect the steps in my process of recording the CD there, for anyone who is interested in taking the journey of discovery with me.

My next goal is to record the MIDI mock-ups to multitrack recorder to that I can, then, record the drum parts.

I'll try to present the process in a way that can be followed by non-musicians and in a way that takes more of a philosophical than a technical approach.

For instance, at this point, I am now in the "difficulty sleeping" phase  -- the time during which my mind (or part of it) is always focused on my wonderful, delightful, blissful artistic problems: "How, in God's name, will I do this?" [Claps hands gleefully.]

Anyway, some shots of my labORat'ry:

The recorder. 24 tracks, this time, instead of 8.
The sounds.

The main attractions. 

The kick.

Note the high-tech counterweight 
for the boom stand. 
Take that, "creative process"!
Well, wish me luck. 

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