CD Journal from Courting My Muse
Recording the CD: December 21-23, 2004
21 December, 2004
Met with Greg Robert at his studio to try out various microphones. The condenser microphone and I hit it off instantly and start trading recipes and phone numbers. That night we record “Magnus Retail” and “Ravens.”
22 December, 2004
5 Tracks of piano and vocals! Wow. GO US!
“When I Grow Up,” “Bad Man Go Good,” “Doctrine of Ethos,” “Two Hours Away,” and “Some Believe” are done. Brian Richardson arrives with his drum set so it can explore the basement and get comfortable before the next day’s recording.
23 December, 2004
6 Tracks of piano, vocals AND percussion!
We are serious troopers on this day. This is much harder to coordinate though with me and the glass coffin (isolation booth),
and I will want to redo a couple of my piano tracks. I’m happy overall with the vocal tracks and I’m loving having percussion -- especially on “Galatea” and “Get Down Mama!”
Now for the long drive home with the dump down CD to figure out how to proceed from here.
Pictures from last Recording Day:
Greg asked, “Do either of you have a camera? You might actually want to take some pictures of the recording sessions for when you write your memoirs.” Actually, he didn’t say that exactly. But he did mention cameras, so Brian and I whipped ours out (His is a phone too), and started blinding each other with flashes. Er, we took picures, okay?
Mary, in the isolation booth.
Brian, packing drums:
Greg Robert, Recording Wizard
Greg in Mission Control:
Recording the CD: March 3, 2005
It had been a while since we had last met, so Greg Robert and I spent a lot of time listening to the tracks we had already recorded in December. George Powell (A Fantastic bass player!) had laid some some wonderful tracks for “Summertime Beagle,” “Get Down Mama,” and “When I Grow Up.” Greg had put congos, and djembe into “Summertime Beagle,” “Get Down Mama” and then added gorgeous effects to “Ravens.”
“Summertime Beagle” sounds so happy now! He was going for a lawn party effect, and I love how it works! I wish I were AT that lawn party everytime I listen to the song now. Then we cleaned up a few things that were bothering me in some of the vocals and piano tracks. We did a slow and sultry version of “Legolas.” Finally, we recorded “Change of the Season” and “Bad Man Go Good.” Quite productive and I got to see my Georgia musican friends!
Recording the CD: March 31, 2005
Today we worked on the last few vocal tracks. I re-recorded the vocals for “Galatea.” Brian is going to come in and redo the percussion part for that one now that we have a better idea what we are going for in that song. “Bad Man Go Good” needed a new ending, and it got one. Finally, I sang “Ravens” again. Greg has a raven-in-flight sound effect at the end of this track that I like. Also, he worked out a tasty flute solo for it during one of the later interludes. The end is in sight!
I finally have a version of “Legolas” that I like! We recorded me performing at Greg’s acoustic piano. The feel and action of the keys are so different from those of my keyboard that I was inspired to do more adventurous things than I usually do during this song.
The isolation booth can get a little close after awhile, so it was a whole lot of fun singing it in the open space of the basement room.
This has been quite an odyssey and learning experience!
Recording the CD: June 16-17, 2005
16 June, 2005
This was the first time I actually got to be at the recording session when Greg and George were working.
In addition to giving Greg bunny ears in the picture below, George also laid down the bass track for “Captain of the Guard” and wow! it makes a difference. The bass smooths things out between percussion and piano, so that they integrate well. George also recorded several different bass tracks for my acoustic piano version of “Legolas.”
Then Dave Rood arrived to play trumpet on several tracks. We began with “Captain of the Guard” because it was very fresh in our minds. Greg had this idea for an extra trumpet solo that actually sounds like the ‘son’ in “Captain” back-talking his Mama. Dave played it beautifully! And we came up with lyrics for it.
“Dammit Mom, don’t you dare tell me what to do!”
We plotted out the next few things Dave would be doing on such songs as “Change of the Season,” “When I Grow Up” and others. He is going to meet with Greg on his own, because I cannot get over to Stone Mountain, GA as often as I would like. Dave also suggested the line “It’s not June” from “Change of the Season” as a possible album title. No, I still don’t know what I’m calling my CD. I have considered calling it “Magnus Retail.” Bill Sutton of Bedlam House has suggested “Genius Squared” which is a line from the song “Magnus Retail.” Since we are hoping to finish all the recording and begin final mastering at the end of July, I need to come up with something soon.
17 June, 2005
Today Brian Richardson and I met with Greg and knocked out the last two percussion tracks. Brian was One-Take Wanda today! We needed the full trap set for the big finish of “When I Grow Up.” And I love the new groove for “Galatea.”
Later it was off to El Tecolote Mexicana to hear Greg and Dominick play their music. Excellent weekend!