Piano Album Recording Session #3 of 4

» Posted by on Sep 28, 2015 in Music Reflections | 0 comments

Piano Album Recording Session #3 of 4

Another season, another recording session for my 2015 solo piano album.

It was a pretty hot fall day, even though the summer was technically over. In our 1928 house, this meant that between every few takes we had to cool off by blasting the window air conditioning unit and turning on a cavalry of small fans.

This being the third session of the year, I was glad to note that my targets were more modest (and realistic) in terms of how many songs we were going to get down per day and how long it would take! I’d also come to terms with the fact that at some point, it would be best to just stop for the day. No matter how many times I keep pushing for a good take, after 6 or 7 hours straight the performance quality simply won’t be high enough.

So this session I aimed for a manageable two recordings a day – one high energy piece and one slower, delicate piece.

Day 1 Journal

An interesting thing happened on the energetic piece today (Not A Secret). I’ve attempted this piece in both previous sessions and failed to come away with anything good enough, so in anticipation of today’s session I diligently practiced with a metronome, planning to have it ticking in my ear during the recording. After the first several takes, the sound engineer and I agreed that the metronome was not actually helping! I was rushing and delaying little 8th notes here and there and the piece was missing an overall flow. Removing the metronome immediately fixed the problem. Who’d have known?

Day 2 Journal

Today we started with the slow piece (Selkie Crossing) because I knew there were still several composition decisions to make. It took five hours to make this 6-minute recording, but with helpful input from Chris we got it to a good place. He says it feels like a 4-minute piece, which is good! (You don’t generally want pieces to feel longer than they are 🙂 )