// I’ve been rather quiet this past month, but for good reason —-> THIS FRIDAY February 28th, I hit the studio to record the second half of vegetable-music.
It has been a long process this past 1.5 years – developing, exploring and refining what has now become my ‘style’… my ‘sound’. Undoubtedly, the ‘final product’ will be very different to what I first imagined, in several ways.
- Firstly, the album does not include a huge range of different extended techniques, as I first imagined (yes – I entered this project expecting to try ‘all’ of them. Silly me!). Instead, it focuses largely on the partial series – a sonic foundation of the double-bass that I truly love and resonate with. It is amazing to enter a project and to realise halfway through that all expectations should be forgotten and thrown out the window. After all – shouldn’t one focus on what truly interests them? In this case – I chose to follow my fascination with the overtones and the ways in which they can enhance melodies, be complimented by the female voice, and add a myriad of colour to different musical contexts.
- The album has a lot of voice: two years ago, I would never have expected to be singing so much. Originally, my voice was intended only as a subtle second layer to the music (complimenting the partials). But as I explored this further, I found that I also wanted to explore lyrics… melodies… spoken word… Who would have thought!? My vocal lessons have been hugely helpful in building confidence in this area. Safe to say, I’m excited and motivated to continue developing different colours and uses of my voice for future work. It adds a whole new world of possibility.
- The music is not going to be perfect. Perhaps the most valuable lesson I have learnt in the lead-up to this recording, is that the music is difficult. Yes – I put this pressure upon myself, for the purpose of utilising unfamiliar techniques within the compositions in order to apply them within a creative context. Partials are particularly frustrating – some days they work, others they don’t (even when it feels like you’re playing them in exactly the same area). And truthfully, the use of more advanced partials means that even a slight millimetre of difference can either activate an entirely different frequency, or simply result in a squeak/no sound at all. Frustating as hell – but as I have developed my sound and approach over these past two years, it is liberating to realise that even the masters struggle with the same issues. Most importantly, the music should be expressive, captivating, intriguing... and in all honesty, when you’re using extended, difficult techniques, one shouldn’t always expect a rate of perfection. Phew.
- Some of the pieces will not make it onto the album. There are several compositions that I no longer enjoy – either recorded last year or prepared this year. The importance of selection for a recording is vital in maximising the time in the studio. Rather than recording ‘all’ of my pieces these past two years (roughly 15), I have chosen to focus on those that I am really proud of (listed below). The others (aka: throw-aways) have still taught me so much about the double bass, either in technique, compositionally or stylistically. Therefore – no time has been wasted. If anything, this process is crucial in further refining my style.
So there we have it – the list of finalised works below (some of which were already recorded last year):
- Cauliflower (Part 1) —> recorded 2019
- Bean—> recorded 2019
- Beetroot (in blossom) —> recorded 2019
- Jerusalem Artichoke —> recorded 2019
- Holy Basil ––> to be recorded on Friday
- A Tree Tells —> to be recorded on Friday
- Black Radish ––> to be recorded on Friday
- Squash (previously titled ‘Snow Peas’) ––> to be recorded on Friday
- Growing (out of nothing) ––> to be recorded on Friday
- Soggy Ratatouille (previously titled ‘Vegetable Delivery’) ––> to be recorded on Friday
—> Throw aways include ‘Raw Ginger Root’, ‘Cauliflower Part 2’ and ‘Parsnip’.
More to come on the recording process after it has actually happened – but for now, back to practice!!!