I just wanted to update everybody on the progress of the project! As you know, my goal is to send out the CD's, scripts, tee shirts, downloads, etc... sometime in the middle to the end of January. We are on track for that!
Here is what has happened so far!!!
I was supposed to arrive in NY on October 28 but Hurricane Sandy set us back one week! After being delayed for three days, I landed in NY on Thursday November 1. On Friday, we had our first production meeting. The meeting was with Steve Bill our musical director and the studio was operating on a generator! Here is a log of each day of the studio experience.
Friday November 2 - A 3 hour review with the musical director, Steve Bill. He has done 12 albums with me and is great to work with. The meeting goes smoothly. We go over all the songs and a few minor changes are made in terms of a couple of chord changes and a couple of arrangement modifications. We are scheduled for recording on Tuesday November 6 - if power is restored! Luckily, the studio gets power back over the weekend.
Tuesday November 6 - The rhythm section is made up of myself on piano, Steve Bill on electric guitar, Dave Keyes on bass guitar and Mark Ambrosino on drums. This is the same rhythm section that recorded No Limits with me. I loved working with them in 2009 and it was a great time now as well. We spend six hours recording and put down Act One Scene One and the first song in Act One Scene Two. All told, around 29 and a half minutes of the musical is recorded. Ethan Bill is the engineer. This is Ethan's fifth project with me. He is an outstanding engineer with great vision and creativity!
Wednesday November 7 - We spend another six hours and record the rest of Act One. Act One is currently one hour and three minutes long and consists of fourteen songs and four scenes. Steve's favorite song is Time Passes On which ends Act One. The guys are excited. The music is varied but there is a theme which runs through the show!
Thursday November 8 We are really rolling now! Act Two Scene One goes down before lunch. The guys are excited to finish the entire act today and we decide that if the energy is good - we will continue until the musical is finished. After 8 hours in the studio we finish Act Two which is 44 minutes and three scenes long. The music is now recorded. There are 25 songs and one hour and forty seven minutes of music. Next week we will do piano overdubs, guide vocal and the choruses.
Monday November 12 - I am in the studio with Ethan. Today I will be fixing any piano parts that need to be corrected and singing the entire second act to guide the cast. All my vocal parts will be replaced by the actors but they will need a guide to learn the songs. Today goes smoothly and at the end of the day we have an actor auditioning for the lead roll! He is well prepared and sings the ballad "In The Lions Den" beautifully - Exciting stuff!
Tuesday November 13 - Today is a short day in studio. One actor comes in to audition for the part of King Nebuchadnezzar. He is on a very high level and a powerful singer.
Wednesday November 14 - The chorus section is in today and tomorrow! LaJuan Carter, Marlon Saunders and Keith Fluitt are here to sing on all the choruses. There is 12 hours worth of singing ahead! What is unbelievable is the pitch, the enunciation, the dynamics. These three singers can sing any style of music on demand with the right intonation and the right feeling! They are fantastic and on we finish all the choruses of Act One.
Thursday November 15 - The chorus section is back for day two. They, like the musicians who played on the project, love the songs and the project! Day Two is also outstanding and we finish all the work that is needed. My favorite part is ...well all of it! I love all of it!!! Wait until you hear it or better yet - see it on stage!
What Lies Ahead - In December we will be recording all the lead vocals which is approximately 11 different lead parts. We will be overdubbing guitars and keyboards as well as darbuka. Then we will mix the entire musical and go to production. Stay tuned, as the second half of the recording of Daniel in Babylon continues! My friends, the creative process is the best part! I will keep you all in the loop!
Speak to you soon - Lenny