Wow! We did it! I am thrilled that I can now say "My album is finished! It's in the can! Done. Complete. Finito!"
Ah, but it's just the beginning. As I wait to get the CDs back from the manufacturer, I will be planning ways of getting my music out to the world. First will be my CD release show on December 2nd at the Upstage Restaurant in Port Townsend, WA. (http://www.upstagerestaurant.com/) I'll be putting together a special band of local musicians for that one night only, and we'll play all of the songs from the album. If you're a kickstarter backer and local, you are welcome to pick up your cd that evening. If you don't live in the area, I will be sending off kickstarter rewards early to mid-December! Again, my deep gratitude for helping make this dream real! My dream that commenced when we lay down the first tracks in Pasadena, CA some six years ago...
There have been times along the way when this project was sitting on a back burner of some oft forgotten stove, that completion felt rather daunting. I know, you're thinking 'Why should an album take so long? Don't some people record their albums in just a couple weeks?'. Yes, 'tis true, it can and often does happen in much shorter turn than six years. But such was the case in my case. Life happens, and with no complaints tripping from my lips, a number of things happened in my life to keep me occupied elsewhere and let the old burner go dusty:
First we moved 1200 miles from our home in Pasadena on the cusp of becoming parents, and on the heals of finding out my father had lung cancer, from which he passed on some 20 months later (I am so grateful that in 2008, in the midst of his illness, we were able to record my father playing trumpet on two songs, which has been included on the album). Simon, my husband and musical partner (producer and primary musician on my album! http://www.simonlyngemusic.com) landed a record deal in the UK and subsequently toured the UK and Europe quite a bit over the course of 3 years. Our son and I traveled along for some of that, so as to not be too far away for too long. I also spent some very long stints as a 'single' mother keeping the home fires burning while Simon was on tour.
Two years ago we went back into the studio and tracked another four songs. Then, this year just seemed like the right time to get it done! I launched the kickstarter campaign while Simon was on the road, and after he returned from a couple months of intense travel and touring, we picked up the reigns once again.
These last six weeks or so have been spent in the studio in Port Townsend, WA, finishing up recording tracks. Simon played the bulk of the instruments on the album including drums, bass, guitar, piano, glockenspiel, ukelele, kalimba and melodica. We also had some really talented guest musicians record on the album, playing such instruments as the musical saw, clarinet, flute, trumpet, mandolin, bouzouki, viola, harp and zither. We then traveled down to Los Angeles, to mix and master the album, thus making a full circle with the project. When we recorded the first few tracks in LA, we had them mixed by a very talented engineer, Thai Long Ly. (http://www.thailongly.com) I was so happy with those mixes, that I wanted him to work on the rest of my album. He and Simon did some late night sessions, working on the album into the wee hours. Being a mama of a 4 1/2 year old, I was able to attend the final daytime mixing session, give my input, and hear the fantastic results of their work.
I considered doing the artwork for the album cover myself, but ended up using some artwork by my friend and renowned fantasy and nature artist, William Stout.( http://www.williamstout.com/) His work is truly remarkable and I'm honored to have it grace my album.
Now these 13 songs of mine are off to the presses, being fabricated into a neat little package that I can send out into the world. Very exciting! I look forward to you being able to hear it. I also look forward to the space this completion will create in me for more songs and music to flow.
Here we are doing some edits at Bell Sound in Los Angeles, (with Thai Long Ly) Simon working on the mix, and me listening to the mix for the first time.