It all started out so simple. Goofy even.
A husband that took up drumming for his belly dancing wife. A couple of friends that wanted to join in the party, drink some beers in the backyard, and maybe, just maybe, make a dancer or two dance a little harder.
It crept up on us, gradually and sneaky.
Performing live on stage for the dancers at shows and revues. (*GULP*) Going to outdoor festivals and performing for crowds. (All right... That WAS fun!) Playing for parties and haflas. (Check it out! People that we don't know are dancing!) Drumming softly around a campfire in the darkening evening. (Firelight and drums. Yeah.)
And then, it happened. Someone asked, "Do you guys have a CD?"
We said, "A CD of what?"
They meant us. A CD of our drumming. (WHAT!?!)
Once we got over the surreal dizzy spell that the question caused us, we thought, "Well, maybe."
How hard could it be? We drum, someone else presses a button. A handheld, a laptop, a microphone and home studio program. How hard could it be? We could do this!
But, it turns out, we can't. When we tried to it lacked a certain something. And
that something was good sound. Without thinking about it, we had
created a dynamic. A range of tones, overtones, harmonics, and
drones that we sort of organically fell into, simply by buying and
playing new drums that sounded good together. A frame drum, a daf, a
bendir, a dohola, a doumbek. A flute or a shaker here and there.
A couple of hybrid drums that do a lot at of that stuff all at once.
We made it up as we went.
For quite a while we took it as a great compliment when someone would come up to us after a performance and say, "It sounds like there are more than five of you. How do you do that?" That is a great compliment, and listening to us live, you can really hear a huge range of sounds. But that simple, cheap microphone does a terrible job of being a human ear. It never occurred to us how truly hard it would be to record it to any standard of quality.
So, we asked some actual musicians, and they explained that most drums need at least three microphones, each, to be properly recorded. And, the human ear automatically "mixes and masters" a lot of what it hears, so it can pick out the frame drum's drone under the heavy bumping tone of the dohola. But microphones are stupid, and so someone that knows what they are doing needs to set them up in the right places, and turn some dials, and make sure that what you play is captured. And then whatever you record needs to be mixed, again by someone who knows how, so that the cat doesn't run screeching from the room when you play it. And, once it is mixed, it needs to be mastered by, you guessed it, someone who has talent.
Or else you get a recording that sounds like it was taken from fifty feet away, through a crowd of people, with a camera phone, underwater.
When a bunch of regular guys, nerds
and geeks to a man, develop this gradual passion for their silly
little hobby something strange happens. They become serious. They
begin to think that maybe they are talented, and maybe people really
do like to listen to them, and it might just be time to answer that
question: "Do you have a CD?"
Our Twisted family wants to be able to answer, "Yes, and it is a good one. The best we could make."
Thank you for helping us do that. We hope that, in the coming months and years, you enjoy the album many, many times.
- (35 days)