Studio progress.. and lots of it!
You have all waited. And waited. Children have been born. Houses have been moved into and moved out of. Snows have dumped and melted repeatedly. And still, no monsters.
I'm sorry for my silence on the matter of the Necessary Monsters recording. We've been making lots of progress. So here is a much-needed update, both looking back and looking forward from where we stand now:
The route to having a good recorded document of Necessary Monsters has been circuitous, to say the least. We recorded the initial basic tracks in SF at Tiny Telephone on a couple of different occasions. Then we did some edits and overdubs at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. By then, our recording funds had run dry, but more importantly, I was learning the ropes of being an independant musician and a mom on the fly, which, in my case, meant a lot of misplaced calendrical optimism.
Hardly a day has gone by when I haven't thought about monsters and how to bring it to fruition. And in retrospect, I can honestly say that the distance between the time we all rallied around the last live performance of Monsters (with the promise of the imminent recording) has actually been... necessary. Perhaps I've just met the necessary monster of patience. She drags her big galumphing feet, making messy tracks across the land, but marches steadily on towards the fresh spring in the distance. (Sorry for the bad metaphor!)
The benefits of my tardiness are that, in the interim I've gotten much clearer on what is working and what is not.. what to replace, what to edit, what to add. And now that I'm settled here in the east, I have a studio and an engineer/musician whom I trust absolutely: Jon Evans - whom you likely know from our Rabbit Rabbit shenanigans - and his Cape Cod studio, Brick Hill.
For the last 3 months or so, every time Jon and I have a day or two free, we chip away at the recording. By taking the patient approach, I've been able to enlist the talents of some wonderful musicians as they come through the Cape.
Here's where we stand:
• Hochigan and Ink Monkey are in the can. They just need to be mixed.
• Last week, Lamed Wufniks, Nisna and Odradek got all a gorgeous string-lift by Ethan Filner and Jennifer Kloetzel - two members of the Cypress String Quartet who were here performing on the Cape. (I have known Jennifer since I was in my single-digits, but haven't seen her in.... a-hem... decades.)
• Squonk has a new vocal, and is going to get all fancied-up by Nicolas Casteñeda and his Columbian harp tomorrow.
• Next week, The One-Eyed Being will benefit from the guitar wizardry of Ben Kushigian.
• As is his habit, Jon Evans (bass/guitar) effortlessly stepped in to several of the songs with one axe or another in hand, and deepened the groove, en-lush-ened the sounds (you know what I mean), etc.
• I have a secret dream of who will be the voice that speaks the text of the Field Guide, which will be woven throughout the recording. Mum's the word for now...
There are a two songs that are still stumping me: An Animal Dreamed by C.S. Lewis and The Double. But know that I am on the prowl again. I will wrangle all of these monsters and put them in the can for you. I will stop short of promising a date, but I do promise to keep you better informed.
I'll leak a song to you as soon as we have a final mix of something. And I'll send a picture of Nic and his harp from the studio tomorrow!
Thank you for letting me bend your ear. I'm only sorry I didn't bend it earlier.