Recording, Composing, and Concerts!
Hi everyone! It's been a while since I've given any updates about the new album. I'll just take a moment to tell you guys what I've been up to recently!
I'm in Mumbai at the moment, about to get some rest before an early morning flight to Bangalore tomorrow. I have been in India for the last 2 months, playing concerts, recording guest artists, and refining my new compositions. I've had the opportunity to do a bunch of shows recently, performing with my band at music festivals and concerts in New York City, California, London, Pune, Cochi, Bangalore, and Delhi.
In all these cities I took the chance to "live test" some of the new tunes that I have been working on. It's the first time I have tried this method... performing a tune before releasing it! Definitely scary, and a bit risky for a live show, but we got some very valuable feedback from reading the audience's reactions to the new songs. It allowed me to analyze any weak spots in the song form, so that I could go back to tweak and adjust the flow of the compositions. Thankfully, people seemed to really enjoy the new songs! Which is totally awesome, and was very encouraging for me and the band. It's tough to get people to groove to songs they have never heard before, so doing this was a great test to see if the songs were up to snuff!
The whole process led me to re-write the majority of the material for the record. I started out with 12 demos when the kickstarter campaign finished in August, but in the last few months I ended up scrapping 7 of the original songs. They have since been replaced by 10 new songs, 5 of which are really solid, and the other five may or may not end up on the final version of the album. So as of now, I've got 10 songs that I'm feeling good about, and an additional 5 demos, hopefully several of which will shape up to be good tracks. My goal is to have 8 songs for the free version of the album and 12 for the deluxe version (you guys get the deluxe version, don't worry). Maybe I can include more tracks if things are going well!
It can be a bit tough to work in this way... recording a composition, then rewriting it again and again, only to ultimately throw it out. But that's ok, I genuinely think that this process leads to a better final product, even if it is a bit laborious. The last album I did was for a Tamil movie, "Orey Nyabagum"(the music is finished but unfortunately it still has not been released). For that project I literally wrote 3 songs for every 1 that made it to the album! At least this time it's not quite that extreme!
I actually have a preview of a video and that I premiered at the INK conference in Cochi a couple weeks back. But to be honest, I'm not too sure about showing it to you guys right now… it's kind of rough and it's going to change quite a bit between now and the final version. I'll see if I can upload next week after I work on it some more.
Maybe you guys already know this, but I have always done all my videos myself. I do everything from recording to lighting, shooting and editing... the whole process. I recently realized that to take full potential of this amazing opportunity to do these new videos, I should really work with some proper directors, designers, and cinematographers. Don't get me wrong, I love working with video and visuals, but I am feeling the need of having the input of some truly creative people in the visual arts. I reached out to a number of directors, photographers, and designers, and got some amazing people on board! I will share their names with you soon :) pretty exciting stuff!
One more big update... I confirmed several awesome singers in India to come on board as guest artists for the project! I know it doesn't mean much because I can not tell you their names now, but they are some of the most prominent singers in the Indian music industry! Woohoo! Unfortunately, they are super busy, so I won't be able to record them until the new year. So it looks like I'll be making another trip to India in January to record them and finish up production.
Also, final update, I decided on a name for the project! Filament. The metaphor is that music is the centerpiece which burns and illuminates everything around us, bringing ideas to light, connecting people, concepts and cultures on a continuos piece thread. Another meaning that people may not know... it also refers to the galaxies visible in the night sky! What do you think?
Ok, thanks for reading! I'll catch up with you all soon.