Recording project update (early October)

It has looked pretty quiet on this blog in recent weeks—can I just liken it to the image of a duck looking serene on the lake, whilst its legs are kicking frantically under the water? OK? OK 🙂

For those wondering about the progress of my ongoing instrumental album project (for which I have set the arbitrary deadline of the end of 2011 to complete), here is the latest update on how it’s going:

[insert image of tumbleweed here]

Well, OK, it’s not quite that bad. It is true that I haven’t actually done any recording since the summer, due to a combination of factors (including simple writer’s block). The logjam has been showing signs of weakening in recent days—for one thing, I have a couple of chord sequences in mind, one of which I have been recording this week. It’s quite a short track (I suppose you could call it a “link piece”), which currently goes by the title of “Chasing the tide”—I’m mulling over whether to post a preview to my SoundCloud page, if nothing else to prove that I’m actually doing something on this project 😉 (Update (2011/10/15, 11:50): I just did—hop over to my SoundCloud page for the “sneak peek”!)

I am reaching the point at which I feel I will drop my self-imposed constraints on this project (i.e. largely acoustic guitar-based pieces), and allow in other elements of my work—most likely, loop-based electric guitar. I admit to having been nudged in that direction by listening to Owed T’Cologne, the latest (free download!) release by looping guitarist David Cooper Orton, whose work I have been a fan of since the late 1990s.

Although I have over half the quantity of tracks “in the can” that I would need for an album, I am also looking at ways in which I could supply the rest, in case I am not suddenly swamped with inspiration in the final two months of this year. These include:

  • improvisations, which I may then use as a basis for a more complete track;
  • reworking of traditional or other out-of-copyright material (e.g. hymn tunes);
  • revisiting older compositions of mine (the “new light through old windows” approach!)

I am definitely considering the last of these, and have two or three pieces which I would like to rework—partly because I have some older compositions which I rather like, but which I feel haven’t had a decent “airing”, and/or could benefit from re-recording on better equipment than I had at the time.

Suffice it to say, I am going to meet the end-of-year deadline for this project, by hook or by crook! That said, I will let the deadline slip if I feel the results simply aren’t up to scratch. I really want this set of recordings to be the best I have ever produced—if you like, the album I would not be embarrassed to leave for posterit;y—and I’ll make every effort I can to achieve that aim.

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