Monday, January 10, 2011

Strings, Brass & Drums

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday break. As I am typing, I am dealing with my annual battle with the common cold. Not to worry, I am already stocked up on Mucinex.

Since the last time we posted, Matthew and I have finished all of our string and brass recordings for the album. This was a big hurdle for us and thanks to help of some great friends, the sessions turned out amazing. Tony continues to be a huge help in and out of the studio, he has become another member of the band. Tony not only works wonders behind the board but hes has also been integral in facilitating these sessions. Tony "make it happen" Berg must have a magical beard or something because I'm not sure where we would be without him.

For our string recordings we were eager to work with our old friend and violin shredder Carlos Villarreal. Matthew and Carlos are old high school friends who have worked together on various projects throughout the years and whom I met a little over a year ago when Carlos brought his quartet to play with James Mitchell. Carlos was quick to jump on board and he brought with him another great violinist Emily Norton and viola virtuoso Eddie Nicholson. Now all we needed was a cello player to round out our quartet. At first we had a little trouble pinning down a cellist but Trevor Kazarian stepped up and blew us all away. The string sessions have been some of my favorite so far. Within 5 minutes of playing together Matthew and I both knew we had picked the right quartet and we were lucky to have them. Standing next to them while they are performing is something that is hard to describe, it provokes emotion that is not easy to put into words. The sessions exceeded everyone's expectations and we can't wait to share them with everyone. I am excited for the day we get to perform these songs on stage together.

Shortly after our strings were finished we started our brass recordings. We were able to track all our horns at our home studio, which made it way easier to schedule everything. We invited back Justin Amolsch to finish french horn on the rest of the album. Justin is always a pleasure to work with and if you haven't heard him play with Mucca Pazza yet, do yourself the favor and click the link. We made a few new friends with trombonist Jack Beshoar (Black Umbrella Bridgade), trumpeter Joshua Jern and Tuba player Matthew "Wally" Wallrath. Both Jack and Josh are local musicians with tons of stage experience but Wally is a old friend of Tonys who was in town for the holidays from Orcas Island. All these guys were not only stellar musicians but all just great people to hang out with. I was amazed the first time I heard the horns layered over the strings, they complemented each other so well. Everyone was a blast to work with I must also give a special thank you to Mike Pryzgoda for giving us such awesome performer recommendations.


We are excited with everything we have tracked so far and thankful for the new friends we have made the process. Our songs are blossoming into a record! We recently started tracking in drum parts and have a few more sessions coming up in the next couple weeks. Our goal is to have everything tracked in by Feb 1. and then starts the mixing and mastering phase...yay. . .I promise to share some new music real soon as well as some more vids. In the meantime, we post updates with pics and stuff regularly on our facebook page.

Matthew most certainly would want me to recommend The Dirty Projectors (Bitte Orca) is a pretty awesome record.