Monday, March 05, 2007

Singing ...

The good thing about having a friend who works for a production company is that I have access to really incredible recording equipment and his engineering expertise that would normally cost me a bundle but which costs me nothing (other than nice little gestures on my part - rides home after our sessions, cookies at Christmas - which I insist on, because he's inclined to not even accept those).

The bad thing about having a friend who works for a production company is that he's busy like a mutha, so our little recording sessions have to shoehorn into his schedule which, most of the time, is insane.

But every once in a while, the planets align and evenings like tonight open up.

As I wrote in last year's Christmas letter: "... nowhere am I happier than in a booth behind a mic. Singing is what I most love to do, and so doing it this year, even in small sessions, has brought me into better alignment with myself. Fear still rears its head, but I’m learning to keep it largely at bay and revel in the moments of doing something that brings me immeasurable joy."

I'm still nervous every time I do this. I suppose that will always be so. But we have to check levels before we start recording, so I'm able to work out my nerves on that first take and I settle into the evening pretty quickly.

Brian, my friend and brilliant sound guy, is hands down one of the sweetest human beings on the planet. At this stage of the game, I couldn't imagine singing for anyone else. He puts me at ease and is always full of good advice and patience, a very key combination.

When I got in touch with him last year about reprising our recording sessions (he recorded a song for me that I gave to Dave for his 50th birthday), I hoped to lay down one or two tracks. Brian, enthusiastic as he is, suggested, "Six! No, ten! We should do a whole CD's worth of songs!" Well, finishing 10 songs might take the rest of both our lifetimes at this rate, but six seems very feasible.

Tonight, I suspect, we'll revisit what I've already recorded and punch phrases that need a little tweaking. But a couple months ago (it can be a *long* time between sessions) I decided on two songs that I want to add to the effort: Diane Reeves' rendition of "Who's Minding the Store?" from "Good Night, and Good Luck" and "Outside Myself" by k.d. lang. The latter I suggested to him a couple years ago, but we never got around to laying it down.

Hopefully, tonight's the night.

And when I'm done with the disc, you'll have no way to hear it, because I can't post audio here. And I have yet to figure out how to post music on a MySpace page. : o )

But the last time I saw him, he played my vocal track for "Gotta Be This or That" and I asked him what he'd done to it, and he said, "Nothing. That's just you."

Damn. Really? Now if I could just muster up the courage to sing for an audience without swigging a couple of glasses of Scotch first, I'll be on my way.

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