After a nine month hiatus, I am proud to announce a new project I’ve been working on during this time. A double album titled 10 (read “Two”) that promises enchanting music narrating the adventures of a new protagonist sent into space. The story is set at an age when music has become intergalactic. Each planet in the Solar system has a defined musical genre. As radio stations across planets resonate and pirate spaceships broadcast illegal streaming signals, Earth music loses its identity and popularity against music from other planets.
This album is a love and hate manifesto about technology, presented through the eyes of one earthling identified by his numerical name of 10. The character seeks comfort in his thoughts as he is forced by the authorities to leave Earth and crammed in a rocket. As 10 recollects life events, he speculates that his memories have been altered upon listening to the Rocket Radio.
Another concept album, you might be thinking. However, this time the songs can be enjoyed individually without necessary listening to the entire album in order (which was the case for my previous concept album, Gizzy Limelight).
In addition, an important element to mention is that I made sure the quality of the recording was better than my previous demos, using real acoustic drums this time! I mean, as I record more and more songs and gain experience, my recordings are bound to get better, right?
I am grateful for having had the chance to record drums at Concordia University’s Hive studio with the help of Arthur Chen, a good friend of mine. If it hadn’t been for him, I would have struggled to record drums and may have stalled on my electronic drum kit for months. I am immensely thankful for his time and expertise as we had fun and stressless sessions for plenty of experimentation to greatly learn from.
In the Hive studio with Arthur.
I was also eager to try out my new Zildjian K Custom cymbals in the studio, which I absolutely love as well as a couple of different snares (including the “cake” as we call it). As for the miking, it was a pretty dense setup but the highlight was really the AKG C414 XLS overheads in ORTF that killed it. Next time I will definitely try the “Glyn Johns” technique if I have time.
Setting up the drums in the Hive studio.
On certain songs, I was quite surprised with my ability to get the first take perfect, right from the start. It certainly wouldn’t undermine my services as a session musician on other projects (just a promo stunt here). The click is no longer a problem (as it were at a certain point in my life) but rather the issue lies in the anticipation of slight tempo fluctuations in different sections of the songs.
In the Hive control room with Arthur.
Since the drums are (still) one of the last instruments that I record in a song, they fulfill the role of an accompaniment rather than an anchor to the groove. Somehow if I don’t have at least one melodic instrument to follow, I have a hard time starting with the drums because I can lose the structure of a song as I track. A fundamental problem only faced by one-man bands.
View from the control room in the Hive studio.
The more I record, the more I realize how composing music makes me happy. The satisfaction of creating a work of art from start to finish is beyond exhilarating. I am currently in the process of finishing the mixing stage of my album, so please stay tuned for future announcements of tracks to be released shortly.