Update: Spring, 11 June, 2020
How are you doing these days? I am well. Antithetical to the pace of the past few months, I’ve been busy with lots of musical projects while also enjoying the general sigh in traffic and its absent daily noise parade. The din seems to be returning to its normal honk and rumble recently…but the other side of this tunnel (we've been in) was inevitable, right? I must admit, I liked the lack of hustle and bustle in March, April and May, though the cause can't be championed.
Anyway, I’ve been enjoying musical projects over the past few months. The “distance format” we've all been in CAN work for what I do. Session work, such as playing, singing, and banging on things, as well as my production and mixing duties has been a fortunate island of joy and income.
I also found myself thrown (due to university closures) into teaching three face-to-face classes in an online format. This was an adventure in technical, social, and pedagogical limits! Long story short - I survived, as did my students. A few people had to abandon our ship, with a wish to come back when calmer waters prevail, but no one encountered or had to fight with any crocodiles, piranhas, or pissed off hippos. I bow to my student’s perseverance in this difficult time.
Back to my musical endeavors – I’m very excited to be in the thick of three projects.
A new echolyn album. We have 60 minutes of music as of the moment and once again we’ve managed to tap into a new fabric to weave into our music. Ray, Chris, Jordan and yours truly are very excited! Lots to still do, but we will make headway this summer and fall.
A new Rise Twain album. Yup, J.D. and I have been writing and throwing songs at each other for the past few months. Can’t wait to dig in with the vibe we have!!
A new Katie Barbato album. Katie has a beautiful collection of songs for a full-length album – that I am fortunate to once again be part of. This time around she and I asked J.D. Beck and Jordan Perlson to contribute to the album. J.D. with piano and backing vocals and Jordan Perlson elevating the motion and tempo with his creative drumming.
These latter two mentioned projects are also tied in with a live performance video I’ve recorded and edited. The impetus for this happened when a bunch of shows were cancelled back in March, April, and June that involved my Rise Twain partner and I, as well as our musical soul mate – Katie Barbato. After watching Katie play a live (in home) performance for folks via social media and noticing that many other musicians were doing the same I started thinking about wrapping my head around how to do my own version of that. Katie, J.D., and I bounced around some ideas and decided to put together a live performance video centered in my living room yet with professional sound, multiple camera angles, and some creative elements throughout to make it fun and stimulating.
On May 23rd, we did it! The three of us played live in the room, no overdubs. We chose three songs to play that night, with another three scheduled sometime in June. It was a cool process to accomplish! Like I said, we played live, lit the room with some lights, and set up a couple phone cameras. After we got the “take” (usually the 2nd or 3rd try) we then shot some mobile camera angles of us singing and playing along with the version we signed off on. From there I edited the camera angles to the live performance. The short set with three songs – one from Katie's album long Night Moon and two new Rise Twain songs – represents how we played them that night with some added production in between the songs to enhance tone and a sense of continuity. The project enabled mountains of creative fun and musical enjoyment.
We'll have a watch party for the mini movie and probably post it on my You Tube channel down the road when we make another collection.
I think that’s it for now. Just wanted to keep it short. The studio (Catapult Sound ) is open again for business, though following current PA code for businesses. Give me a shout if you want to do some recording, perhaps a mix, or if you need some guitar on a song - I can also do remote work from my home studio. Reach out if you need anything.
Oh, Happy 80th Birthday Dad!
Happy Graduation Piper!
Much Love Brett