The last two afternoons have seen me and some helpful and highly dedicated friends gathered in two different churches for a couple of hours each, doing a handful of things over and over again.
This is known as ‘recording’. Or in this instance, ‘filming’. Across a total of nearly four hours, we managed to record and shoot various takes, of which I think at least one each is good, of two solo pieces (one viola, one folk fiddle), one violin-piano duet and one jazz trio number. If that doesn’t sound a lot for the time, you obviously haven’t been at too many recording sessions. If you’ve done a fair bit of recording and it sounds a lot to get done in four hours, you’re right, but I had practised murderously beforehand and it was all being done classical recording style – live to a stereo pair of mikes, full-length takes, no overdubs, no splices. It speeds things up a bit. I was still very drained by the end of afternoon 2! Massive thanks to Ben Mowat and Justin Gibson for doing the recording and shooting, and to Stephen, Emyr and Wulf for accompanying various bits. I owe you all serious favours!
Very unusually in my musical life, this was actually my own project on my own initiative, not as a hired hand for someone else or even part of a collaborative group. It’s high time I had an up-to-date video showreel again, and so I’ve bitten the bullet and gone ahead with producing one (and trusting it will pay for itself!). If there are particularly good takes and sound quality in there I may well put up some complete audio tracks, as well as editing together a video highlights reel for Youtube. Of course, the next step is that I will have to go through the footage and audio (cringing horribly at myself doubtless, particularly the chatter at start and end of takes), pick out the best takes and work on selecting sections, ordering and editing together – all the backroom stuff that a freelancer is often spared. (I say spared because what musician wouldn’t rather just play the music and go home in all honesty? Well, actually quite a lot of people I guess, otherwise there would be no producers in the world … )
Anyway all this is still to come, but hopefully not too long before I can present some finished products and set about reeling in clients with renewed energy …