The String Project were in the studio on Friday night, for the first time in a while (it must be at least two years I think), at least of doing full-blown recordings rather than filming and recording live-in-studio performances. We were doing full takes (likely to be spliced and edited) of an instrumental from the slightly more ‘art music’ Ben Mowat composition era, and laying down rhythm tracks for a more recent song to have string and voice overdubs added soon.
I’ve always hugely preferred performance to recording. Some musicians thrive on the perfection, the being able to correct mistakes individually (especially in the digital era), and the creation of a lasting artefact. However little this might be true of my life and my practised philosophy in general, as a musician I live in the moment and practically survive on interaction with fellow musicians and audience (possibly the main reason I hate playing auditions by myself to poker-faced examiners).
All of which said, I think Friday’s was a good session and maybe I’m getting over my distaste for the studio! It helps a lot to be familiar with the material (which I’ve been gigging with this band for a couple of years by now), and to be in a group largely similarly familiar – massive thanks though to my once and future freelance colleague Judith Malonda for stepping in to cover the viola part on a couple of days’ notice, and doing so extremely well! I’m certainly confident that a bit of editing (and of the old-fashioned cut-and-splice variety, I don’t think we’ll need much if any timing adjustment or autotune) will give us a good version of Maybe Epic Soon, and I hope to be able to overdub some violin onto The Unquiet Grave soon too. For recording mostly being done in a live room, with therefore spill from everything onto everything else, either everyone gets it right or everyone has to do it again, that’s very good going in an evening (perhaps especially a Friday evening given most of us have day jobs of one kind or another!).
The String Project record story is an ongoing one – we hope to finish some other part-recorded tracks and release something fairly representative of our current live performances with the next month or two, but there may well be a separate collection slanted towards crossover instrumentals by Ben in the pipeline for not long after that. Watch this space, it’s an exciting time!