I’m still catching up on the weekend’s music-making …
Perhaps more literally ‘making’ music than usual in the case of the third date of the weekend (we’re now up to Saturday afternoon, if you’re keeping track). This saw me meeting up with songwriter-guitarist-singer-promoter-social entrepreneur-general musical presence and hive of activity Elliot Vanderhyde, of Vanderhyde Records. One of his current projects is a folk-styled mini-album, and so I was contributing acoustic instruments to three tracks for this, captured through the magic of a Zoom self-contained recorder and GarageBand production/multi-tracking software.
A minor-key lament had viola bass notes, fiddle counter-melody and mandolin strumming thickening out its bridges and choruses, me adding to click and guide tracks early in the recording process. An up-tempo country-punk cross-examination of Halloween (sounding like fiery, slightly hyperactive Dylan), the basic parts essentially already complete, gained fiddle chopping reproportioned to a rock backbeat. Finally, though it’s a track I hope we come back to, a socially-conscious narrative ballad (about medieval Oxford town and gown riots) with guitar figuration that could easily pass for a lost Martin Carthy track. On this, we laid down an initial track live with acoustic guitar and fiddle. Vocals and (from my point of view) hopefully some more acoustic instrumentation to fill out the track to come.
I’m looking forward to hearing finished tracks, and indeed to the further sessions (which there certainly will be) on this project. In the meantime it’s already striking evidence of the level of record-making open to hard-working individuals without the services of professional engineers or dedicated studio spaces – though having experienced both sides, I would as a musician always rather have the technicians, producer and studio in the process when possible!