Ed came round to give us a hand with the mixing… courtesy of Ian Stonehouse.
The fan powered reed organ is all set to go for recording the final track on The Boy and the Audience album, fittlingly titled “Time to Go”.
Producer Rick gives it a test, surrounded by a pair of earthworks and a soundfield mic.
The Rubber Band Bass, as featured on Devil at the Door. It might not look much but you won’t believe your ears. Mixing begins this month. Not long now until you hear a hint of the album and maybe get a glimpse of in the studio footage.
A last minute opportunity was seized over the weekend which saw Aeolian Flute recorded at the studio. 36 Tracks of flute, that’s enough for an orchestra! We finished just in time for my gig at Sexton Ming’s 50th birthday party, which was a massive highlight of a show. Sexton (who saw me play at the Union Chapel a couple of months back and invited me to play at his birthday) gave an outstanding performance complete with wedding dress and Medusa hat. One huge difference between recording at home and recording in a studio with a producer is, aside from not having to walk across the room every time I want to start or stop recording, the pure clarity of sound. The flute keys clack and the breath breathes.
In preparation for London the Forest and Black Car, Rick lucidly pointed out that we needed some proper amp power and buzz for some of the bass flute and voice parts. Now all set with a marshall amp crackling and humming in the corner of the room, armed with microphone, I had my first taste of what it’s like to be an electric guitarist. LOUD and GOOD. My hearing returns slowly in my right ear after this perforated eardrum business, and today we embark on a 12 hour recording session.
Today, soon after the one year birthday of Bird Radio, my solo music project, I begin recording of one of two albums I shall be focusing my energy on between now and December.
Album one is called “The Boy and the Audience”, named after one of the first songs I wrote as Bird Radio - it came in a kind of stream of consciousness and is about holding onto the magic and inventive imagination of a child… the album will be 10 original pieces, produced by Rick Campion, to be released in 2012. It is based on flutes, loops, vocals and suitcase percussion - it aims to be close to a live performance but sonically enhanced for your ears by Rick’s highly talented musicality and audio weaving. The pieces I have been performing across London in the past year have been refining themselves down to a state that I believe are ready to siphon and taste, though there is still some distilling and enhancing to do, as always.
Album two will be a “beyond the grave” collaboration with Walter de la Mare; 13 poems set to music by myself, performed on a small fan powered reed organ. The album will be called “Happy England”, and is a series of reflections and tales of English life seen through de la Mare’s piercing eyes and eerie word painting. I find his writing, unlike some critics, as a deep and evocative exploration into the mindset of English people and land, which for me holds huge relevance in the modern day. This album will be a collaboration production wise between myself and Jeremy Creighton Herbert at our Avocado Studio in the Golden Valley, Herefordshire. Chiara Ambrosio will be illustrating and doing a short film for the project, too.
Here’s one reason why de la Mare is a great source of inspiration to Bird Radio:
*****By adulthood (de la Mare proposed), the childlike imagination has either retreated for ever or grown bold enough to face the real world. Thus emerge the two extremes of the spectrum of adult minds: the mind moulded by the boylike is “logical” and “deductive”. That shaped by the childlike becomes “intuitive, inductive.” De la Mare’s summary of this distinction is, “The one knows that beauty is truth, the other reveals that truth is beauty.”
So I now pack the suitcase and warm up the flute and vocal chords for a big leap, and I really appreciate you being there to share the experience.
Wishing you well in all of your endeavours,