Blog #75: The Night Before Recording
Its been about 2 years since I recorded my first album(jan '09), I can't help but think about how much has changed since then and what is the same. My whole approach to the first record was to be comfortable. I brought a band into the studio that had played the material a bunch. We'd had gigs off and on for about 2 years before we did that album and all those musicians were close friends. This made for a pretty relaxed atmosphere during recording. I am the type of person that likes to have decisions made and know what's going on and with the first record, it was all planned out. I was comfortable with my level of preparation.
Now going into the second record, which I will record tomorrow, I can't help but think its the opposite to that. We did one rehearsal on sunday and will record the album tomorrow. I emailed the musicians the charts, but we were all pretty much sight-reading them at the rehearsal. Even I was sight-reading my tunes, because I wrote them on piano and had barely played over them due to being busy this month with gigs. On top of all that, I've been repairing my chops for the past few days, I really messed them up during all those gigs and was getting a little distortion in the middle register(not enough for anyone to notice but me). I went to Laurie Frink, my trumpet teacher from my NYU days and she gave me some drills to do to bring them back into focus. I've been doing this stuff for the past few days, focusing on chromatic scales and low F#'s. But as a result, I haven't been able to really practice my own music for the record, SO for all intensive purposes, I will be feeling my way through and playing the music for the first time tomorrow too. I'm sure this will be fine, I just hope I've done enough to have my sound clear for tomorrow, and for my endurance to hold up for the 7 hours of recording. I feel good about my chances though. Tomorrow is also going to be interesting because I don't know a few of the musicians I'm using very well AND I added a song last minute that I just wrote. So for this record, I really put off making the decisions(I didn't even know who was going to play on it until 3 weeks ago). There are still a few songs I'm not sure if I'll play muted trumpet or flugelhorn on...I'll feel it out tomorrow, I guess.
I believe growth comes from putting yourself outside your comfort zone and for me 'not knowing' or 'putting off decisions' is something that doesn't come naturally to me...but I'm getting comfortable with that now too. Not having decisions made can be tough, especially when everyone is looking to you for answers, but we(the band) are just going to have to figure it out tomorrow as we go along.
Its 2 years later, I'm ready to roll the dice. Let's see what we get tomorrow...