Keys and breathing

I had a fascinating night last night. The Eclipse Trio (piano, bass and guitar) held its second recording session for its new album which is a retrospective of the singer/guitarist’s work. Last time we could only get vocals and Spanish guitar for the first song down, although this was mostly because the piano player wasn’t available and we were trying out a new (for us) method of recording the band.

After a surprisingly quick set up we recorded the missing piano and bass parts for the previous session then began work on a new song. This was done by us playing piano, bass and guitar straight to tape, then overdubbing an extra keyboard part. This went almost without a hitch, which was a little unnerving. The plan was to overdub a synth part that sounded something like a melodica (the breath powered keyboard instrument that shows up on almost as many recordings as the school recorder). I had been digging through my music cupboard recently and uncovered an actual melodica which I suggested we try first, in order to get a more organic sound. The others agreed to try it but then we had the issue of a piano player, playing a small keyboard instrument and having to match his breathing to his playing. Brass and woodwind folk are used to this, piano players much less so. In order to make life easier I suggested the guitarist provide the breath, via a tube so the pianist could concentrate on the keys. This took a few goes and a lot of puff but eventually we had a track that sat nicely alongside the acoustic guitar, fretless bass and piano parts.

A quick guide vocal went on and we called an end to the session.

One of the things I’m enjoying about this project is the willingness to try out ideas, and the satisfaction we’re getting from concentrating on the music above anything else. In this context, progress is a wonderful thing.


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