Monday, September 14, 2009


Ok so.

With most of the legal and budget business out of the way - the fun part begins, finally!


Just a heads up…

I will not be posting the actual names of these tunes until the CD is ready to be sold. As I mentioned before, I have had my work and ideas stolen before in the recording industry and I have sadly learned to cover my ass in this area. I will still give a shout out to the writers though, but the song titles are Top Secret until the CD comes out. Sad, but true.

However, it could be kinda fun in a way.

When the CD comes out, all your bloggers out there could listen to the CD and try to figure out which song is which. I’ll try to give the tracks ‘names’ close enough to what they are so it shouldn’t be too hard to figure them out.

And this all brings me to…

"Some final odds and ends..."

While I'm overwhelmed by my list of 42 possible songs and desperately trying to find a pattern in there I realize, there are definitely 8 songs I am 100% sure of, theme or not. So I take my list of 8 and choose one to start with.

I have to keep reminding myself…one step at a time with this project. 

Ok, my PLAN here is to arrange and orchestrate all the song tracks first, leaving the vocals to the very end because I know that I am in BILLY ELLIOT until Christmas and therefore will be in NYC in my apt with all my instruments for the next three months without having to pick up and go somewhere else for a regional gig, etc. And, if I can get all my tracks done by the time I’m done in BILLY ELLIOT…when I go home for Christmas I can (hopefully) record the vocals in probably one of the most perfect acoustic halls in the country, The Hochstein Music School in Rochester, NY.


Time for some synth patch home work.

Hmmmm...after experimenting with my music synth patches on my Yamaha and on my MAC's Garage Band I realize that some of the patches are really great, and some of them totally suck ass. 

I mean, really really suck ass.



That's a shame.

As is usual with most programs, my lamest synth patches are strings and woodwinds. And I don’t even have reed patches on this thing. That’s fine tho- I’ve got the reeds covered with my acoustic accordion, and the woodwinds covered with my flute and tin whistle but the strings.

Of course,  I LOVE strings so much, I purposely never learned how to play them. I never wanted the magic of listening to them to go away. I think you always lose that wonder of listening to an instrument or voice when you know even just a little bit about how it's played. 

Funny story…

I did the recent “Broadway Winners” Town Hall Concert and underneath the stage there is a TV monitor where all the performers can hang out and watch the show as you’re waiting to go on. Well. There was a certain male singer performing who had received much acclaim for his rendition of the song he was singing that night. And while he was singing, two of the other men on the program stood not 6 inches from the TV screen downstairs and spent the whole song ‘dissecting’ this man’s technique. Not so much in a critical way but more like, two doctors would watching a surgery.

"Oh, I see he chose the Heimlich incision."

"Oh yes yes, indeed he did."

"Interesting.  When I did that surgery I chose the Bambalt Incision."

"Oh really? Fascinating. I think he's doing a fine job, but personally I'd go another way. But that's just me."

 "Ah yes, I quite agree." 

I mean, blah blah blah blah blah!! Come ON, guys! Really?

And it was pissing me off because I am NOT a male singer and so this guy’s singing was still magical to me because I could give a fuck about the Heimlich Inicision or whatever. Ultimately I felt bad for them, because you could tell they totally had respect for the guy, but they were never going to be able to just sit back and enjoy his work. E-ver.

Anyway, bottom line...

Because I think strings are made of unicorns and fairy dust- I have absolutely no ability to play them myself. 

So…this is a constraint.

However…I DO love constraints as I find I’m the most creative when I have really strict parameters. So, maybe my lack of string playing prowess will be good. Maybe if I just stick to the acoustic instruments I know, I might just have a real cool ‘unique’ sound….kind of a Tom Waits-y thing.

We’ll see.

At the Imperial Theatre, I mention my patch problem to the ladies in my dressing room (the fabulous Jayne Paterson and the fantastic Liz Pearce). Jayne tells me about something called a “JAM PACK”? It’s apparently better quality synth patches for Garage Band. Sweet! I’m not sure how much that’s gonna cost but maybe by the time I've got everything else budgeted, if i find myself with an extra $100 i'll get it and redo some of the string tracks?

Anyway, a worry for another time. Until then, I’ll orchestrate now with what I have. The actual sounds can be adjusted later and I can always re-record stuff with acoustic instruments (and call in some favors from buddies who play strings).


Enough of this bullshit.

Let the music BEGIN!!!

See next blog: THE MUSIC BOX song.







I have purchased a fancy new microphone that has an automatic USB port. A Samson CO1U USB Condenser Mic. I'm very excited- but it has dutifully subtracted from my budget.