So I’ve been working away on the latest set of recordings for a while now and – gradually – things are beginning to shape up.
Most of the work so far has been editing. I’ve loved doing this from the earliest days. It’s one of the areas in which I try to maintain the lessons I learned back in the Seventies right through to the present, for all that – maybe especially because – things are now computer- rather than tape-based.
The great and scary thing about tape editing with a razor blade was that it was always a final act. You only had the one piece of tape and if you messed things up they were permanently messed and whatever performance you were working on was lost. You had to be very, very confident of where you were cutting from and where to before slashing that tape. And, once confident, had to go through with the act in full intent. All this was made more complicated by the fact that, naturally, you wouldn’t actually know how the edit would sound until it had actually been done.
In the world of computer recording things are potentially different. There are a number of ways of editing and it’s possible to make safe copies to work on. It’s also possible to undo as many actions as you want. So the process is rather less heart in the mouth than it used to be.
Having said that I do my best to retain an element of no-way-back in my editing work. Once I’ve done an edit and am happy with it I don’t go back and look at alternate versions and, specifically, I abandon what I’d been using before and press onward. Often, also, I don’t drill down the highest magnification in order to have a sample accurate cut – and so (very) minor timing inaccuracies will sometimes creep in to the work. For me that’s like a little bit of modern world wow and flutter that can humanise the “perfection” of computer recording.
And all of this is to say that I’ve been at work on pieces as though they’re clay, as though I’m stretching and prepping the canvas, as though I’m laying down a background wash, establishing what are the best guide sketch lines and which go together best.
At this stage I’ve currently got 19 pieces on the go at a running total of around ninety minutes even after all the editing work I’ve done so far.
As yet there are NO vocals and actually there’s barely a “normal” song structure around in any of them yet. So I don’t know, at all, how they’re going to turn out, individually or collectively. Some, doubtless, will fall by the wayside. Meanwhile there are other possible candidates for inclusion waiting in the wings to take their places….
I have, therefore, no idea how long this process is going to take nor, indeed, precisely where it’s leading.
Basically I’m waiting to find out what I’m doing, for it to reveal itself as I do it.
Even after so many albums, in so many different styles I still find that exciting and, actually, somewhat magical.
Best wishes to all. 2013 should be…interesting!