Gradual Progress

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!

22 Comments on “Gradual Progress”

  1. donald says:

    It would appear that freedom of speech hasn’t reached this journal. Only obsequiously supportive comments are permitted. Kind of proves my point.

  2. Adam Matlock says:

    As always refreshing to see the documentation of/reflection on your process. And I do hope there’s some performing on the horizon as well! A Happy New Year to you.

  3. Loyde Lucena says:

    HI Peter,
    Can’t wait to see it! Hope I can see you again soon back in Boston in 2013, please bring the band and show us what you born to do it, the best of the best of what music can be. Love you all! Happy 2013 I wish you to continue to exposure your amazing, poetic, sensible, and unforgetable talent.

    Loyde Lucena

  4. Nemea Laessig says:

    How exciting, and inspiring!

  5. T.J.W.M. Froyen says:

    Spur Of The Moment Part II ?
    A Collaborational Piece Of Work Entirely On Your Own ?

    Birds Don’t Know Which Day It Is… But Be Assured They Know It’s Winter !
    So: Feed The Birds !

  6. josep says:

    Many thanks, Peter, for sharing a bit of your creative process with us. I’m really intrigued about this deep connection of music and lyrics to make up a song. I can not conceive many of your pieces without the lyrics (I mean: I can not conceive the music of “Naming the rose” without its lyrics, nor that of “We are driven”, and a very LARGE etc of songs), so I’m intrigued whether you have ideas on what the lyrics are going to be about in this new set of eventual songs. Or maybe some will just remain pieces of music.

    Will all admiration and thankfulness

  7. Chad says:

    Best wishes for you as well, Peter, as we enter 2013! I’m very much looking forward to the new material!


  8. Len says:

    A very good, fantastic and productive New Year to you, your family and Hugh an Guy

  9. Hi Peter, It all sound very exciting for us the readers as well. Looking forward to the finished work… Happy New Year to you too…

  10. This sounds intriguing. Can’t wait to hear it. Have a great 2013!

  11. Max says:

    Happy New Year dear Peter and good work!

  12. Andrea says:

    Best wishes for 2013 ! I am curious about Your next cd, I liked so much Alt and all the non-singed stuff You did, but sometimes I miss Your voice and Your chorus-lines in it. I think that Your voice on the music You feel to play is going to help more the humanizing process You mention here, and then I can’t hide the (personal) fact that Your lyrics too have become the voice of a long time friend and “older brother”.
    See You next in Italy !

  13. rob_artz says:

    Patiently, waiting to hear the results of your efforts.
    Happy fruitful Twenty-thirteen!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Happy new year peter! Hope we’ll see you in Israel this coming year…

  15. Ólafur Auðunsson (Iceland) says:

    (Gleðilegt ár!) Happy New Year Peter.

  16. T.J.W.M. Froyen says:

    Hey hohey Screenrabbits,

    Better Prepare Now For The Party !
    And… Be Carefull With The Firework… I Want To Shake Hands In The Comming Year…

  17. Bob's Aural Delights says:

    Happy New Year Peter

  18. Harvey says:

    Absolutely fascinating, Peter.

  19. Cor says:

    Ever so curious about the result, can’t wait to hear the tracks when finished.

    For now: Best wishes for you and your loved ones, stay healthy, hoping to see you in Utrecht (Holland) very soon!

  20. Michel E says:

    Best wishes for 2013! I’m looking forward to listening to your next CD, whatever final form it takes. Thank you for sharing your thoughts / comments on some of the steps that lead to the songs in the end. Also hoping for more great concerts, here or there.

  21. willy vlyminck says:

    First of all the best wishes for 2013, I hope there will be enough somgmaterial for a new VDGG recording to.Will it be again a complete solo-work as the latest 3 recordings? Personally I would like to see some more outside Musical involvement by for example Alfred Harth (saxes) and Guy Segers (bass) maybe even an outside Producer like Udi Koomran.It sure would provoke new and fresh ideas and possibilities, solo or with the trio.

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