Today was seven hours of Tess. Who is Tess? Tess is the cellist. We love working with Tess, she started to play the cello when she was three and that grinding bottom cello C string is something to behold. In this sesh we had her tune it down to B so it was even deeper. It sounded like a three-funnelled steamer sailing into an Egyptian port in 1949.
Working on records with an array of different instruments is a real buzz. When we worked on the Space Summit record we only worked on drums and percussion for a solid five days, getting the beds down on 21 songs. Ok, we recorded some Salim bass on one song but it was a marathon of drum recording and Jason did an amazing job with his energy and ideas. Engineers Kevin and John made sure it all sounded good and we experimented with sounds and patterns with Jason hitting bits of metal (haha) as well as traditional drums.
But back to today, once we had all the cello parts down, my brain exploded. Working out parts for songs on that instrument is an interesting challenge because it’s such an amazing instrument that it sounds good whatever you do. So we have to really work on developing the part throughout the song and not just have it everywhere. There are other instruments too, guitars, bass, piano, and sometimes the frequency that the bass sits shares the same space as the cello frequency, it depends on which bass and the part but you don’t want them getting in each other’s way, like two strikers going for the same ball from a corner at the cup final colliding with each other and missing the ball.
After the cello we worked on some drum parts with John, we were replacing bongos with real drums, always a relief, haha. Next came tambourine and then John enticed us out of the studio to go to the Kessler Theater in Oak Cliff in Dallas to see his friends’ band Pleasant Grove. A strange mixture of country, moody desert sounds, and odd left turns. I’ve been here before to see Nick Lowe, it’s a nice place, a perfect size.