Today was Tess cello and David bass day, with a little Brian guitar in between. We have seven songs in this initial batch, and we needed bass and cello on all of them, so it was quite a list to get through, especially as they are sometimes quite complicated with odd time changes, plus, the songs can be quite long. But it’s Tess and David, so they ease their way through them, it just takes some time. Consequently, we had to be up super early for a 9 AM start and be prepared for a 14-hour day of musical bliss, both rewarding and tiring.
Great to work with all these talented musicians and as producer I get to direct them, tell them to sound like a Martian sunset or a blue lagoon, a snail eating lettuce, or the rush of air as a train is passing by, I could go on. For me who is not formally trained (it’s either by ear or visual), add feel and a crew of techs, and hey presto (fifties term), we are making albums. Musicians around me are often so skilled in theory that they might need the perspective of someone who isn’t to get the right result, different worlds working together, you need different ingredients to make your perfect stew.
Brad, our Australian painter and builder, has started work in The Archive. I will be in touch with everyone who has donated after I have completed the projects I am working on in America this month, but if you are reading this and have contributed, please send Olivia your mailing address (to firstname.lastname@example.org). Thank you for helping us get this going and sorry I haven’t been in touch yet to thank you personally, but when you hear the nature of the projects I’ve been working on, you’ll hear why I’m a little hard to get hold of at the moment. It’s not just the computer world that’s tricky, we don’t have a car, and we are in Texas, so even if I wasn’t in the studio 12–14 hours a day and even if I had a driving license (Olivia does), I wouldn’t be able to make it to the launderette, the supermarket or the post office without the help of our Texas friends.
Talking of Texas, we saw a sign in a garden driveway the other day – “We don’t dial 911”, haha, funny but very scary, especially as a European. We see a lot of American flags, a lot of tiny metal dogs stuck in lawns in the pooping position, with “No” written on them. I would have thought that it might be worse to be constantly reminded of pooping dogs than to find the occasional dog poop, haha.
Music today has been the second Chicago album (1970). It’s Chicago when they were a dynamic, innovative, and unique musical force (what happened?). It featured the classic 25 or 6 to 4. Terry Kath was the guitar player whose famous last words were, “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded”.