Today was concentration day on one of the sessioneer projects that I’ve been working on, NJ Brian’s Valley of Salt project, and what an epic project it is. I won’t get too much into what it’s all about until it is mixed and mastered, but our resident mixer Andreas has done an amazing job on making this giant project explode sonically. It features the Dallas crew of The Polyphonic Spree drummer Jason Garner, David DeShazo on bass, Rich Martin on keys, and Brian Stemetzki on vocals and guitars, Olivia on violin, Tess Kent on cello, and Abby Hawthorne on oboe, there’s trumpet, there’s sitar guitar, piano accordion, banjo and not just backing singers but also incredible Gospel singers that blew the roof off the studio. Recorded by Kevin Brown and John Dufilho, produced by yours truly, I can’t wait to unleash it on the world.
Olivia went out today on a wander around town and found lots of buildings with the dumb crosses on them, as well as finding a lovely tiled image and a doorway that was possibly the entrance to a Portuguese Tardis. She was waiting for the shops to open at 2.30 PM, so we sat on the deck outside the front gate and I had a coffee in the sunlight. In Portugal, the end of August doesn’t mean the end of summer.
I bought a whiteboard, so I can see where I’m at with a song or an album’s progress, writing the titles, and what needs to be done on each track, seeing it like that, right in front of, you makes for an easier assessment of a song’s needs, but then I realised I had nothing to sit it on. So, I ran out to the Chinese store to see if they had an easel. I was wondering what the word was for easel in Portuguese or Spanish or even in Chinese. As it happened they actually had one, made of metal, a bit crap but only €16. I came back with it and spent an hour trying to figure out how to put it together even though there were only three bits. Cavalete/Caballete/Huàjià by the way.
Olivia went to see a movie with her friend Gardenia, leaving me to work. When she got back, we ate dinner and watched some more Obi-Wan Kenobi. It’s all very confusing, but there are some great aliens. Imagine if when the aliens do actually come, they are all in grey suits and come from a planet where everyone is bored, no art or music, and they live in the ground because they can’t be bothered to build houses. The only thing they’re good at is building spaceships that are all automated and when they travel across the galaxy they just sit inside them yawning, if they have mouths.
Music today has been King Crimson’s sixth album Starless and Bible Black (1974). It was the same band as Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, except Jamie Muir didn’t return after the percussion experiment on the previous album. Interestingly on this album, the previous one, and the next one, Red, the lyrics were not written by Pete Sinfield but by Richard Palmer-James who was a founding member of Supertramp. It’s another great King Crimson album.