Friday, October 19, 2012

Let it go

October 19th, 2012 - Squids Travels

There's an amazing power to letting go. I'm learning the art of it more and more. It's not the same as quitting. It's more to do with acceptance of whatever will be will be. You don't give up on your desire but at the same time your happiness is not dependent upon the outcome. Be happy anyway and let things unfold however they will. You may just be surprised at what happens.

The other day it was uncertain as to whether the "big session" at the end of this trip was going to be possible. It was a tall order! What I'm putting together is unique, special and amazing! It relates to one of my favorite bands (besides Genesis) and it's very delicate to pull off. I'm in the producer's seat and a lot of the weight of decisions on how things are to be done falls on my shoulders. That's a challenge! But so far so good. The other day I completely let go of my attachment to this session happening even though the studio and hotels were already booked. I figured in a worst case scenario I'll just sample instruments and record music anyway myself. Fortunately I'm musician as much as I am a business man so I'm never without something creative or productive to do. I just don't operate with unlimited budgets to book high end studios all over the world without a solid confirmation of who will be able to make the session but you know... sometimes in life you have to take risks.

Good news is that I got confirmation this morning that it is a "go"! The artists, the engineer, the tech, the cartage, the studio... ALL green lighted!!!! Ironically that feels even BETTER after I gave my expectations a lot more 'slack'. It became more of a surprise than if I was expecting it to happen. At the same time if it couldn't happen the let down would have been much smaller because I had already let go of my attachment to the outcome... with no less desire to do it, just more acceptance of whatever will be.

So that's positive. Another thing I noticed last night while putting together a piece for IK Multimedia on Steve Hackett's use of IK plug-ins and Sonic Reality sounds is that, in besides 'keys and programming' on "Supper's Ready", I got an "additional production" credit in the liner notes of the Genesis Revisited 2 album. Check it out!  That may be the closest I'll ever get to being involved in the production of a Genesis album (bucket list!!!!). Granted this isn't actually Genesis but these are also some of the songs, era and style of the band I love the most. To think that this is something that could be happening in 2012 is mind boggling. As for the "additional production" credit, I wasn't expecting it even though I knew I was encroaching on that territory by bringing in artists to the project, doing various sound design and conducting vocal sessions with Simon. The thing is though... no one asked me to go that far into the production side of things. But I went ahead and did it anyway just to be helpful because that's what's natural for me. Again sometimes you have to take risks. The worst that can happen is they say no!

Here's a new video blog with Steve Hackett and Roger King talking about the Genesis Revisited 2 album:

If I'm working on something I give it my best. I'm not the guy you just put some sheet music in front of and ask that it be executed flawlessly. (In fact I can't even sight read music... I'd have to do it by memory after I figured it out by ear with a little bit of sheet music reference if that). My value to a project is that I'm more of a resourceful creative element.  It's better for me if I am given some creative freedom in a project to at least "co-produce" but that role isn't offered all the time so when it isn't I just go right up to the line for the sake of a quality end result. It's just not up to me what is kept and what is discarded in those cases.

Another album track I went beyond the call of keyboard duty on was "Bloody Well Right" from the album "Songs of The Century - A Tribute to Supertramp" It features me on keys with Joe Lynn Turner of Rainbow & Deep Purple on vocals, Billy Sherwood and Scott Connor on guitars, bass and drums. Billy was producing it and he didn't ask me to co-produce it with him... but I went up to the edge and really put a sonic stamp on it. A little more "Hodgson-esque ear candy" style added to it... with hints of "Blinded by The Light" and The Beach Boys. In fact, if I WAS producing it I would have taken it further and put those "aaah" backing vocals in there too and gone total retro 70's with it. But, that would have gotten a "ummm Dude? What are you doing?" so I left it at an "orgy of 70's keyboards". In all fairness, whenever I hire Billy Sherwood to play on anything I'm producing he does the same thing! He can't help it and I don't blame him. I fully understand.

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