Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Squids Travels October 16th, 2012

Many things happening at once! 

There's never any shortage of interesting things going on in my world. I design it that way so I'm never bored. Even if I had nothing going on with anyone else I'd be finding something creative to do on my own. That's just how I am. 

So, what's a day in the life of a Squids like? A mixture of things. Between yesterday and today it's been a blur of organizing this UK trip coming up between sessions with producers Nick Davis and Alan Parsons to a CD release party and charity gig with Steve Hackett, Francis Dunnery and friends. A lot of really cool things lined up for both Sonic Reality sample sessions and some of my music productions with Sonic Elements. There may even be a few things related to a project I have with Simon Collins if he ends up going as well!

I spent some time today at the SR office going over midi grooves with Ken Scott that he meticulously edited from the session we did with Bob Siebenberg, drummer of the band Supertramp who Ken recorded and produced back in the day. We recreated the iconic drum sounds of albums like "Crime of the Century" and "Crisis What Crisis?" for a Sonic Reality product series called "EpiK DrumS - A Ken Scott Collection". It's been an on going thing for many years now. But it still amazes me that I am but a phone call away from any question I may have about how he recorded The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Dixie Dregs, Mahavishnu Orchestra, America, George Harrison, Supertramp, Devo, Duran Duran, Missing Persons, Lou Reed, Billy Cobham and the list goes on! So many classic artists and albums it boggles the mind. The man was there! His very first orchestral recording session was "I Am The Walrus" at age 19 or something like that! Talk about being thrown into the deep end! He put together a fascinating book about his career in music called "Abbey Road To Ziggy Stardust" which is worth getting if you want to know more about those sessions and experiences making classic albums. 

I have a lot of stories of travels with Ken that I'll share here and there. I got to go to Abbey Road with him which was incredible and we rummaged through EMI's archives looking for photos of him from the 60's. I actually found some of Alan Parsons that I got permission to use as well. Here's one of them with Lenny Zakatek, the singer for Alan Parsons Project that I got to record a few years back doing the "animal percussion" noises he did in the middle section of the song "Games People Play". I never knew that was done with the human voice! Really unusual sounds to sample. That's a cool story itself that I'll tell at some point. 

So, that would be an eventful enough day if that was it but there was more. I downloaded a final mix to listen to of the Lo-Fi Resistance album "Chalk Lines" which I'm co-producing with Randy McStine. The album features Gavin Harrison and Colin Edwin of the band Porcupine Tree as the rhythm section with me on keys and Randy on vocals, guitars and everything else. The album will be released this year and I'm very proud to be part of it. 

Then there was some back and forth with Francis Dunnery who I talk to pretty much everyday. This time he's in England having just arrived and asked me to send him versions of "In The Cage", "Anyway" and "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway" that we've done (work in progress still) presumably to play for people there. He's very proud of it as am I. Mark Hornsby and Nick D'Virgilio were the backbone of that and Mark also mixed the Lo-Fi album with Randy over at Sweetwater Sound in Indiana where he now resides. So does an ex-employee of Sonic Reality named Ryan Holquist who actually got the job initially because he came up to me at a NAMM show (musical instrument trade show) and said "Aren't you the guy who played the 'Mighty Wurlitzer' with Kevin Gilbert?" (or something like that). He also happens to be a Francis Dunnery fan, a Genesis fan and a 'muso' into the old 70's stuff (even though he wasn't born until after that decade had passed). Ironically, Ryan is one of the people who came with me to sample drums the last time we went to The Farm and a studio called British Grove in London to record drum samples in the style of Genesis and Pink Floyd. I'm going to England now to do something very similar but we'll have someone new helping us do that this time... I will say more about that later! 

So, you think that's it? There's more... there's always more. My days are filled up! I'm working on a slide show for my brother's wedding which is coming up this weekend just before I leave for England. Got family in town and if there's one thing my family has in common (and it isn't music btw... barely anyone in my family plays an instrument at all!) it's SEAFOOD! We all don't mind getting our hands dirty and being a bit shellfish. So... bring on the shrimp, crab and lobster! It's party time! 

There's even more but... you know. I'll be back with plenty later. I hope you're enjoying this though. I really do! 

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