Recording

LA Take 2 – Day 10 – String Quartet heaven

Tiredness kicked in today, partly due to some flower blooming and setting of my allergies… so I had to buy extra chocolate today.

We had the string quartet coming in today so Bleu and Joe spent the time preparing all the parts for them. This gave me a little time to rehearse the songs I will be playing tomorrow at Room 5. Not sure whether to go with the ‘pick and card’ type of gig or actually put my songs into some cohesive order. Probably should do the latter although I do like the element of slight disorder.

Keatly from pigFactory popped in again today to see how we were doing. His toes were tapping so I think he likes it. He hung around for a while which was nice.

The string quartet, called The Section Quartet, along with their sound engineer arrived and set up and were the most lovely people… and so incredibly talented. When they started playing my tune I welled up… and those of you who know me, know I am not a weller… I lack the sentiment gene, but somehow I found it today. Beautiful!

On violins were Eric Gorfain, Daphne Chen (with the lovely boots… I had boot envy), on viola Leah Katz (with great hair… short and blond), on cello Richard Dodd, and wonderfully engineered by Steven Rhodes. This was certainly one of the highlights of this recording.

Then it was more mexican food time and Bleu and I headed back to his to go over some tunes for tomorrow… sounding awesome… can’t wait.

LA Take 2 – Day 9

This morning I got Bleu put on the car rental agreement so he can relax and drive. My driving has lost it’s London edge so I’m a bit sloooow.

Back at the studio it was fluting time… check out what I had to play… not easy, but I had SO much fun doing it. And Bleu was VERY complimentary about my playing and I know if I had sucked he would not have hidden it.

And here’s me doing my thing…

Once that was done it was chocolate time and I took a bit of a risk today and bought … wait for it… 100% Cocoa. Joe was REALLY excited and it did not disappoint… pretty good.

Some of Joe’s friend popped in for a visit. I have met so many nice people while I have been here… all them so relaxed and fun. And these folks were no exception.

Talking of Joe… after we devoured the best ever fish and potato tacos, Joe recorded some drums and piano on Floating Away… and did a very tasty job…

We spent a while watching the back of Bleu’s head while he did his thing with with all his bells and whistles. When he suggested adding banjolele I took no time in whipping it out… πŸ™‚

The photo I really wish I had gotten was when all three of us recorded some clapping… just to capture the pure joy/insanity on the guys’ faces. It was a kodak moment.

It got to 8:30 and we were starving so headed over to the Monday night food truck night and got there just in time. It was such a cool place. In the grounds of a church a whole bunch of gourmet food trucks turn up. I had the best burger followed by a red velvet truffle…. yum.

Then back to the studio to work some more on Anytime Soon. When we started this song a few days ago and Bleu was adding some really weird stuff I wasn’t sure, but listening fresh I LOVE it. He comes up with such interesting ideas that I could never think of. I’ve jumped down a musical rabbit hole and am loving it!

LA Take 2 – Day 8

This morning I managed to catch up with some musicians friends that I met at various music conferences and it was so nice to see Rod Kim and the guys for breakfast. Rod has a new album coming out very soon and you should check out his music.

Today we had the bassoon/clarinet player coming in to add tracks for Little Room and A Little More Fine. John Mitchell sounded great and I really like it when the classical musicians come in because I spent so long in the classical world that it feels wonderfully familiar. I will be playing the flute part in Little Room and there is one bar that I was finding very tricky and when John found the same thing on the clarinet part I was so relieved that it wasn’t just me.

I always find it funny when Bleu introduces me to the musicians as the artist. I have never really thought of myself as an artist… but I like how it sounds πŸ™‚

After some other odds and ends we went for dinner with Kiara, the viola player from Breathe In Breathe Out. Bleu has been going on and on and on about his favourite restaurant Furaibo… so finally we went. After deciphering which food didn’t have MSG (I have an allergy) we ate some pretty fun things including a japanese style toasted cheese sandwich, but with fishcake instead of the bread… yummy!

Apparently a Furaibo visit is not complete without a stop at the local Japanese market… see how much Bleu likes the Japanese market… almost as much as he likes my driving πŸ˜‰

LA Take 2 – Day 7 – day off

Today was a day off but it started with renting a car which was way more complicated than it needed to be… and I was a bit scared of driving in LA. But it all got sorted and when I drove all my city driving skills came flooding back… and at least LA is on a grid… unlike the lovely London.

So i shopped and found my church and true calling…

I was strong enough to leave without purchasing but there is another week to go… ton ton ton.

This evening I put the word out on twitter for something fun to do, because there is an ASCAP Expo going on this weekend and I knew there would be some people around that I knew. My internet friend and vocal coach extrodinaire invited me to her private party. So bought a new little black dress and off I went.

It was a wonderful party where I met some really interesting people and it’s always so nice to meet people that you have connected with on social network sites and Cari Cole was no exception. In fact she was awesome and kept introducing people to me and really singing my praises. My ego feels pretty good right about now.

Looking forward to getting back to the music tomorrow πŸ™‚

LA Take 2 – Day 6 – Joe is back

Today we really got into Anytime Soon and and the was some really crazy stuff going on. I love watching Bleu work his magic and having Joe back really adds to that magic. I learned about Mellotron today… apparently they were the first sampler, using actual taped sounds of different instruments and when you held a note down the tape would run out, rewind and then continue. It makes everything sound cool. I love it!

I keep trying to get candid photos on Bleu but this is pretty much what Joe and I see everyday. He’s in the zone.

Keatly, my pigFactory publisher, stopped by today and we all headed down the road to have what Bleu says are ‘ literally the BEST fish tacos EVER’. As usual, he was right and here is me and Keatly about to enjoy them.

Back at the studio we had a stand-up bass player coming in and there is nothing quite like the sound of real stand-up bass… gorgeous! Thanks Nate Light!

Our final thing of the day was starting Floating Away and Bleu added some guitar… really nice to have someone else’s guitar on the album. This meant that Joe was in charge of the recording… you can almost see the terror on his face πŸ™‚

Joe’s in-laws were in town (whom I loved partly because they thought I was 18… I’ll live on that for weeks!) so we went out for chinese and I ordered the tangerine chicken because it’s what Sheldon always orders on The Big Bang Theory and I was curious as to what it tasted like. The guys bought the weirdest sharing drink… it had a weird name but can’t remember it now… but it came with very long straws and has a ridiculous amount of alcohol… hic.

LA Take 2 – Day 5 – horns and acting…

This morning was SO much fun. I headed over to my old comedy chum, Lynn Ferguson’s place to record some This Day Today episodes. It was a long time since I have done any reading or comedy stuff but it was SO much fun. Lynn is a great director and between her and her husband, Mark, I think we have some great takes (and out-takes). I really recommend checking out their videos at http://blip.tv/ThisDayToday. They have some wonderful actors and comedians being very amusing. I will let you know when mine will be shown.

Th weirdest thing though was turning up after not seeing Lynn in over 10 years and finding we have exactly the same hair… I’m her mini-me πŸ™‚

After a lovely lunch and catching up on so much it was time to head back to the studio.

Today is flugalhorn day. There is a wind quartet on Little Room and this was the first instrument to be recorded. Chris Tedesco did a wonderful job on his beautiful new flugalhorn.

Today we had no Joe and agreed that it wasn’t quite the same without his smiling face. It’s funny what aspects go into the overall experience of producing an album. I had today’s chocolate ready but I think I’ll wait until it’s all of us again. He’ll be back tomorrow.

We stared another song today and I had to re do the guitar parts. It was really nice to play and instrument for a while. A lot of being here is me listening while Bleu does a ton of work. I just pass comment from time to time.

Bleu had somewhere he needed to be tonight so I got the chance to get back to the hotel early and have a nice long conversation with my family. I really miss them. They are amazing.

LA Take 2 – Day 4 – Wonderful Day

I started today with my usual walk to Whole Foods to pick up lunch and snack (and chocolate) but was lured into a clothing store on my way back where I purchased these lovely shoes for my daughter. She may have to wrestle me for them though.

I also picked up cake pops to start the recording day… mmm… chocolate raspberry.

The first part of today’s session was spent sorting out vocals and organizing a string section and stand-up bass player. It’s so cool to have all these amazing musicians available to play on my album. And after hearing the string arrangement for A Little More Fine and seeing the joy on Bleu’s face I am very excited about the quartet that is coming in next week.

Then it was onto vocal harmonies for Every Time You Catch Me. The production on this one is huge and I love it!! I love it when Bleu is going through my vocals making approving noises. So in celebration of this we broke open today’s chocolate… Black Salt and Burnt Sugar Caramel 70% chocolate. It just might be better than yesterday’s bacon.

After Joe recorded some amazing drums, once again, everyone was really excited and there was a great atmosphere in the studio… maybe it was all the sugar consumed but either way we were having fun. In fact at the end of the day Bleu declared that it was probably the most fun he’d had at the studio ever. πŸ™‚

We ended the day by going out for Mexican… I am mexican food convert… especially when it comes with blood orange tequila!