7 players, 17 songs, 2 mics
Folks have asked me about the next release on Soundkeeper. Here's the info:
I’m happy to announce our next release is not far off. This has been a big project and a challenging one for all concerned. A veritable tour de force from NYC singer/songwriter Jason Vitelli, “Confluence” is a double album (on one CD), showcasing Jason’s amazing talents as songwriter, vocalist, musician and arranger.
I first met Jason when he contacted me a few years ago, to master his first album “No Photographs”. I was so knocked out by Jason’s music, I asked him if he’d be interested in doing a project for Soundkeeper. Happily, he said he was interested. The only issue was that Jason played almost all the instruments on “No Photographs” and would need to assemble a band in order to do a real time recording in the Soundkeeper way.
The word was put out and Jason auditioned many players and background vocalists. Ultimately, he gathered a great bunch who were sympathetic to his music and provided just the right support to allow Jason to fly. As the pièce de résistance addition to the band, I contacted my friend Dave Ramsay. After hearing Jason’s music, Dave joined to complete the band and lend his special musicianship to the proceedings.
Featuring solo performances, duets and a trio as well as full ensemble pieces, the album’s 17 songs range from ballads to all out electric rockers, all recorded “live” (for the microphones) and in stereo.
For musicians used to the convenience of being able to overdub and/or patch musical performances, the demands were great in that everyone had to be “on” all the time; any mistake on one person’s part would require a retake on everyone’s part. From my perspective as producer and engineer, the different musical arrangements made it more like recording five or six different ensembles. I’d get a sound for recording and we’d capture the takes, then I’d have to start over again as we rearranged the stage to accommodate a different array of instrumentation. When it came time to master, the challenges continued. All the different combinations of players on the different songs meant that getting a consistent volume level from song to song took a lot more time, making settings, listening, tweaking settings, listening some more, etc. particularly in view of the fact that I was not going to simply slap a compressor on everything to “even it out”. The idea was to preserve the real dynamics of the performances, so of course, there were no compressors at all.
Stay tuned for some audio samples, soon to be put up on the Soundkeeper Web site.