Decisions, decisions...


The topic today was initially discussed in the pub, after last night's rehearsal (also in the same excellent pub - ) by the three members of Dr Zebo's Wheezy Club... 

As you can probably tell from the facebook page, we are a profound and academically rigorous ensemble determined to preserve the authentic ethnomusicological performance practices of West Wiltshire. Not! 

What we actually do is collect (or compose new) tunes borrowed (or inspired) from anywhere and everywhere, and then combine them in elaborate medleys/mashups/remixes, whilst having a laugh and a few drinks. We then generally amuse/bemuse audiences in folk clubs, acoustic music venues, beer or gin festivals, wedding receptions and the like... with the results of our labours. 

We have been thinking about recording a CD, after doing some trial recordings with the excellent sound engineer, Tim Walker . (NB: Highly recommended if you ever need a recording engineer (and he's a tasty bass player too)). 

Having heard the warts-and-all live recording, we realise that there are things that we all individually need to tighten up before doing a proper recording... But how "authentic" should the CD be? The recording options seem to be: 

1. An "everyone playing together" recording giving an exact record of the band sound live. 

2. Mostly live, but with some tricky bits (eg: backing vocals or solos) overdubbed later. 

3. The live arrangements of pieces with extra overdubs by members of the band - extra guitar, fiddle, trombone(!) or backing vocal parts. 

4. The basic trio plus additional players adding touches of (maybe) keyboards, drums or even a horn section. 

When you realise that the recording technology used to record the entire Beatles "Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album is now available on an iphone - in fact you can do more with just a phone - the options are endless... 

Then, if we do some new, fancier versions, do we just use these for occasional tracks on the CD, with the rest "as live" - or should the whole album be seen as a different project from the live band? 

Finally we have to decide which pieces to do! And do we owe royalties to John Coltrane (or his estate) if I play a version of the head of his tune, "Spiritual", on the double bass as the introduction to some of Mike's new slip-jigs? 

This CD recording lark is harder than you would think! 



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