Recording this piece has been an entirely different process than that of developing it as a live performance. It's not just a matter of playing it live in the studio and documenting that. This is an opportunity to really hone the original piece, to cut out any dead weight that may have been tolerable in a concert but does not stand up to repeated listening on a recording. I'm not so concerned about getting the "perfect performance" out of the musicians. Being the great improvisers that they are, there will always be differences in every version, so the idea of any one recording being the definitive performance is contradictory to the nature of improvisation. It's more about sculpting the whole thing into an optimal home listening experience
My main concern has been with editing the band's performance — having them play only when it is needed — and in mixing them carefully in relation to the recorded soundscape material, being mindful about not letting the instruments dominate the field recordings. I don't want the soundscape to become background for them to play "over." There are times when they should be completely embedded within the ambient sound, almost indistinguishable from it, and other times when they should be brought forward in the mix.
|Left to Right: Greg Sinibaldi, Lesli Dalaba, Steve Peters, Beth Fleenor, Naomi Siegel (photo: Doug Haire)|
|Doug Haire and Paul Kikuchi (photo: Levi Fuller)|
The piece is now at the point where it is sounding quite good and close to finished. Just a few more little tweaks and it will be ready for mastering.