Ereia recording update

The recording of Ereia is supported by a grant from the Aaron Copland Foundation.

On July 10, 1999, basic tracks for Ereia were recorded at Sorcerer Sound, in NYC. Engineer was Chris Howard. Musicians present were Nick Didkovsky on guitar, Greg Anderson on bass, Leo Ciesa on drums, Kathy Supove on piano, Rob Henke on trumpet, Michael Lytle on bass clarinet, and Todd Reynolds on violin. Michael and Todd were there to lay down their solos. Rob laid down scratch trumpet tracks and played some inspired solos (keepers) as well.

Besides recording all of the third movement of Ereia, this ensemble also recorded "Swallow The Neck of Guest Who Hisses When You Pass" (one movement of Didkovsky's "Amalia's Secret", originally composed for and recorded by Bang On A Can All-Stars), and Rob Henke's "Chomsky", which is a heavy rocking groove featuring improvised vocal rants by Rob and Kathy.

Next step is to get the Nerve horns (Lytle, Duboin, Henke) in there to finish their parts, then bring in the string quartet. Looking ahead to a spring release on Cuneiform Records.

On August 23, 1999, we had our Big Horn Day. Opened the day with a major splicing session: assembling pieces from various takes and fearlessly cutting the 2" 24-track master. Fun fun fun way to start a morning. Then Rob came in and put down killer tracks on his parts, finding new uncharted octaves above the legal limit for trumpet, also adding baritone thing and tuba to Nerve's version of his tune "Chomsky" (featuring simultaneous rants on three-day-weekend-picnics by Rob, and tribal warfare by Kathy). Michael got what I think is the best recorded clarinet sound ever, laying down his parts, keeping the improvs he did in July. We rescheduled Yves for later, a wise move at 10pm, instead devoting some time to piping the direct bass sound through a monster amp that Greg brought by, and droppnig that on a separate track. Next: string quartet.

On September 5, Sirius String Quartet came in to lay down tracks. Musicians were Joyce Hammann (first violin), Mary Whitaker (second violin), Ron Lawrence (viola), and Tomas Ulrich (cello). Their session was preceeded by an unprecedented disaster: approximately 3 inches of tape suffered delamination. That is, the oxide with the basic tracks recorded on it literally tore off. Check back here - I'll scan it and post it so you can see it for yourself. Made a back up reel and added all Sirius tracks to that. Insane. Anyway, we recovered as we dared to splice out the offending passage and miraculously, you can barely tell, as the delamination came at a forgiving musical moment. We will run a contest to see who of you can tell where the rip is. Anyway, the session rocked - Ereia's third movement attained new heights of enormity. Sirius utterly tore apart the music, which in this case is a good thing.

On September 9, Sirius String Quartet came in to finish up tracks for movement three. The control room burst into applause after hearing the playback on the magic take of "At Last the Hand, Shifting." Amazing.

On September 12, Sirius String Quartet came in to record the first movement. This is the string-quartet-only movement. Brilliant performances all around of course. Tomas managed to record some utterly ridiculous interlocking rhythms that blew those present away.

On October 6, Yves Duboin put down soprano sax and flute tracks. He left with a splitting headache. Well deserved. Yves found new heights of pain in his sax tone. Meanwhile, the flute was rendered rather beautifully, but could not compete against the damage sustained by the sax. Michael Lytle dropped by to perform a harmony melody against Tomas's cello line. Gorgeous. Finally, Greg Anderson brought an arsenal of basses by, including a bass amp that was once owned and operated by Jack Cassidy. Jack's bass died within seconds, inspiring Greg to get a direct sound that blistered the original Chomsky tracks we recorded way back in July.

On October 15 or thereabouts, Nick bought an astonishing piece of guitar technology and redid his guitar solo at home. Whatta friggin' blast. This beast is called the POD by Line6.

NEXT: Ron Lawrence records his solo viola piece, and Joyce and Mary record their duo. Then we mix.

November 26, 1999
Ron's done, Joyce and Mary done, (incredible stuff from all), some mixes done. Delamination of tape continues to bite us on the ass, costing hours and many dollars and even more energy. Want to see the chunk of oxide that was torn off our Quantegy GP9 2" master tape?

Jan 3 2000
Mixing is all done (!). 1/2" reels being digitized at SAE mastering by Matt Murman. 24 bit AIFF files will jet my way in a few days, for final assembly here at home.

Jan 28, 2000
Final assembly completed and sent back to SAE. Champagne opened and drained. Had the cognitively dissonant experience of looking at the two CD-R's in my hands before shipping them and was very disturbed that this whole saga crunched down to these tiny objects. Experiential data compression makes little sense to me.
Next: reference CD from SAE, then there's nothing more for me to do. Odd feeling.

Check back here periodically.
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