Monthly Archives: April 2014

For runners and singers

So last weekend I went for a run and injured myself. Runners from the ’70s would “suck it up” and run through all kinds of injuries, blisters, pulls, shinsplints, sprains and strains. I (instead) took the week off. I’ve always prized my ability to run downhill. You have to match your leg speed with rate of descent, you can’t pull your torso back too much or pitch too forward and you have to try to not slap or pound your feet. All this wisdom and jargon and yet last weekend I pounded downhill and jammed my knee. There’s a particular ‘heartbreak hill’ from the Westside Highway down to the Hudson under the George Washington Bridge by The Little Red Lighthouse in The Washington Heights area where it all went awry. The ‘heartbreak’ most probably associate with running up that hill but most injuries happen downhill. I think the injury was due to the fact that I had to run. Sometimes when you have to run or have to sing the tendency is to throw all technique out the window and let fly!!! Also the element of other people being around doesn’t help…I don’t think anyone wants to appear slow…especially downhill. Well I went for the same run today. It was beautiful out today, crisp and clear skies. I was already prepared to descend the hill differently, so that wasn’t going to be an issue, however at some moment I felt the kick in me, I should be running faster, the impatience, the extra energy, the need to get the rage out and then my hand began doing something. I began fiddling with my keys. My voice teacher sometimes gives me a physical task to do while singing for more than distracting a brain that wants to force things into their place but also to open my back or breathe into my ribs. I’ve found that these other tasks are very helpful to my brain. I think it’s easy to focus too much on something…like you concentrate on that thing until before you know it you’re destroying it (makes me feel like Lenny in Of Mice and Men or The Hulk). Naturally all of this depends upon what type of person you are. I just had a great run and reminder from my voice teacher that technique is key. heh.

Have a great weekend all! -p

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Strange Weather (Mastering!!)

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This is the control booth of the studio, Strange Weather in Williamsburg (for booking information please contact them at: booking@strangeweatherbrooklyn.com, 347-422-6419) where Alex DeTurk (Mastering) James Beaudreau (Producer) and I worked on the album this past Sunday. The room stirs the imagination. I’ve always loved the cosmos whether in fact or fantasy and this control room was like being in a special sound spaceship. My lay-person understanding of mastering is that the audio engineer sets levels of the tracks to sound equal with each other, adjusts the space between tracks, addresses sequencing, fade-ins and outs and sweetens the overall sound. After 8 years of working on the album this was it. The studio is amazing, clean, outfitted with modern equipment, vintage equipment, and beautiful wood floors. When I initially stepped into the performance space (see below) on impulse I clapped once with force and the sound was incredible, very controlled…no echo but a response from the sides of the room and nothing from above. Fascinating. It’s run by Marc Alan Goodman and Daniel Schlett.

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This is the Studer we ran the digital files through.

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The listening and decision-making was intense. Alex worked quickly and accurately, he has innate musical instincts as does James. The key to making something really great is to find people who are better than you to work with! These gentlemen elevated the songs beautifully.

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It sounds great and we can’t wait for you all to hear it!!!