01|31|09   Recording the new album

Horn and trombone arrangement for a new song, called Night Sky TexturesHorn and trombone arrangement for a new song, called “Night Sky Textures”. Download the high-res PDF score.

All apologies for having neglected my blogging duties over the last month or two. I only have ten days left in New Zealand before I head over to the States. The US tour is shaping up nicely – though, admittedly, I have been a bit slow to book in the final 5-6 dates (I’m aiming for a total of roughly 20 shows). My main focus, aside from some wonderful developments in my personal life, has been to finish the recording of the new album.

Although I won’t get it all done in time, I’m still incredibly pleased with the progress we’ve made over the last two months. Pretty much all of the instrumental parts to the twelve songs are now tracked, and what is left to do now is record vocals, mix the album, and get it mastered in the States. Even lyric writing, which traditionally takes me the longest, has been going far better than I had anticipated, with the majority of lyrics being near completion.

my good friend, Rob!My good friend, Rob!

Contrary to A Maze and Amazement, I’ve decided this time around, to get a few more people involved in the making of the forthcoming record (which, as of writing, is still without a title). Most importantly, I opted to enlist the help of my friend Rob for tracking purposes. Although I have been recording all of the synth and drum machines at home, I wanted to get some outside help in recording guitars and live drums.

As the recordings progressed, Rob and I decided to organize some live brass for the album, as well. So this week we enlisted the help of Scott Taitoko (a stunning jazz trombonist) and David Cox (Christchurch Symphony Orchestra’s principal horn player).

Rob’s sweet 80’s drum kit.

Now, truth be told, I was a bit nervous at first, as I had to prepare proper scores for both of them to sight-read, and I haven’t written anything for horn or trombone since my composition days at university. Safe to say, I was a tad out of practice! However, as unsteady as my footing was, I enjoyed feeling like a music student again, trying my hand at composing music for all these wonderful and unique instruments.

Writing for trained musicians is a marvelous experience under almost any circumstances, but Scott’s and David’s sessions just utterly exceeded all of my expectations.

Scott and David, in short, were utter professionals. Both sight-read extremely well, they were utterly focused and very positive throughout their sessions, they took direction well, and, most importantly, delivered powerful musical performances that will play an indispensable role on this album.

In addition to recording Brass, Rob and I decided that a handful of songs could stand to benefit from some strategically placed live drumming. Consequently, Rob asked his old friend, Steve, to lay down a few drum tracks. Both, Rob and Steve, used to play together in a band called Throw, and Steve, like Scott and David, totally delivered in his session. We got some fabulous snare and cymbal work to add color and realism to what are mainly electronic drums on this album.

Rob's friend, SteveRob’s friend, Steve, laying down tracks for a new song called “Afterthoughts”.

Last, but not least, I was really happy to get Evan to contribute some of his mad-scientist-synth-skills for the new record. Having proven to be such a strong and creative musician over the last two years of playing together, I was very keen to get Evan more involved in the actual studio work, as well.

So, in conclusion, Rob, Evan, Scott, David and Steve, have all done a fantastic job – thank you! – and I can’t wait to start mixing the new album in February and March, and see how it all turns out. Exciting!

Yay! Check out the new Enright House Shop I just finished making! Even if you’re not the type of person who buys music anymore, do take a look at how pretty and shiny it is! :)

View Comments

  • http://paulcapewell.com Paul Capewell

    Nice to hear from you! Very exciting to hear all of this news. Best of luck with all the upheaval you have coming up! look forward to hearing all about it (and of course, the album when it is ready!)

  • Jo

    Been wondering what you’ve been up to. See you on Thursday on the bus!

  • http://www.jenny-gillespie.com Jenny

    Wow, I’m excited to hear this, Mark, especially with the brass section!

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