Thursday, February 01, 2007

A Composition Journal, Part 3

January 14 - afternoon

All this microscopic listening makes me edgy, grumpy. So, out for an hour's run in the snow.
My reward: Gray-green river, high and fast-moving under gray, snowing sky. The calm, monastery-like beauty of pine woods at Redstone park: snow-covered wooden benches, the stream and falls full, as they've been all winter.

Clear-headed, grounded, aerated, I listen yet again. I hear a few places that need work. I add more white (metallophone shimmer, pitch-shifted, reverbed), a bit of distant blue (steel guitar again; cut, looped, reverbed). I hear also a need for some translucent haze in the white (bells).

But for now, I need another break. I tend to get obsessive, working, pushing on until I'm satisfied--and/or exhausted. I'm going to try to do this piece a little differently.

January 15

Morning; a few more brushstrokes added. Listened on walkperson while I shoveled wet snow. Listened again while I walked to work. Almost done.

January 17

Crystal clear and cold-- sub-zero -- this morning. Some work on "Captured Light." An attempt at fine-tuning, but not quite getting it. Our heating system being fixed today, so it's COLD in the house. Bright sun, dazzling white snow-- shadows of tree branches on shiny surface crust.
I abandon music for the day, go out for a run. Back at home, I make a slow- simmering tomato sauce with peppers and hot Italian sausage-- an attempt to warm the house. Successful.

PM- Another attempt at EQ tweaking: cutting highs, boosting lower mids. Much better results: the piece has a thickness and warmth it didn't have before.

January 20

Listened to and compared, while editing some writing projects, both versions--original and re-EQd-- today. The first sounded better: more spacious and and airy; more shimmer.
I think the second version was satisfying at first from a sense of safety: it made the piece sound more like my previous work-- dark, murky, almost black and white.
But today I can trust the NEW direction behind the making of this piece. It seems the first mix is the one to go with.
(That said, there is still a need for some hiss reduction, maybe a slight taming of lows...)