Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Imaginary Road Studios Weekend

Saturday November 15, I slept in till 9:30am. I never EVER get to do that. I have some boys that like to wake up at 6am. Very annoying for the sleepy musician I am. I spose I would miss them if they were not around. More on that later.

I read for a while, then I got up and at 'em. Went to breakfast, then I decided to brave the soggy, wet weather and drive around the area. I drove into New Hampshire from downtown Brattleboro. What a crazy town..very busy for such a small town. I came back, and then drove to NewFane, VT. The drive there is very picturesque. I even saw one of those covered bridges I've seen in pictures. Such a romantic thing I don't know why tho. Maybe its a chick thing.

I drove to Tom and Sally's handmade chocolates and bought some gifts for family and friends. What a trip.. .they had this chocolate paint.. hahaha. I will leave you to your imagination on that one.

I then drove into NewFane and went to eat lunch at the NewFane Cafe. Talk about a great place to eat. They have this great Turkey Harvest sandwich.. I wish I could have brought some home. I think I will improvise and make some after Thanksgiving. I got talking to the locals, and met this guy named Edward Brown, a local artist that has been everywhere.. and when I mean everywhere I mean worldwide. He asked my what my passion was, I told him Music. He told me he knew it! I guess it takes one to know one. ; ) We talked about everything, anything. It was like we were old friends catching up after a long absence. I used to think Kindred Spirits were a rarity. Lately I've been finding them everywhere. His passion is living and art. I wasn't too sure about talking to him in the beginning..because he was a bit muddy and scruffy looking.. however, you can never judge a book by its cover.. so what the hell, I talked with him.

He bought me lunch. I must have stayed there an hour or so, and it went by so fast. He gave me some of his artwork and unfortunately I didn't have any of my CDs with me, so I gave him a card with my website on it.

I told him.. I'd like to pay him for buying my lunch.. and he said.. nope, just pay it forward. I will do that.

After I spent all that time, I drove to an antique shop. I love old things. I have never seen one so stocked with so much in my life. Normally its a few things and china.. this guy had it loaded with so much. He had two secretary desks that one was made of maple and in pristine condition.. it was made in the 1750's and the other one was out of oak I think.. and it was an 1800's secretary with secret drawers. The shipping would have soaked me so I will have something to look forward to when I go back. I have two of those secretary desks here, one made of dark maple and the other out of dark cherry. I found a tea cup/saucer that was in the old Flo Blue china pattern. It is beautiful.

By the time I was done, it was starting to get dark. I began my journey back to the motel.. and stopped to take some pictures of the drive. The 30 is so picturesque and with all the low lying clouds, and the rain.. it was surreal.

I went to get a simple dinner at the local grocery store, a sandwich and a delicious Vermont apple. Their apples are fabulous. Never thought I'd find apples there were comparable to Washington ones...or even better! I loved the freedom I had there. I could come and go as I pleased, I could do whatever I wanted. I never get to do that. Very Cool..

More to come...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Imaginary Road Studios Day 3

Friday November 14, 2008 dawned a new day for us to work with Eugene Friesen ( Grammy Cellist ) and David Cullen ( Grammy guitarist).

I drove to Will's place again, my thoughts were everywhere. My main thought was, the mapping of the music, and how well it went. I will never forget that gift of being able to map out my music this way from now on.

Corin played the music.. and yes a new day had everything sounding much better. I am still the worst critic of my own music, but you know, I can listen to it now without saying, Oh that sounds bad, or wish I had tweaked that... its all coming together.

I got there, and David Cullen had driven from PA. This man has quite a talent. I made some changes to Nantucket.. which I told him b4 we started working. To hear the guitar on my song was amazing. He took the initiative to add a better guitar line than what I have in the current mix of Nantucket in my player.

I think it took all of 2 hours to get that track done with the guitar track in it.

Then Eugene Friesen came into the studio. Cello almost always makes me cry.. and when I tell you that on Midnight, Eugene totally interpreted the song perfectly, and I totally was crying. By the time we finished I was emotionally drained.

When I tell you this experience there was SO creative, pure heaven for me.. its true!

In between all of this, I was enjoying conversations with everyone. The beauty of Will's place, driving all over Brattleboro, just was surreal for me. How often do I get to go on my own to work on my music? Not often.. and this was truly a gift for me. It was like Christmas every day for me... sound silly? Well its true.

So... there I was, drained ready to go back to the motel. Which I did. I did happen to talk with some of the locals in Newfane, VT.. at the Newfane Cafe earlier in the day. WHAT a great bunch of people. I passed out business cards, and they gave me theirs. I truly enjoyed myself.

Anyway.. the weekend was mine to explore and do what I wished.. so that I could rest up for Monday.

More to come...

Imaginary Road Studios Day 1

Thursday, November 13 was the day of many firsts for me. I could not sleep before, I was a bit anxious. I thought I was going to have to write out all the songs on manuscript paper. So you can imagine my stress level was pretty high.

I drove out to Will's place, and it was a lovely drive. There is this river along side the 30 that was so enchanting. It calmed me down sort of! lol...

I parked my GPS challenged car, and went into the warm studio. I immediately sat down and started playing my heart out on the Steinway B. I am going to own one of those one day. Yup. .I am. I filmed me playing the piano. I have this cool little vid camera called the Flip Mino and it fits on this cute little tripod. I got some good piano time. Will came into the sound room and we started to map out the music. NO, notation.. just mapping like this: A B A C ...etc... and if the song has some special qualities.. we name that particular part. I nearly fainted with relief when they worked with me this way. It has helped me immensely! I remember my own music much better than in the past. So that is going to be one of the things in my own production that I will be using.

Midnight was first to be recorded. I think we did about 10 takes. Was very hard.. he directed me and pulled things out of me I had no idea I had in me. Each take focused on one part or other in the song. Then Corin would edit the parts together. I've never done that b4 and it was a tad bit scary.. however, Will and Corin gave me assurances that I was doing fine. Normally a musician has time to ease into how they do things... well, I didn't have the luxury of time on my side.. but you know, I really became focused on the the work at hand. Midnight took much of the day to finish.

Went to lunch, and then came back to work. In between all of this, Will took the time to get to know me. Talked with me, asked me about myself. He really put me at ease. He also talked about himself. That is a sign of a very down to earth person. He really is a good man. Corin was mixing the song together.. man that guy is GREAT. He really understands Will's preferences.. etc. I was extremely pleased. Oh yes.. the ceremonies of cutting the fingernails off was quite an event! lol.. NO clicking... my teachers all told me my nails would bite me in the rear end one day! hahah.

We then began to work on Nantucket. Again, we mapped it out, pulled out some non essential parts to the song.. and made it into music. I think we finished around 7pm. My head was aching, my ears hurt... I know we were all exhausted. I was very unsure of how I did. Once again they assured me, the next day everything would sound better.

I drove back to the Colonial Motel where I was staying. I was extremely happy with how everything went. So happy, that I went to sleep and I slept like a rock.

Take a look at the photos I posted so you can see what I am talking about.

More to come...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Imaginary Road Studios Part 1

Greetings everyone!

I am finally home from Vermont. I now can tell you all about it. I will need to break up the experiences in separate blog entries.. as it would take an HUGE amount of time to write a HUGE blog. I can't even sit still to read long blogs.. so this will be short.

I left on November 11 to go work at Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, VT. And yes I worked with Will Ackerman and Corin Nelson.

I flew from Orange County, to Atlanta, then connected and flew into Hartford, CT. All of this was going out of my comfort zone. So I was just a tiny bit stressed. I then picked up my car and drove up into Vermont. Now.. here in CA, you have to drive hours b4 you get out of the state.. well, it was a mighty different xperience for me to drive from CT, to Mass and then to VT, all in a matter of an hour and a half.

It was dark by the time I got there.. so I was a bit anxious about my surroundings as the rental car I had did not have GPS... I really was annoyed by that. However, I prevailed and got there around 10pm. I stayed at the Colonial Motel off of Putney Road in Brattleboro.

I was VERY tired when I got there. I was happy to have a place to sleep at. I did not have any expectations of what would happen there.

Tomorrow I will write about my first day at Imaginary Road. TOTALLY rockn place.

More to come...


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Update

How did it become November? I have been exhausted, over worked, stressed, excited, can't sleep all in the past weeks. I am looking forward to the coming week.

I was able to sleep 12 hours Saturday night which is HUGE miracle in my life. Considering 4 children that enjoy waking me up in the middle of the night. Everyone went to bed and stayed there!! yay!

I feel like a little kid at Christmas because one week from tomorrow I fly to Vermont to record music. I think the weather is going to shock me. I have not been in the cold since 1980. I left Minnesota when I was 15 and moved to Texas. So.. I plan on taking lots of warm clothing.. I just might take my M&M blankie with me! ( I do so love that furry.. it keeps me so warm). I am SUCH a wimp when it comes down to being cold.. but I just LOVE layering the sweaters.. etc.

What you should know:

1. Trillium is still in production. We have 4 songs to finish - Midnight, Nantucket, A Roses Tale and The Crystal Fields. Midnight and Nantucket will be recorded in Vermont. A Roses Tale and The Crystal Fields will be recorded here and then Jeff Silverman will be helping with Mixing/Mastering and Sound Design. Lots of work to do still.

2. Website is re-designed. Pete Havey gets the Grammy for getting it done! You can visit here: Kori's Website

3. You can purchase digital tracks from my website of the Trillium songs we have finished! Kori's Shop

Drop me a line, say hello tell me what your favorite song is so far. I do enjoy hearing from you all.

Take care and next week I'll be blogging from Vermont!

More to come...