Submitted by PassionStar on Sat, 02/11/2017 - 15:01
We really had an amazing experience recording The Poetry of Motion project. 10 days of traveling - adjusting to time zones, new environments, and locations. Uber and trains were our in-country transports and both were super convenient. Uber has completely redone the travel experience for me - and there is no exchange of currency as it's all done through my bank account.
We were absolutely delighted to land at a B&B called Lorne House in Box, Wiltshire UK. http://www.lornehousebox.co.u
k The country side was bucolic and vibrant green with many brooks & streams running through the valley floor where we were. The property that Real World Studios resides on used to be a mill run by damming the stream.
More on Box: Box, Wiltshire - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Real World Studios is on a beautiful piece of property. http://realworldstudios.com T
he romantic old, stone, buildings house an amazing collection of industries from publishing, tech support, a small office & grounds staff - kitchen, dining, rooms for overnight guests, etc. The main "Mill" building houses the two studios - the Wood Room and the Big Room. There was a piano in each location and Ray played and recorded his 14 songs on both!
After our first night at Lorne House: we moved onto the property at Real World Studios. We spent the next couple of days walking the area, sightseeing in Bath where we marveled at the Roman Baths and the amount of history revealed there. Bath, Somerset - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Then on Thursday, we had access to the studios!! The piano tuner arrived in the early morning and Ray began to work with the technician / engineer to set up and test the microphones. It was amazing to hear the difference in what each microphone would pick up and relay in sound. It was a very old school approach to mic placement including omnidirectional mics in the room (which meant I couldn't make any noise). There was an English microphone called "Coles" that was developed by the BBC which are not widely accessible in the US, binaural (Aachen Head) mics which are housed in a head shape that were positioned behind Ray as he played - which replicates what Ray hears as he plays.
That first day was about all of the technical set up and getting used to each piano - one was a Bosendorfer 170 and one was a Yamaha C3 (both pianos were on tour with Peter Gabriel recently - he is an artist that we both admire). Each piano had a different sound and action. I was incredibly impressed that Ray could adjust to both. His compositions are amazingly complex (and wonderful) and he was tasked with learning both pianos as well as performing his pieces. Impressive! Friday, was now the first day of recording various tracks - initially in the Wood Room on the "Bosie". Then, he expanded to start tracking in the Big Room on the Yamaha. I was in the Big Room with the engineer helping to log which takes were happening. I will be working with Ray to update the track logs as we start to listen back to what was recorded.
We wrapped the recording session on Saturday evening and left Box on the train to London where we caught the "Chunnel" train into France. Our next few days were spent recuperating from an immense effort - both physical and intense concentration - especially for Ray. We had a lovely room with air conditioning which was much needed as it was really unseasonably hot in Paris. We strolled the streets, took Ubers everywhere and enjoyed the sights of Paris. We were also able to reconnect with our good friends who had us over to their Parisienne apartment for a lovely meal.
Too soon (only in some respects - mostly to leave our friends behind), it was time to fly home.
It is not finished by any means! Now comes the process of Ray working with the technology needed to reconstitute the sessions, listening together to the multiple takes, and digesting the experience. Then on to Skywalker Sound in Nicasio, California for editing and a rough mix. Back to our own Passion Star Music Studio to listen, mix, listen, etc. We then went back into Skywalker Sound to re-record 7 of the 13 tracks on the Bluthner grand which has similar tone to that of the Bosendorfer at Real World. More listening, mixing - then on to Coast Mastering and Piper Payne's mastering talents.
And now this part of the journey is complete - The Poetry of Motion. We hope you enjoy and thanks for listening!
Much love, Lisa & Ray