Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Assembling an album

Lots of people make recordings and present them in many ways. Sometimes they are random collections of recorded material just tossed up online somewhere. When I start writing & recording it usually evolves quickly into having an album in mind. A cohesive collection of tunes destined to be grouped together as a whole. I have had it said to me many times that Mastermind albums flow well and tend to sound best as a whole. That is no accident. My new solo work has also evolved into a collection that seems quite cohesive to me and sounds like an "album". How this whole guitar album idea came about I will get into later, but it's not what you might think and not really what I thought I'd be doing next, but do it I did.

Right now I am working out the final running order. Even though the songs were conceptualized to be together early on, the reality of running order is sometimes tough to work out. I want an emotional ebb & flow of course, but mixing up keys and tempos is also vital to creating an engaging album. Some songs end in a very resolved fashion, some feel more open ended like you are waiting for more, so what follows what can be critical to how a song hits you. I can think of many albums where running order is so embedded in my brain it feels funny hearing a song without its immediate relative. Led Zeppelin's "Heartbreaker - Living Loving Maid" comes to mind right off.

A conceptual idea I am applying to this album is to think of it as a good old fashioned vinyl LP with two sides. Each nearly equal length "side" has its own flow and feels quite satisfying as a group, yet all together on a single CD it also flows well as a whole. To achieve this a little juggling is required. Anyway, in light of the previous blog, here it is April 1st, 2009 and I can say I have finished a new album. I am guessing it will take a few months to get it out there, but it feels good to have completed something brand spankin' new!

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