Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Recording Wilderness Hymnal - Days 1-2

Today is going to be the third day of recording Wilderness Hymnal and it's been a crazy ride. Truth is, I had these songs shaped in my own head for a few months and when I brought them to my producer Jon, he saw them from a different point of view and ended up tearing some of them apart where it hurt, and supported other parts where I was unsure. I spent WEEKS afterward working over the songs again and again until they were something much better than I could have expected, even when it was uncomfortable for a while. There have been times in the studio so far where I have been confused or frustrated with how something is sounding, but by the end of the session, I grew to understand that the song is now SO much better than it was in my head. It just happened to be different. It's because I am only seeing it from my perspective. Jon and I have only known each other a couple months, so he doesn't know me as an old friend or have familiarity with any of my older material, so that's a little strange. I'm used to just having a ton of friends have input (and therefore grant me grace where things may not be so good), but I recognize that Jon, being fresh ears in knowing my music, has new direction to offer.

There are still some songs I am mulling over in my mind because they don't quite make sense yet, but I know that I need to be patient and see it through because it is simply not finished yet. I'm looking forward to see how these songs will transform into something beautiful. It's just like what God does in our lives. Of course, there's no way I could directly parallel what Jon is doing with what God is doing, but there is always more to a picture than we can see. That's been the theme for these past few months, trusting what I cannot yet see and being able to rest in that because the Lord is in control.


The studio is on the 6th floor of the PNC bank building in Anderson, IN and when you walk in, it looks like a studio from the 80s that was abandoned and reclaimed by these two guys, Jon and Alex. It's because it totally was. These guys are both 26 years old and are pursuing the dream of having a solid recording studio where great music can be made. They absolutely love what they do. They have literally, with their own hands, built some of the microphones used on the drums on my record. The past two days have been mainly recording drums, percussion, and bass guitar, so I've been doing a lot of listening. I have laid down some scratch tracks that they've used as a guide and I'll record my parts later. There are some points in recording where there is so much more detail involved than I thought possible and in other ways, since we're on a schedule, there are things that happen so fast it's a little jarring. I've recorded things on my own since high school, always on my own time. My pace was slower, less efficient, and honestly, not as informed or inclusive of all the possibilities for these songs to grow. What would take me two weeks they can do in three hours.


There's a lot of good in trusting my music, at least in part, to other ears besides my own. I'm glad I get some time today to reflect on this and get prepared for the following days of recording this awesome album.

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