Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pictures from Recording in Portland

We had such a good time recording with John Askew in Portland. We split our time between Type Foundry and Secret Society as we were tracking. I played this awesome old rickety piano with tons of personality and the ghosts of many song-filled fingers hovering over it.  Type Foundry is in an industrial sort of area, as you can see, with an awesome bridge sprawling out over the river right beyond the driveway. The floors are wooden, the light is from the window, pretty rare for a  studio to have natural light.  Max is playing the drums and he nailed it. We had so much fun. We ate so much! Being pregnant I just couldn't get enough. I made everyone else gain weight too!  Secret Society is all red and plush and new and quiet, sort of the opposite in feel of Type Foundry, a great balance to strike for our project.  Up at the top, that's John on the left, me (Jessica) in the middle, and Max on the left. 

 I'd highly recommend working with John - he's got great ideas, is a talented musician and songwriter himself, he makes you feel great after every take, and knows how to streamline the process to get it all done and done as close to your idea as you can get it.  He holds a great space for creativity to come out. His site is http://filmg.com/ 

Friday, January 16, 2009

A big compliment from a little boy

Kids seem closer to everything, GOD, the earth, rhythms of the universe, so it makes me feel like if they're getting into something I made, than it must have been on the right track.

Here is Mateo, a sweet little boy of my friend Tonya, dancing to "the maji" from the recent Christmas album.

Monday, January 5, 2009

the Harmonium

I can walk by this beautiful instrument in my studio, and be transformed. It has this great antique smell that reminds me of being a kid and our heavy wooden walnut furniture, the way it smelled when you opened cabinet doors.  It's loud, it drones, the air passes through the reeds and it gets me every time. I can sit and play with it and not be writing, just feeling the sound pass through me, through the table, into the air. It is good for me to play without the intention of getting something, but just to be there.  They use it in India to chant to, to have a note that keeps everyone on the same frequency. It sounds old and romantic, like an accordian, it seems to have a real voice.  I used it a bit on the album that will soon be released.  As a piano player, I generally play a keyboard when playing live, pianos are rare and hard to get tuned for a stage and all, so it's so wonderful when I get to play something that makes its own sound, that I can feel the air passing through, that seems to play its own melody as soon as I touch it. 

Happy New  Year! Happy January! I'm so glad the holidays are over, they were really tough this year, and I wake up down and out. I know it's not forever but it's how it is now. I miss my darling boy.  Life is full of heartache. And it's full of beautiful simple things. Really, I feel like I don't know enough about life to say anything about it. Ha ha, miss writer-of-songs. I guess I'm always trying to figure it out, always saying you can't. That leaves lots of material.

Have a good first week of 2009. Imagine good things. It makes them closer.