Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been working on a song and video concept that I decided to release today. Many of you know my affection for many of today’s cutting-edge electronic artists. I guess you could say it was inspired by that along with jazz orchestration and chords like Gil Evans.
Today Genevieve Artadi released her new single and video called “Nowhere to Go”. It’s just an incredible demonstration of genius writing, production and vision on her part. I mixed and mastered this track and thought I would share it with you. I hope you enjoy.
Anna Freedman has released her new single, “Big Plans”. I’m really excited because the record turned out great and it’s my first release as a producer/mixer/arranger (besides my own music). Many of you may recall the series I did on how to make a record in this blog. I wanted to announce the official release with you here, in this post.
A couple of days ago I stayed up until 6 am mixing and mastering a new song that Genevieve Artadi had just finished recording. I think I started at 10 or 11 p.m. the night before, so a pretty standard amount of time for a mix/master with this type of song. After finishing the mix and revisions (and sleeping a few hours), I processed the whirlwind of activities and thought about it from a teacher/mentor perspective. There were many cool lessons that I learned from the experience, but the thing I kept thinking about is how Genevieve left no room for fear, self-doubt or negativity through the whole process.
Students have often come to me asking if they are “ready” for a musical situation. Whether it be an audition, adjudication, festival, accompanying gig, college program, a certain ensemble, a tour, etc. – my answer is always the same… Participate in as many musical situations as possible where you are the worst one. Be musically overwhelmed as much and as often as possible. We grow the most from these experiences. And if we are taking lessons, earning a degree or just trying to be the best version of ourselves that we can be; growth is the most important thing we can aspire towards.
Over time as I’ve gotten the opportunity to hang out and discuss music with people who have had very successful performance and recording careers, there is a common thread that they all emphasize in their own playing and admire in the playing of their peers. This common thread is rhythm. It can either be the commitment to and admiration of deep and individual time-feel, high levels of rhythmic accuracy, advanced rhythmic phrasing or to their ability to make the most basic musical parts feel so good.
A couple of years ago I began to shift away from using the word “solo” with many of my jazz students. This was especially the case for beginning improvisers or the ones who were preoccupied with the chord progressions or playing a barrage of disconnected patterns or licks. Many of them started to sound way better in a very short amount of time.
When children begin music lessons there is always a lot more happening than just starting lessons. Parents bring their experience as former students or inexperience in music to the table. Experienced teachers bring well-formulated habits and routines that may or may not serve the new student. Inexperienced and young teachers may relate exceptionally well to a young student but not have the ability or experience necessary to efficiently move students from one goal to the next.
Many creatives in music have strong opinions about their musical ideas and what effect they want these ideas to have both within the work itself and on their fans and audiences. The freedom to make these autonomous decisions feels really great if we’re afforded that opportunity. However, it doesn’t always mean the end result will benefit or even be that great.
(With Robin Holcomb in studio. Photo by Carrie Robinson.)