Hands down, recording is one of my least favorite aspects of performing. Whether it is the cursed expectation of perfection from future listeners (or myself) or the knowledge I only have a limited amount of time to achieve this "perfection," I do not know. Either way, I knew going into the first of two recording sessions for my Christmas CD this morning that I needed to check my aversion at the door. I remember recording this guy playing a solo clarinet piece I wrote back in my grad school days. He told me how much he loved recording ... that he actually found it fun and liberating. Me, I must have looked at him (and probably looked at him) as if he were nuts. Anyway, it was helpful to look back on how cool and collected he was as I mentally prepared for today, hopefully channeling his positive energy.
The purpose of today's recording session was to record the four marimba quartet arrangements that will be appearing on the album: God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen, Silent Night, Deck the Halls, and A Winter Postlude (Jingle Bells). I was surrounded by some of the best marimba players in Greensboro. With their consistency, accuracy, and musicianship, they certainly helped me to have fun and take my mind off the fact that we were surrounded by microphones and that the recording engineer kept pressing that blessed "Record" button.
After the quartets went off without a hitch, I was feeling confident (and we had time to spare), so I recorded a couple of the solo tracks: A Winter Prelude (Jingle Bells) and Carol of the Bells. I was joined by one of the quartet members on the latter of the two pieces on orchestra bells. Here's a sneak preview (read: unedited & raw) of that piece. I'm really happy with how all has gone so far.
The second session is all set for Wednesday morning and I have my work cut out for me. Here's the remaining solo track list:
God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen (w/ djembe)
Deck the Halls (w/ dumbek)
O Holy Night
What Child Is This?
In the Bleak Midwinter
Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella
Ugh ... hands are starting to sweat ... having trouble breathing. And the process starts all over again.