STAMMER PROJECT – Track ‘FREE’ Finished!
The ‘Stammer Project’ project has been such an uplifting journey so far. I’ve had the opportunity to work with both deeply inspiring and incredibly talented people. I’ve learned so much and it’s been a chance for me to test out my project management skills. I have to say, it is utterly true that when your work is doing something that you are passionate about, something that you love, it doesn’t feel like work at all. The Stammer Project is a mission and we are on this mission together. To be brought up to date with this Project, check out the Outreach section on our website.
Video captured & created by http://rockumentary.london
So after Day 1 – Instrumentation (otherwise known as ‘Tracking’) (Watch video from Studio – Day 1 Here), it was time to lay down the backing harmonies. We brought 5 of the singers in to Tileyard Recording Studio in Kings Cross and got to work, following the covid regulation guidelines of course. Something I’ve learned about studio production thanks to a good friend and collaborative music partner is the magic of pre-production. The Pre-production is basically the demo version of the song and it serves different important purposes. The main purpose here was to show the studio engineer all the parts that need to be recorded in the coming studio sessions. For this song we had multiple layered backing vocals, guitar, bass, drums, cello, violin and the lead vocal.
Before proceeding with the vocal recording days I hooked all the singers up with a friend and amazingly intuitive vocal coach ‘Dorthe Eggertsen’ from Naestved, Denmark. After an initial group vocal session with all the singers, Dorthe led 2 private 1:1 sessions with each of them. The first of these sessions was to mainly explore each singers range and strong points. Dorthe made notes and reported back to me. With this info I was able to sit down and work out what each singer would be doing. All these sessions had, of course, to be run online.
Day 2 – Backing Vocals. The backing vocals day was a big day to coordinate and thankfully it was a smooth run. Everyone had prepared their parts and were totally pro on the day. I threw some unexpected vocal requests at them too and they gave it their all.
Day 3 – Lead Vocal. Our lead vocalist came in, still asking me whether I was sure that he should sing the lead. I assured him that the way it was pictured in my mind had him leading the track and so he got on the mic did a few takes and we felt we had what we needed.
On this very same day, the cello and violin parts I had written were being recorded in Austria. It was such a great moment to be called via video call by Linde (Cellist) in Austria to say they had just finished their recordings. I introduced them to Chris who was here in London ready to go in for another take. Day 3 ended with a brief listen to the strings parts they had recorded. Absolute magic!
Days 4 & 5 - Mixing and final touches. With the vocals all done we took a week away from the studio so we could come in and listen to what we had with fresh ears. Our studio engineer, Nikolaj Bjerre, went through everything meticulously with a metaphorical fine toothed comb and found all the parts we needed. We mixed, listened, discussed, mixed, listened, discussed on repeat for this phase of the recording. This phase requires a lot of brain power and at times we felt that we were going slightly loopy... my advice is go with it, even if you feel to ask questions like "if you could plug into the Matrix thingy, what would be the first bit of knowledge you'd download first". Intriguing responses were noted incase you are wondering.
And here we are, the track 'Free' has been completed and I couldn't be happier with how it is sounding. Thanks goes to everyone involved in the making of this song - You believe in this project and you poured nothing but pure love into this. I can't thank you enough.
A documentary of this whole story is due to be released by the spring of 2021. I really can't wait to share this work with you all!
I had a stammer between the ages of 8-11 yrs. Looking back at this challenging time has instilled a desire in me to do what I can to support and raise awareness about stammering. People don't know enough about it and it is something that effects 3% of the worlds population. Read about my stammer here.
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