Monday, February 28, 2011

Album finished!

Well, another year of the RPM Challenge, another new album to show for it. Hidden Element is now finished and available for listening on my Bandcamp site.

It all came together nicely this weekend. I was able to add all of the guitar, synth, and wind solos to "Sati" on Saturday. It was so incredibly easy compared to the struggle I went through with the other 'big' song on the album, "The Shining Land." "Sati" is very funky, and I was almost sad when finished that I didn't have any more layers of stuff to add, because it was a total blast to record. I was groovin', baby!

Saturday night, however, I was listening to a mix of the album and was dissatisfied by how long both of these epic tunes seemed to drag on. My first instinct was just to mail it into RPM HQ as it stood at that point and then edit it and record additional material later. Sort of defeating the spirit of the Challenge, unfortunately.

However, on Sunday I was able to throw together a fun little jam called "Maharashtra Blues," featuring a frantic solo guitar performance using the string-splitting capabilities of my Roland VG-99 processor to split up the lead and accompaniment portions of my performance in the mix.

I now had enough material to be able to edit "Sati" and "The Shining Land" and still call Hidden Element a legitimate album. After editing down those pieces into something I was happy with (they're still quite long), I ended up with a nice 47-minute album. That is just about perfect for instrumental music. I'm not a big believer in throwing 70 minutes of abstract music at people all at once.

The final analysis: this album is, by far, the best work I have ever done. Last year's RPM album, The February Project, sounded a bit like something I rushed to completion. In fact, I have plans to do some tweaking to it soon. But this new album of mine is something I'm proud of accomplishing. It's truly a finished piece of work, which I never thought I could pull off in such a short time. It doesn't require any explanation or excuses, and that is always my goal as a musician.

The CD will be in the mail to RPM HQ this morning!

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