The week before going into the studio, I had only just finished writing the final two tracks so I was quite anxious about making a start on the recording process. Normally with other band projects I have been involved with we tend to rehearse and perform a lot of the music before we even consider going into the studio. There had not been much time for practising my compositions so this is quite a different approach for me!

On the first day, we went right in at the deep end and recorded myself playing the piano and singing live for A Tanera Talisman, Stone and Struggle and  A Blessing on Tanera. These three tracks thankfully did have quite a set arrangement and structure beforehand although the outro of Tanera Talisman did end up being quite improvised as the existing arrangement felt too short. A Blessing  on Tanera and  A Tanera Talisman (Jan Kilpatrick’s poems) worked really well and became exciting tracks to keep building. Unfortunately we weren’t so convinced with Stone and Struggle so we will look at different ways to approach this later on.

On the second day we recorded Red Throated Diver and the main themes for the Pibroch. We also recorded lots of fun piano hits and hand claps to create a rhythm track for the Pibroch. On day 3 we made sure that we had final structures for Star of Hope, The Island and Grace Darling as guest drums and bass were coming in for Day 4. This felt like quite a defining moment in terms of what direction the album was heading. Iain had suggested Ross Saunders and Scott Mackay as session musicians that would come in without having heard the tracks, read straight off the charts and play them as if they’d performed them for years! I knew both their playing and was excited at the thought of having such incredible musicians on my album. Day 4 was a pretty amazing session to set up and record the backing for 3 tracks with live piano, bass, guitar and drums and it sounded massive! There is something magical that you capture when doing it live like that. At the end of the day Scott also added some percussion to Blessing and Red Throated Diver and Ross came back another morning to add textures to Tanera Talisman and Red Throated Diver. These guys rock!

At the end of the 7 days we had the main recordings for 8 tracks and we are planning more production on all in order to reach the stage we want them to get to musically. Judging by the current running time it looks like I should really try to write one last track. I definitely don’t want to have any fillers on the album so if I manage to write a track that is good and fits with the rest of the music, then brilliant but I’m not going to force it just to make up time!

I can’t wait for you to hear the album and be able to relate to the tracks I am talking about! My next blog is on my photo session on Tanera, writing the final album track and the last week of recording. Thanks for reading!

This album was made possible with support from Creative Scotland Creative_Scotland_bw960

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