Recording, part the deux

Yesterday’s recording session ended with a problem over how to record a computer-accompanied piece by Kevin Olson. This piece has computer cues to advance through the score–the cues help determine what the accompaniment is doing (that, and the trumpet sound). The problem was that my bluetooth pedal was not connecting with my computer, so I couldn’t advance the cues. This occupied about three hours yesterday afternoon. Needless to say, I was worried about my timeline for the week.

When I came home last night, I tried a different computer, and the bluetooth pedal worked. So, this morning, we were able to knock out this complex, highly technical piece in three hours. This kept us on schedule. After a great lunch at a local Mexican restaurant, we went back and recording a piece by Kevin Poelking for trumpet, piano and percussion (my CSU colleagues Tim Burns on piano and Eric Hollenbeck on percussion). This piece took a little more than four hours to record, but we got it done! My wife, Christian and I celebrated by going out to the “Mayor of Old Town” for some beers.

Here are some photos from today:


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Recording, day 1

Christian Amonson, founder and owner of Arts Laureate

Yesterday was the first day of recording with Christian Amonson, the owner and founder of Arts Laureate. Christian was a very patient and amazing collaborator on a day where some things were not working great. The piano tuner came late, I was having trouble getting through some passages, and there were major equipment failures (not Christian’s equipment). Through all that, he carefully considered the musical demands of Amy Dunker’s score of Three Images from the Hubble Telescope, and he coaxed out of me the very best musical approach possible.

The pattern that we’ve gotten into is to hit some difficult passages first (to make sure I can play those, in terms of freshness and endurance), then continue to chop up the piece until it’s all “in the can.” During this portion, there is only one camera rolling. Then we do a run through, with possible patches, with all video cameras running, to get a final sense of continuity.

I certainly was tested yesterday with high notes and a crazy section of double tongue that slowly widens the intervals until just past the octave. But the most challenging part of yesterday was playing long, soft tones with grace and direction. I thought at times, “I should have been a clarinet player!”

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