osmie: (Default)
Folks, it's time to sit down and record my music.

I've said this before — usually in a sentence like, "I really want to take some time off this year and record an album." But you know what's happened then? I've thrown up my arms instead of drawing up a project timeline. I've obsessed over getting the arrangements perfect. I've set up a microphone and promptly dropped into an oubliette of stage fright.

Over and over again, I've run into the wall of, "I don't know how!" and spontaneously forgotten that this complaint has only two answers:

(1) Ask for help.
(2) Sit down and do the work.

Sometimes answer #1 is the right one; sometimes it's answer #2. If you do both, you're always covered. If you do neither … well … you're me for the past mumblety-odd years.

Today I'm doing both.

As of January 1st, 2012, I will be recording and releasing — through YouTube, which seems to be this decade's model for indie music distribution — at least one song every fortnight.

I need help from the following sorts of people:

⇒ Vocalists!

I can sing every one of these songs, but most of them deserve a better voice than mine. Besides, the more vocal styles, the better! If you know my music well enough to have a favourite, let me know and I'll probably give it to you — but if you don't, please speak up anyway. We'll talk.

(Not to mention that some of these pieces are arranged for multiple voices. I'll need five vocalists for "On the Checkerboard," and eight for "Love Abides.")

⇒ Musicians!

The only instruments I play well enough for recording are keyboards and alto recorder. At everything else I'm a hack. If you play accordion or drum kit or bassoon or cello or mandolin or bass guitar or euphonium or theremin or saxophone or tympani or flute or harmonica or oboe or fiddle or marimba or udu or pretty much anything else — and if you're interested in backing me up on a piece or seventeen — then I want to hear from you. For each song, I will send you sheet music, chords, a demo track, or whatever I've got, two or three weeks before a recording session.

Some of you have already worked with me — either by expressing interest before my latest project whimpered out, or even by coming over for one or a dozen or twenty-five rehearsals. I'm hoping for help from you folk especially. There's a reason I asked you once before, and it's because I like your work. I only stopped calling because I got scared.

Some of you are established artists, with a schedule that doesn't lend itself well to helping tyros like me stumble through their first recordings. Even so, I'd be thrilled if you've time for a cameo!

⇒ Recording professionals!

One place I've often gotten hung up is the process of recording itself. On paper, I know how to set up a mic and play into it, but whenever I actually try this, I wind up thinking about the mic instead of the music. It just doesn't sound as good. I need somebody else to sit by the computer and tell me, "Okay, go."

I also need somebody to coach me through the mixing and mastering process. I *think* I know what I'm doing, but I am nervous and easily frustrated, and I could really use a coach. If you can teach me, I want to hear from you — or if you're interesting in doing the mixing and mastering yourself, then for sure let's talk. Anything which leaves me more time for arranging and rehearsing will result in more songs, faster!

⇒ Videographers!

If there's one thing I've got *zero* skill at, it would honestly be the high jump. But if there are two, videography is a contender.

I expect that I will be releasing these songs on YouTube. If that means pointing a webcam at myself and lip-syncing the finished song, then so be it. But if you've always wanted to shoot a music video, then my friend, now is your chance.

A manager! ETA: hired! yay!

Yeah, I know my failure points, and one big one happens three weeks after I start a project. Without somebody keeping me going, I may glide to a stop.

I need a friend who is willing to harass and cajole me into (1) asking for help, or (2) sitting down and doing the work — as often as necessary. If I'm really in a funk, you may have to schedule time for me to arrange next week's sheet music, send arrangements to those musicians, and invite everyone to a recording session. This is a (badly) paid gig, because I can be a right stubborn quitter if there's no money on the line.

⇒ An audience!

Even if you can't help me make music, I hope you'll tune in, listen, and spread the word as we start releasing songs next year.

Thanks to all!

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