Beyond

I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Monday, 26 October 2009

normal again

Friday night was, in a word (and yes, I'm biased here), beyond.

Friends and family came out to celebrate and they had a great time.

The band, after all their hard work, played an amazing set
and kept saying how happy they were to be a part of it when I kept thanking them for everything they'd done.

I expected nerves and never really got them. This was a
huge surprise because of all the evening meant to me and the fact that for a good number of the songs I was out front, mic in hand. Now typically this is not where I like to sing. I like to be behind my piano. Being out from has a level of exposure that brings on the jitters. And talking? that just doubles it. So I expected to be battling all of this while trying to remember all the vocal coaching from Maria, all the styling notes from Tim, all I had put into the CD, all that was behind it. In short, I expected a major struggle.

It didn't happen. I was comfortable, at ease. I talked without going in circles and said what I wanted to say without my voice getting that trembly sound that I hate because it screams "nervous!!". I didn't mind being out front at all. I hit the notes with the right sound. I played vocally at the end of 'Imagine' and loved it. The one tech glitch (monitor feed disappearing courtesy of a cord turning the volume way down) didn't negatively affect what I was putting out and was fixed after one song.

After the show people were everywhere, I got bouquets of flowers and was signing CDs while getting to celebrate with everyone (and thanks to Seren, I even had my beef carpaccio at the end of the evening!) and enjoy the mounds of amazing food that B and S had put together.

Wow.

It was more, it was better than I imagined it would be.

It was beyond.

So now I'm back to normal, right?

Oh, wait. CDs to Salem Storehouse today, revamping website, figuring out ordering online and iTunes, planning further contacts ... maybe not.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

sidenote

One thing I will always remember about this weekend: D taking my face in his hands, looking me in the eye, and saying, "you are an amazing woman." Aaah.

Friday, 23 October 2009

today

In some ways it all comes down to today.

Doesn't it always? The choices we make, the seeking for the right way to go and the right thing to do, can't rest on yesterday or worry about tomorrow. Today is what we have.

The journey started over a year ago (ten years ago, if you count the actual songwriting) and today all the logistics, all the effort, all the creativity and ideas and worry and elation and exhaustion and insanity - it all comes down to this. All those analogies of making a CD being like having a baby kept coming to mind as we planned and dreamed and wondered what the final product would be like.

The setup last night and runthrough were amazing. It sounded good, I felt comfortable singing and delivering the material. Granted, it was an audience of three people. The butterflies may arrive en masse tonight, knocking me over with their fluttery wings. The band sounds so good and vocally I was still trying things out, but I had a confidence in it that is surprising me a little. I was finding an ease and freedom as I sang.

The tech guys - D, GM, and Tim - had set everything up and sound checks went well. Having Tim on hand was awesome and his input, both for sound and for my own performance, was invaluable.

I got to sample some of the food yesterday for the after party and WOW, B and S have outdone themselves and I know I have yet to see the whole thing. I did a minuscule bit of helping at B's house, but it was not nearly enough to qualify even as a catering peon and just enough to get a tiny glimpse at all the work that has been going on in that kitchen.

Now all I need is for the CDs to arrive, safe and sound and delightfully on time, so that we'll have those available.

I feel good.

I feel ready.

Baby, it's time to get you out there.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

ready. i think.

We're prepped for Friday night. The band is ready. The sound guys are all over the tech end of things. I've almost finished the media. The food sounds amazing and I'm looking forward to eating it. The CDs should be done and ready for sale, after I pick them up on Friday. Family starts arriving tonight for a weekend that starts with celebrating my music and ends with celebrating Mom's 70th birthday.

I think I'm ready. I guess we'll see.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

almost real

I have used the word "surreal" time and time again through this process. But in talking to a friend online the other day and describing what listening to the final mixes sounded like, I used the word "real" for the first time. It's starting to feel real.

We had a listening party last Saturday night. Me, D, Uberguitarist, Greggo, and the Little Chicago guys sat and listened to the CD from start to finish, taking notes and discussing changes. There were no major hiccups except for some worry on my part when I whispered to D, "so, what do you think?" and he answered, "we'll talk later". Uh oh.

Turns out, in the car when I asked him and braced for him saying he didn't like it but it was too late now, he took my hand, looked at me and said "it sounds amazing. I am so proud of you". He also had me laughing when, having told me he was getting 8 1/2 x 11 ads made up for the concert, he came home with a poster-size glossy version of the ad. "I'm a little bit proud of you," was his excuse. Like I'll argue with that!

D and I sat with Tim and listened through the final mixes yesterday. It sounds better than I imagined.

The recording is done, the tracks mixed and they are in Toronto as I type this, being mastered into the final files that will be taken to the duplication company tomorrow. The artwork was another time crunch but is in the printers' hands and the final proof was approved by me this morning. It's underway.

October 23 is coming fast, the concert looms and rehearsals are underway for that. It won't sound exactly the same as the CD (what with only one of Uberguitarist and all), but we'll do our best.

One more level of reality awaits: holding the finished product in my hands.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Monday, 5 October 2009

crunch

I feel like I'm in a Star Trek episode where the time all compresses into one point. Was there an episode like that? I can't remember, but I'm sure it would be chaotic.

Everything I can do first-hand is done, and now it's on to coordinating several different sources so that the timeline is achieved. Mixing and mastering provide the audio, design provides the visuals. All this then goes to the duplication place to make 1000 copies of the thing.

We saw the initial layout of the CD liner last night, and I really liked what I saw. Will from Strivemind had taken one photo I'd particularly liked and used it for the lyrics page in a way I'd never have thought to. Very cool.

While this is going on, the other side of the coin is underway as we prep the band for the concert. So the live and recorded versions of my CD are both chugging ahead to October 23rd.

Today I had a moment of panic as to whether they will glide smoothly into the station, or jump the tracks for a spectacular mess.

And the little optimist in me, the one who always believes it'll work out, is oddly quiet.

Friday, 2 October 2009

shift happens

Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week were BGVs, the 'ooh's and 'aah's that fill a song out. Some wonderful friends from the worship team were there on Tuesday to add some, and on Wednesday I redid some of my own. One great thing was that most of what I'd recorded when we did ghost tracking was perfectly good to use, so there were just some little edits and additions.

When I got home I realized that though there is percussion, and mixing, etc etc, left to do, I am done making noise for this project. I was done. It was surreal to start doing it, and surreal again to be finished. Bro-in-law E had the perfect analogy when he said "so it's like when you write your last exam ever after 20 years of school" - and that was very like the feeling.

But the shifting happens right away. Next week I sit in with Tim for mixing, going through takes to make sure that what we have is indeed what we want - there is a point of no return. Last night many plans were made with the band for the concert. I shift from recorded music to putting on a live concert that will give the flavor of the CD with different musicians (since Uberguitarist plays six different guitars on the CD and there's only one of him, for example). Rehearsals, logistics, all has to be figured out.

I'm wondering when life gets back to normal ... or if this is one of those times of my life where I don't go back to normal, but find a new normal.