You’ve done it. You recorded your masterpiece with love and care, and listened back to it eagerly only to realize that something is missing. Something… stringy. Strings! Ah-ha! This is a fine realization to have, but what does it mean for you, practically speaking? Because unless you have a symphony orchestra in your back pocket, you will need to employ some audio sleight-of-hand to achieve a full string section sound.
IDENTIFY THE DESIRED EFFECT
First, you need to identify the type of string sound you are after. If the strings on “Eleanor Rigby” set your heart thumping, you might want to consider a string quartet (two violins, one viola, one cello, no doubling). The easiest way to get a full quartet sound is to rehearse your quartet, and record them all together in the same room. Continue reading →
On Fan-Funding, Capturing Ideas On-The-Go, and Adding Strings to the Mix
The extent to which most folks are familiar with the job of air traffic controllers is from channel surfing late at night and being temporarily tricked into thinking that Pushing Tin was made before John Cusack became just awful. Dave Munro however, the driving force behind Boston’s Air Traffic Controller, lived the life. And, other than being a job that afforded him the opportunity to do a lot of thinking, it served as little more than a jumping-off spot for a band that has attracted a whole lot of attention in a very short time. Continue reading →
Portland Cello Project’s leader, Doug Jenkins, recently spoke with Performer about his group’s mission to blur genre boundaries and introduce new types of music to different audiences. A sight to behold, PCP’s stage show often features up to 12 cellos performing at once, and with a repertoire of nearly 1,000 pieces, there’s no shortage of styles or random pop songs you might hear at one of their concerts.
As the band so perfectly summarizes:
“The Cello Project’s mission is three-fold:
1. To bring the cello to places you wouldn’t normally hear it.
2. To play music on the cello you wouldn’t normally hear played on the instrument. Everything from Beethoven to Kanye West to Pantera.
3. To build bridges across all musical communities by bringing a diverse assortment of musical collaborators on stage.”
Somerville Symphony Orkestar Somerville Symphony Orkestar
“Making over Slavic folk with a jazz-funk infusion”
The Eastern European influence isn’t news in contemporary music. Somerville Symphony Orkestar, however, provides a more Slavic twist than marching band-centric Mucca Pazza or west-meets-east Balkan-tinged Beirut. Self-proclaimed “Jewfro beat” is pretty accurate, as SSO proves to be more Fiddler on the Roof than a Jacques Brel soundtrack. Weaving polka and funk components throughout the album with a gypsy-like element that takes cues from free jazz improvisation, SSO successfully crafts a collection that extends beyond a tribute to Slavic folk tunes by layering effects from a multitude of other genres. All that and the record still retains the authenticity of its influences.
LISTEN NOW: “Into the Wood Chipper”
[audio:http://performermag.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/Into-the-Wood-Chipper.mp3|titles=Into the Wood Chipper]
“Cheswick Cigarettes” is indicative of such concoctions, as a funky bass line starts off the track, while a saxophone and strings riff on top in wonderfully bohemian twirls. SSO then crosses more boundaries by breaking into a jazz-inspired improvisational block within Slavic tonalities. Opener “Clap For My Birthday” is a peppy testament of SSO’s ability to dole out these Slavic influences in a more traditional manner.
Regardless of whether SSO blends together several styles or conjures up a seemingly traditional folk tune, every track is extremely upbeat and danceable (in a kick-your-legs-in-the-air sort of way). (Self-released)
Produced by Joel Edinberg Recorded and Mixed at P Street Studios Mastered by Jeff Lipton at Peerless Mastering