Friday Evening Poetry

I received a package of books today and spent the evening – after working on a new song for the next album – reading bits and pieces from Vonnegut’s A Man Without A Country, Leonard Cohen’s Book of Longing, and a collection of poems by Hafiz called The Subject Tonight is Love. I felt like a bird, eating seeds from this tree and that, or a butterfly visiting many flowers.

Jon has finished mastering Up Close: The Fritz Files, which he says is about 50 minutes long. I will pick up a CD with the music tomorrow and am looking forward to listening intently… I started work on a PDF that will accompany the album in our ListeningLounge. Here are some links you can check out in preparation for the album being released next week sometime – I hope.
Dummy Head Recording
Binaural Recording
Head-Related Transfer Function

In case you are wondering: Up Close is no longer the title for the Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra album I have been working on for quite a while. The new album I have been working on (Spring 2008 release?) is coming along nicely, but is at present title-less. In fact the cover photo for it is so amazing that I do not want to mar it with my name or a title. The front of the CD will only show said photo, while the artist’s name and the album-title will be found on the spine and the back of the package.

The Fritz Files

Here is another snippet of Dummy Head recording from the session in August. It’s amazing how clearly you can hear the movement around the head (your head) from back to front. The Shaker stops right in front of your nose…

Fritz Files – conclusion

Recording with Fritz was memorable! Musicians almost never record without headphones. There are many reasons to use headphones when recording a group. Some instruments are louder and it is hard to hear the soft instruments without headphones. Distances between musicians – necessary to balance the loudness of different instruments for recording purposes – can result in delays that make it much harder to achieve a serious groove. Our brain computes the direction of sound using the delay that is produced by the distance between our ears. In other words a sound originating from the left side will take milliseconds longer to reach the right ear. That allows the brain to identify the location of the sound. If the musicians sit more than a few feet apart the soundwaves may take several milliseconds to reach the ears and the delay will make it difficult to play in time. Luckily this is the hardest grooving band I have ever had and we were able to mentally compensate for the distances.

Taking a walk on Tuesday afternoon, after recording for several hours, I noticed that my mind was hyper-sensitive to the location of sounds. During recording sessions – and on stage while performing – my brain enters a different state, where pitch and time become enlarged. It’s like experiencing an aural version of slow-motion. In this state the smallest change in pitch or rhythm becomes very obvious. Working with Fritz and recording without headphones my mind became really sensitized to the location of sounds. And during my walk I kept noticing the location of sounds around me in such clear detail! A bird flapping his wings, a plane overhead, birds singing, the wind in the leaves, a truck in the distance… I mentioned this to he others yesterday and they all had the same experience.

We recorded one song with my old and slightly noisy video-camera in the studio room. Stevo will help me match up Fritz’s audio with the video we shot. That will make it possible to watch our performance in the studio while hearing exactly what Fritz heard – if you listen with headphones. You will see me circling Fritz at one point – not an easy feat to play guitar while moving around if you don’t use a strap – and Davo moving around while playing shaker. I will announce when the video will be available for your viewing/listening pleasure.

For some recordings we moved quite a bit. Sometimes Stevo and I would both be moving around, to balance softer and louder playing and to create some interesting aural movement. We decided against doing any overdubs or edits and hope to present the album in our ListeningLounge – now also accessible from – very soon.