Entering a recording studio is a magical moment. This is especially true for those of us who are musicians, but do not have the frequent opportunity to record. As our lead guitarist and writer pulled open the door on Sunday, I felt a bit like I was walking on air. Our singer Samantha had arrived already, and our engineer Mark stood ready to go. Making our way past the gleaming Yamaha grand piano and microphones set up in the main studio, we all proceeded to the sound booth to craft a plan for the day; we would lay down all vocal tracks to the four songs we recorded two weeks ago, as well as an organ solo. Agreed.
Many months of rehearsal led us to this moment. Samantha, Frank, and I knew our parts, and we all felt excited to overlay our vocal harmonies on the instrumental tracks. But what is possible in a studio recording is truly amazing- it does not have to only be three voices, it can be five, six, seven, nine, or more. The possibilities are limitless. And one by one with Mark’s engineering prowess, we created not just harmonies, but vocal tapestries.
As we worked, I was reminded of a quote by Lucy Calkins, who said, “It is not the number of good ideas that turns our work into art, but the selection, balance, and design of those ideas.” I think of this quote often as a writer. And Sunday, I thought about this within a musical context. Of course we all could have recorded dozens of tracks. But the spirit of the session was not about the number of tracks we recorded. This was our chance to work as artists- artists selecting, balancing, and designing ideas together in a musical co-creation.
Everyone left Sunday with a smile. Personally, I plan to add this experience to the short list of cherished musical experiences. Because how often is it that we have an opportunity to play a part in turning ideas into art?