Making Tracks - The Purple Herons


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Making Tracks

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We’ve had a busy 2019 so far, doing both a photo session and a recording session in the same week! The final sounds & images are still in production, but we are very pleased with the results so far.

We spent a lovely day at Sky Ranch Studio laying down demo tracks. Randy and Jay took great care of us, letting us do our thing our way while adding their insight and expertise as we went along. They learned more about our style and we learned about their personal connections to some of our songs (and their love for pizza).

Communicating By Sonar

As a jazz band, when we perform and improvise together, we are often listening and communicating through eye contact, words, and musical intonation. However in this session, in order to get our best sound we needed to use the bathroom as a makeshift isolation booth for vocals. Since Olivia was singing in the bathroom with the door closed, this meant that she was out of view from the rest of the band and we had to improvise on the spot by only listening to musical intonation, a new and interesting challenge for everyone (except Jim, who depends solely on his ears). The vocal sound we got was completely worth it, and we discovered nuances in our music that we might have overlooked before.

Olivia snuck out of the bathroom to capture the Herons tracking the instrumental parts.

Reality Check

Several times during the session, we found ourselves struck by the reality of what we were doing. Those moments when you stop and realize, “Hey! We’re doing a session in a recording studio! Just like real musicians! Wait a minute…we are real musicians! How about that?”

We walked in with four songs mostly ready to go, and walked out with five songs completed! We are told that five songs is enough for an EP.  In giving that idea more thought, we might swing back into the studio with more songs and turn this project into our first full-length album.  Time will tell.

For the most part we were focused on the tasks at hand, but these little moments of amazement help to keep us grounded. While we hope these activities will become commonplace, we know the importance of keeping that sense of wonder at having the opportunity to have these experiences. It makes us want to do better, reach higher, and make the best music we possibly can.

The finished tracks are now officially up! Check them out here!

1 comment

  1. I love that Olivia was doing vocals in the bathroom. 50+ years ago, a buddy and I were recording some of our music. We had no mixers or effects, it was all done with overdubs on this little reel-to-reel machine. I did bathroom vocals for the awesome acoustics!

    And yes, you *are* a real band. These are quality tracks, folks. Bravo.

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