Sunday, April 5, 2009

Overdub assignments for Christopher Y. Voelker

Here is something we haven't tried before: blog post as overdub assignment. Here is what I am asking Christopher Y. Voelker to work on for the score to The Sydney Highrise Variations.

"Also, it's a space probe"
(Matt Fuller, Chris King, Les Murray)

On this one, my coproducer Matt Fuller and I decided to go with the rough sketch we recorded in Coldwater Canyon outside L.A. I like the tentativeness of his acoustic guitar part. We both wanted some atmosphere of our raggedy songwriting process to make its way onto the final recording. I also think there is a nice inversion to having a recording made in a natural low point (a canyon) on this record about manmade high points (highrises).

Chris' task will be to work with the sketchy tonality of the recording and its open spaces to add a little more texture and ear candy, but not too much.

"In ambiguous battle at length"
(Frank Heyer, Les Murray)

On this piece, Matt and I were sorely tempted to leave what we have as is, as a duet between Frank Heyer's fretless guitar and the poet Les Murray's bizarre mouth music. I am still tempted. But this is a long piece, with a lot of open space, and on repeat listening the ear will probably want to hear a little more going on. Also, Chris did such a fabulous job on the more experimental pieces on our score to Go South for Animal Index that he is probably stuck working on pieces like this with us from now on.

“Breath of catching up”
(Chris King, Lij, Les Murray)

Matt and I didn't suggest Chris for this one, but it wouldn't hurt for him to try to come up with some simple, beautiful violin line that doesn't compete with the whistle at the end.

We still have to track a number of songs from scratch in Nashville, so Chris may have more work than this to do, but this looks like one good long night in the studio with Adam Long.


Still from the movie to Blind Cat Black has Chris Voelker in the window at CBGB as a zombie sailor songster. Rather than this prop accordion, he will play viola and violin on our score.

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