Watch This Song come to life on YouTube:
Webisode 2 – Shambhu (guitar)
Webisode 5 – Eugene Friesen (cello)
Webisode 8 – Jill Haley (English horn)
We were finishing day 3 at Imaginary Road Studios. Producer Will Ackerman and I had previously agreed on 5 or 6 songs that we would record for Sacred Love. These opening days were dedicated to recording guitar only.
My sole objective was conveying the “essence” of my spirit in those guitar tracks…and hopefully the soulfulness of those performances would inspire and shape those of the many brilliant artists who would later join.
It might have been the haunting, repeating motif of the melody or minimalist approach to the composition. I played Will a demo of the tune from my iPhone and after only a few seconds, he said “Lets do it.”
“Wow. Fun,” was my internal dialogue. We moved into the studio and I repeatedly played the song with Will sitting on the floor mapping the song in sections: 1, 2, Question 3, Answer 3, etc. Some songs had 20+ sections. This one was simpler.
Will and Corin Nelsen used that map as a checklist to ensure the integrity of my performance ensuring that each section of a song was as ‘perfect’ as we could get it in terms of sound, execution, soulfulness, and honesty.
While recording and and usually while performing music, I shut my eyes, dive deep within, let go and sort of jump into the spirit-flow. For a moment while recording Edge of Eternal, I opened my eyes and peered through the thick glass separating the control room and studio, and time stopped for an instant – slow motion – and I see Will feeling the sound of the music. I was happy to see that and returned to the performance.
For me, working with Will and Corin was a Ph.D production course. And while my first experience of the studio was as a temple, I also started to see it as a university with great mentors.
I learned increasingly more with each of the amazing artists who graced the studio – one by one – laying down stellar performances on these songs. Some times Will was in the production chair. Other times, I was. And we jammed it out. And creatively this was a beautiful sharing among all of us.
Midway into Edge of Eternal, Will asked me if he could add Noah Wilding on vocals. He was hearing voices. It took me years to realize that when you’re surrounded by people who do great work, let them be creative. Get out of the way. Will wanted a half hour and I said, go for it. I took a break on a few overdubs, and Noah came in and layered her haunting voice over several tracks. Corin added some warm long reverb for effect. And wow – we are creating live which is how I like to create. The voice and guitars together sounded like Heaven on Earth.
Nature is spontaneous. Nature is not written down. I like music that feels and sounds like nature, and I really don’t want any mind in it. I just want heartfelt spontaneous flow. Because I feel that’s the best pathway through music for spirit to flow and light to shine.
And so it was on Edge of Eternal which was later elevated into cosmic dimensions by the maestro Eugene Friesen on cello and the brilliant Jill Haley on English horn.