Hello My Friends,

This has been a most productive week at Starfield Studio, on the slightly sunny - slightly wet - slightly everything but snowy South English Coast.  “Winter Is Coming!”

When we are in our usual studio groove, James Asher and I can create and rough-out about song a day. It takes another half a day to fine-tune and mix the piece down to album quality.

After 14 consecutive years of studio alchemy together, James and I have created a fairly quick process of creating musical ideas and shmoozing them into pieces for our album, but it doesn’t matter if it takes 2 or 3 years to complete an album. The journey is the goal.

But at the end of just 9 days together in Starfield Studio, we have laid down 16 complete Asher-Arthurian musical songs. I am amazed.

Contributing to this high level of production is James’s new studio mixing machine, the AKAI MPCX. It marries all the components together quickly and smoothly. Because of the new mixer, James’ studio engineer work-process-flow has been lightingly upgraded. It’s as if James has exchanged a Ford truck for a Ferrari sports car.

The result is that, on the engineering side of our studio recording process (all James’ doing), the sound tracks fall smoothly into place with much more ease. Now, as music creators, we don’t get lost in production technology, we can just do our alchemy, and stay swimming within the core of our musical ideas. James’ brilliance shines ever-brighter in my eyes.

I brought my C-Pentatonic Pete Engelhart 5-note bell on this fall European tour. Pete’s bell has sung it’s song on a number of our musical pieces this year. Although I packed it just for our studio project, it has also served me well in the VMC Playshop programs I’ve been doing.

Here are some of the song titles that we created in this last Starfield Studio session (list subject to change):

  • 100 Deserts - Mysterious, hypnotic, romantic with flamenco acoustic guitar (Smell the sand dunes)
  • Like I Day - New York dance hall pump with vocal sample (Sweat your tears)
  • Lemon Meringue Pie - Warm, melodic, gentle rhythm, engulfing sound scape (Very edible)
  • Deep Valley - Thematic - atmospheric - gothic Cello melody (Think Game of Thrones)
  • Afro-can - Momentum with chord sequence, acoustic guitar melody (And of course, Groovy)
  • Balafon Raga - Laid back, earthy (Traditional villages being walked through)
  • Global Samba - Infectious and powerful polyrhythm (Step up or step back!)
  • Mambo - Galloping electro pulse with energetic congas (Double time baby!)
  • Texas Bucket - Austin Powers does the funky chicken (With a Texas twang)
  • Cloud Fiesta - Propelling groove with acoustic rhythm guitar (Triplets)
  • Funk 96 - Insidious but subtle funk with brass stabs and hooky sax riffs
  • Breath Dub - Drum feature where programmed sounds meet live percussion (Thank you REMO)
  • Circadian Spirals - Broad galactic cosmic track with strong rhythm underlays
  • Gradual Growth - Percussion feature, with intensifying rhythmic layers (It grows on you)

I think there is enough here for another album, Don’t You?

Watch this space.

On to Norway…

Life is a dance  

Arthur