Archive for January, 2011

You and me and the skeleton trees

Some kind words about our Projections EP from Herohill and Quick Before it Melts.

Did I mention we are doing Free Show at the Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto Tues. Feb 1? It’s an early set, 9pm, and we’d love to see you. Facebook event page here.

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January 27, 2011 at 1:57 am Leave a comment

The Church

This post is a tribute to a century-old church on Annette St. in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto that I had the good fortune of recording music in. Those recordings eventually became the Pink Moth Ep’s When The Credits Roll and The Orchard. I recently drove by, as I often do to relive that wonderful week for a few moments, and noticed the construction crews working away, converting it to condominiums.

In July of 2009 my friends Tao and Andresa gave me the keys and insisted that I make use of the superb acoustics and grand piano. They let me move in all my equipment and live there for a week. I will be eternally grateful to them for their kindness and trust in me.

I could barely contain my excitement as I loaded in and set up my stuff. I rented a few additional pieces of gear and generous friends lent me things. The church was built in the 1880’s and was a little worn out but had charm for miles and sounded outstanding. I slept in a small room in the bell tower. There were pigeons living at the top where the roof had a hole and I could hear them coo and flutter.

I set up microphones all over that church. The first time I recorded drums and listened back to the room mics I nearly cried. The natural reverb was huge, dark and cavernous. I got to work. I brought in some completed material and some songs that needed some coaxing. Generally I woke up around 10 or 11am, took a walk for food and coffee, returned and listened to the previous day’s work, then set about to recording. I usually didn’t shut down till about 4am. After midnight the neighbourhood got very quiet and the noisy buses and motorcycles on Annette St. ceased to run, no more engine bleed into the ambient mics. This is when I would record the quiet songs and parts, vocals and piano. During the day was the time for drums, bass, and amplified instruments. A couple friends came to sing and play.

Things went very smoothly. It was almost as if the songs were recording themselves. I would take short breaks and eat, or walk around the church, exploring all the different rooms. The basement was interesting. There was a very old Steinway upright hiding in a corner. She had a beautiful, soft sound and magic in her bones. Old furniture, a Hammond E series organ under cover. Over the years I’ve come to find that churches sometimes have the most wonderful things hidden in them. There was a second floor area at the back of the church with a balcony overlooking the altar. I put a mic up there. A closet full of tambourines. A small room used for sunday school.¬†Another tower room¬†with a trap door leading up.

There was no telephone, no internet connection. Once every few days I walked to the library to check email. I went home for a bath. It was bliss. I miss the church.

January 12, 2011 at 6:22 am Leave a comment