Well back to work today in front of the mike after a stuttering week between inaction and full on deadline smacking!
The artwork is now complete and Mark Wilkinson sent it to the printers late this afternoon. Credit pages were as always a headache with last minute additions and memory surges. I’m bound to have forgotten someone important and obvious! :-0
It looks absolutely fantastic. Mark and Julie have done a tremendous piece of work on this and we are looking at putting the entire 100 page booklet up on the fishheadsclub.com web site in the coming weeks so you can get an idea of how it looks.
It really does fulfill that tactile orgasmic feeling we used to get from double gatefold sleeves with inserts PLUS! 🙂
It was a fantastic experience gliding through the downloads from Mark and the sense of almost being there with this project borders on ecstasy.
There has been so much dedication put into this artwork from the Wilkinsons that I am truly humbled . It’s the best ever and as Mark said the 12 page booklet on the standard issue is nowhere near capable of touching the full deluxe version. Mark reckons he’ll just about be able to fit all the lyrics and credits on the standard version and will have to leave out most of the exclusive artwork and photos as there just isn’t the space.
The string parts arrived from Egbert Derix in Holland over the weekend and I heard the first sections on “The High Wood” and “The Leaving” briefly today as Calum added them to the main recordings this morning here at the studio. They sound brilliant! ( A big thanks Egbert and I’ll be talking to you in the next couple of days!) 🙂
I played the album vocal comp mixes to my mate Rab on Saturday night after and after hearing the entire album he immediately wanted to hear everything again! He was blown away by what we’ve put together even at this stage!
His reaction really got me juiced up for the vocal sessions and this afternoon I nailed the tricky “High Wood” vocal including spoken word options that together with the stings give the track some serious drama!
The listening session on Saturday made me realise we are a lot closer to finishing the vocals than I thought last week and the comps we were listening to weren’t the full 1st comps!
The “High Wood” suite is incredibly moving and I admit to choking a bit myself listening back to it all in a oner!
There’s a lot of “weeding” out to do as there’s a lot of superfluous recording takes that we don’t really need and Calum has to strip it down to avoid it sounding “over produced”. The brief at the beginning to the writers and agreed with Calum was to keep it relatively uncomplicated and we have a fine line to tread to deliver something extremely special without over cooking the final mixes.
That is what Calum excels at and if anyone knows his work with the “Blue Nile” you’ll understand exactly where he comes from. He is a genius at leaving in exactly what is needed to achieve the finest result.
The string sections are perfect. Not overblown and pompous and in the right places at the right times at the correct velocity to enhance the dynamic. They definitely inspired the spoken word takes today which themselves have to be weeded out to provide the deep subtle textures that make the “High Wood” very different and very special.
Elisabeth Troy Antwi arrives tomorrow afternoon for her full day of singing here and I am so looking forward to working with her again. It’s going to be a very special session. I think she will also lend some wonderful textures to the album that will make it sparkle and hypnotise! 🙂
Aidan O’Rourke is at Calum’s studio in North Berwick to add a solo violin part to “Blind to the Beautiful” tomorrow morning before the vocal sessions here and I am so looking forward to hearing his performance on the track which is already mesmerising.
Dave Barras is filming Liz in the afternoon and showing me some rough edits of the story so far. With the artwork now complete the next mission is to piece together the making of DVD and I know Dave has his work well and truly cut out on this. It’s going to be a documentary film in itself!
The news that Elspeth and Gregor have completely caught up with the orders that swamped us in June and July was also welcomed. Everything ordered so far is now on it’s way out and the new system is prepared to take the advance pre orders we are expecting to increase as we move into the last month or so of the offer which includes the 15% discount on the related tour and other items and of course the personally autographed digital print that Mark and I are signing for orders received before the end of August. If you want your deluxe version sooner rather than later then please get it in as soon as possible as we will be sending out the packages on a first ordered first served basis and September will be a very, very busy time in our mail room. We will have extra staff on line to deal with the demand that is already evident but the later your order the slightly longer it will take to reach you as first customers first served! We are prepared!
Calum and I have dedicated the next 2 weeks to finishing recordings but after hearing the comps so far we are ahead of the game and could be started mixing the middle of next week if all goes according to plan with the main vocals which I am totally primed for.
The attached artwork is an example of what Mark Wilkinson has been putting together for the booklet and is from the section based on “The Leaving”. To give you an idea of Mark’s attention to detail this is the second version, the third having the “eye” slightly reduced at at 3pm this afternoon just as the files were sent to the printers!
This is so special, you cannot believe! 🙂