This week I was able to work with some more really talented musicians! Jason and I were able to have violinist Vilme Joselin and cellist Luke Borkowski come in and record string parts for a few songs on the album. Before the session, Jason and I got together last week and arranged all of the parts alongside our friend and talented musician, Alex Frondelli. The process was incredibly fulfilling because up until this point I’ve never arranged or recorded string parts for my own music. Vilme and Luke played on a few sections of “Let You Go,” “Caught Up,” and “Plans.” We had them record different parts that we wrote with the use of different microphones and their placement. By doing this it helped create the effect of an orchestra in the room, as opposed to just two instruments. I’m super stoked to hear how the strings turn out once they are mixed properly into all of the tracks. We are coming closer and closer to finishing the entire record and I couldn’t be happier! Here’s a video of that session.
This week I had the opportunity to be involved with some truly exciting stuff! Jason and I booked out the studio for a few hours and had my friends Taylor Burgess and Julia Capello come and sing some harmony/lead vocals on a bunch of tracks on the record. Taylor is a Jazz Vocal major and Julia is a Studio Composition major at SUNY Purchase, where we all go to school. It was incredibly helpful that they are both specifically involved with performing and composing music all the time because they came in and didn’t miss a beat the entire time.
We began the session with Julia and some of the more heady and dreamy songs that are on the record. Ever since I heard Julia’s original music online, I instantaneously knew that I needed to work with her and somehow get her involved with this project. We began with the song “In Heaven” and she blew me away instantly with her ability to hear the harmony part I imagined almost immediately. She ended up singing a lot on that song particularly, doing harmony vocals on all of the verses and choruses and it truly came out great. We then had her do some vocals on a song called “Plans” and another called “Caught Up.” Both of the songs we only needed her vocals for certain sections but she was able to perform those sections with efficiency and ease.
Later on in the session Taylor arrived and the night continued to move forward. I heard Taylor sing a bunch when I used to be in an music ensemble on-campus called Soul Voices, led by Pete Malinverni. Taylor’s voice is phenomenal, as well as her personality, so I knew I needed to work with her too. She ended up singing both harmonies and some lead vocals on some of the tunes and it turned out great. Taylor also possesses a strong sense of harmony and melody and was able to learn the parts on the spot. We had her sing the lead vocal during the chorus of a song called “Sweet and Low,” which I’m really excited about. She also sang layered harmony parts on songs like “In Heaven” and “Plans” and it came out really well. It was also a lot of fun tracking with her because we ended up joking around almost more then actually recording.
The experience of working with both Julia and Taylor was incredibly rewarding and an absolute privilege for me as a songwriter. The tracking for the entire album is now almost complete with only a few more guest vocals to record and final touches to add such as strings, ambient pads and guitars, as well as auxiliary percussion. I’m incredibly excited to continue my work and finish this record in the next month. Here’s a little video of that session.