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.
Wa-hooo! This Sunday I was able to complete all of my lead vocals for Leave a Light On and it only took a little over 3 hours. I’m incredibly excited to prepare the different takes and for the few guest musicians who are coming in to sing on the songs. Tracking vocals is never usually fun for me but I had a great time tracking these vocals. Most of the songs are really laid back and I was able to relax and mess around with my voice. Jason is incredibly patient and helpful in making various decisions such as how to phrase a specific line melodically or which lyrics could be slightly adjusted, as well.
On Monday we began to edit all of the different vocal takes in Studio B. It took a grueling 5 hours to finish 5 songs-worth of material but was well worth it because we got to hand-pick the sections we liked the most.. The songs are beginning to sound like finished songs and I’m getting more excited to add all the harmony vocals and to record some more ambient soundscapes. We still have two songs to finish editing and then we need to book more time to record the rest of the group vocal harmonies. Needless to say we are closing in on finishing the record.
This weekend I updated the Lee’s Manifold Facebook page, which can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/LMMusicOfficialPage/. Jason and I also began recording vocals for the songs “Let You Go” and “Sweet and Low.” We were able to finish the lead vocal on both songs in one session which was really exciting! We also discussed having my BFA Film pal Lee Manor come in to record some video of us tracking vocals with the future guest vocalists who are singing on the record. I’m incredibly anxious to continue working on the vocals and to edit them further until they are just right.
First, Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!!! Second, now is as good a time as any to share the first Lee’s Manifold single with you. The whole idea was to create a project that featured different musicians on all of the tracks. However, I began this journey with the first group of friends that I ever played music with in a band called Happy Birthday Dr. Jim. This Summer I was fortunate enough to talk Maximillian Moore, Gabe LaVine, and Nick Kozak into recording this song with me at The Recording Company with Tim Lynch who produced and engineered a lot of our older music and always shared his talents and kindness with us. It was an incredibly rewarding experience that I’ll never forget because even now it’s crazy to think that eight years on we are still playing music together and remain great friends. Thank you to everyone who made this song possible and to Steven Meara for mastering the track. And last, but certainly not least, thank you to my beautiful and talented partner Paulina Meneses for inspiring me everyday and for inspiring this song. I love you with all of my heart! Please take a listen to this labor of love and share it with your family and friends.
This past week we began recording more guitars and editing a lot of the tracks we recorded in the previous weeks. Little things needed to be re-done and tracked again due to the lack of tightness. Jason and I also decided to re-record the drums for “Sweetest Love” because they just weren’t locking up with the rest of the instrumentation. We are really gaining momentum right now, seeing as it’s already been a few months worth of tracking. The idea is to continue with all of the vocals and then start to add additional instrumental layers such as strings, ambient soundscapes, etc. It’ll be really fun once the vocals are all done and we start to arrange string parts and add aspects that compliment each song. I’m excited to see what the next few weeks have to offer.
Hello, world! Welcome to my very first blog post as Lee’s Manifold. I began this recording project in October with a handful songs and vision. I wanted to collaborate musically and hear my songs through other peoples ears.The meaning behind the name of the band comes from the concept of the word “manifold;” or a whole that unites or consists of many diverse elements. That is the most integral part of understanding how the music will come together. I’ve chosen specifically to write songs that will feature different musicians, all working together to create something special. We began by uploading all of the demo tracks I initially recorded so that we could make sure the songs were arranged the way they were intended to be and so I could begin recording the simple drum and percussion tracks. Jason Maurer (pictured above) signed on as the engineer and co-producer and will also play drums on the song “Sweetest Love.” We have booked a bunch of studio time and have planned to record the entire album in the next few months.