Cogs Turning All Around
So I'm at a creative crossroads. Or rather at an intersection where multiple crossings of roads are happening. (Like that abomination of an intersection in Winter Park where Fiddler's Green is). All of my three main musical endeavors, (Beemo, Amanda Lyn, and the Lazarus Music Project) have new music in the works and I feel both eager with anticipation and overwhelmed by possibility.
Lazarus Music Project
I finished tracking the second piece for LMP a few weeks ago, a 1912 Tango by Paul LaCome D'Estalenx. I still have a little bit of mix work to do but for the first time in a while I'm not painstaking drilling for it. I just finished shooting another quadrant style video, so keep an eye out for that. Hopefully in the next few weeks or so I'll be able to start pushing all the content out.
The next piece on the docket is a sonata by Italian composer Leonardo Moja. I had been working it in the background as a palette cleanser to avoid burning out while frantically rehearsing both the Fodor Quartet and the Tango. "Half-Hearted" isn't really the right term for how I was approaching it, but there was no urgency as there were two pieces ahead of it. Now that it's up next, I can really focus on it.
Amanda recently moved to Atlanta, but shortly before she left I proposed that we do a six song EP of songs that we (mostly) wrote together. I played on most of the tracks of her first EP, "Timeless", but had no involvement with the actual writing of the songs. We're a good team and (I'm pretty sure) both enjoy working together it so I figured it would be a fun project, distance and all.
Three of the songs that will make up the EP are ones that we have played live as a duo, including the first two we wrote together. The other three are brand new, and in fact were just finished in the last two weeks.
I very much enjoy recording, and building an EP from the ground up is a challenge I'm really looking forward to. We're recording it at DME Orlando so we'll be working more with Mike Walker, who is quickly becoming the official engineer of Have Mandolin Will Travel.
Mike and I started preproduction a few weeks ago, charting out the songs and laying down scratch mandolin tracks to start building on. (Scratch tracks are just temporary placeholders that are good enough to start layering other tracks on top of, but will be re-recorded officially later in the project). Mike has a great ear for production and instrumentation so these tunes are going to come a long way from the minimalist mandolin / vocal versions that exist in the ether now.
Being able to arrange a good full band recording from a stripped down acoustic version is something that I don't have a lot of experience with or skill at so I'm going to be leaning heavily on Mike. And just like when I worked with Matt Tonner, who produced Beemo's full length album, I'm going to be paying very close attention in order to sharpen my own ear for sonic textures and instrumentation layering.
This is going to be a fun, enlightening experience.
Beemo has a lot going on right now. We've gotten a song placed in a movie by Sean Baker (writer / director of The Florida Project) and are starting to play gigs out of town.
In addition to this, we're writing new music and starting to think about another full length album, our first since 2018's "Bustin Out." Everybody in the band has been busy cooking up ideas. Our songwriting process is highly variable; sometimes someone brings in a song basically fully written, sometimes someone brings in most of a song that just needs some structuring, and other times someone brings in some fragment, maybe a vocal melody or a instrumental riff and we all just pile on trying to flesh it out. (See this post on the Beemo blog for more on our writing process.)
We've got a lot of material floating around right now, some nearly complete and some more inchoate. The last few practices we've really started to hammer things out and we've set a goal to play at least one new song at our show at Fiddler's on July 31st.
For my own part, I've got three songs and a fragment that I've brought in. "Poison Star" is an upbeat tune about the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, "Stay" is a meditation on death, and "Murmur" is a lullaby / love song. The fragment, "Burn," is probably the angriest song I've written; I'm not sure it'll ever see the light of day, but who knows.
For the new album, in addition to all the new material we'll probably revisit some of our songs from the Beemo and Fold Out Couch EPs that didn't have bass and percussion on them. (We did the same with "Bustin' Out")
Be sure to come see us out and about in the coming months, there will be some new stuff in the rotation. Check out our schedule here.
So I'm going to be pretty musically busy for the foreseeable future. I wouldn't have it any other way.