Mixing.

We finished mixing the tracks in May.
We obviously mixed in the box.
ProTools, a whole array of Waves plugs-ins, and the legendary Yamaha NS10s.
An Apogee Quartet providing us with pristine and uncompromising clarity.

As we recorded the trio live in one room, the main challenge was separation.
On this simple video you can see how we used those removable panels to isolate vocal and guitar from the drums and upright bass.

This video is a rouhg mix of an alt take of original “Noir et Blanc”.
This session happened in one of those little hidden and alternative recording studio in Berlin Kreuzberg.

 

That Was Then.

We recorded in a typical out-of-the-mainstream alternative small studio in Kreuzberg.
Brian Trahan jumped in as the engineer and some great creative inputs.

Nir Sabag on drums and Gianfranco Coppola on upright worked the magic,
and set the musicianship to ever higher standards.
And I doubted every note I played.
Thought I lost my keys.

This was an amazing session.
The resulting tracks are beautiful, fresh.
And have that please-no-too-polished feel I was hoping for, to avoid bearing any resemblance to the pop we are used to hearing on the airwaves (not that we don’t like it).

We recently mixed the five titles. The whole should be released in September 2017 on my own indie label.

Thank you Nir, Gianfranco, Brian
and all.

Let Them Babies Sing.

Early Childhood Music Education.

I welcome a really interesting experience: mingling with babies and kids to stimulate their interest in MUSIC. On wednesdays, at the Malfisch, in Neukölln, Berlin.

Which brings in the very interesting topic of Early Childhood Music Education.

Amazing, those babies. They remind me of some of the artists I work with. Or rather, those artists seem to have taken some of these Baby qualities to a professional level.

Inspiring. Refreshing.

!נעה

There is so much happening these days, it is going to be difficult to keep up.

We had a wonderful Begenungssession with Noa Fort on the 6th of January 2017, in Berlin.

Noa graced us with her new song a couple weeks ago. She blessed that white piano with her playing, and flew away across the ocean back to Brooklyn.
Nir Sabag was here with us and played snare with brushes.

BROOKLYN MEETS BERLIN I

I use to walk the streets of Brooklyn, and feel that it must bear a kind of odd resemblance to some old Berlin I had never seen,  and did not yet know.

Now that I know Berlin – the new, obviously – I can confirm. There is a strange kinship between good ol’ Brooklyn, and Berlin.

The thing is, Berlin is new.
So incredibly, fascinatingly New. And nowadays when I walk around the streets of Berlin, I miss those pretty old cobblestone, the history and the incredible cultural density and variety of good ol’ Brooklyn!

 

BROOKLYNITE DYNAMITE!

Eric (below) practicing and recording some at a pre-production session in Berlin, Kreuzberg, for his Album “Travel Poems”.

Eric Pan is back in Berlin!
From Brooklyn. And he is not alone.
The pianist, whose talent and skills are only matched by his humble and authentic approach to making music, has introduced us to yet another Brooklynite: Brian Trahan.
Talent literally wrapped in optimism and positive energy.

1476105164477.jpgDYNAMITE has never looked so chilled and relaxed and friendly.

Travel Poem is going to be dynamite indeed, as we will be matching Eric with some wonderful local talents, such as the Rhythm and Groove Prophet, Nir Sabag on drums, and possibly Hugo Reydet on bass.

RABAJAH !

They are so young. They are so talented. They are so good already. And when you think they will only get better, it makes your head spins!  …  aja, and they are Berliners.

“GLPL”

I recently had the pleasure to work for indie publisher and Berlin start-up Trois Petits Points, on their first audio book release: “Grand Loup et Petit Loup”.

Jonathan Cohen rang up, as they wanted to have some music added to the story line and were seeking a composer.

After sketching up a first few demos, it became clear that we were on the same wavelength. Jonathan either approved immediately and enthusiastically, or cleverly and skillfully commented on the work done, to suggest a few modifications.

I was particularly struck by Mr. Cohen’s attention to detail, and his ability to get in the story, and discuss all the finesse and subtleties of the characters, and developments, and how those could influence the soundtrack. Un perfectionnisme that would probably rejoice only a few. But it did, me. As a somehow unexpected and yet familiar landscape can do, if that – unexpected metaphor – makes sense. Notwithstanding that John was simultaneously managing a much larger project for the Hörspiel “Louisette”.

For the occasion, I called upon one of my favorite drummer in town, Nir Sabag (aka the Rhythm and Groove Prophet), and a new acquaintance, bassist James Banner – from the UK – who proved to be as reserved as absolutely talented and to the point with his very musical playing.

We captured some of those tracks, at one of my favorite recording facility in Berlin; Kreuzberg. And I could not resist and engineer the session myself. Setting up those lovely microphones, sound-checking, leading certain pieces with the guitar, fumbling through freshly scribbled charts, and trying not to forget to press… Record.

Daniel Weltlinger blessed some of those tracks with his magic violin, and Jason Liebert with his trombone. Thank you.

I’ll keep some of my favorite tracks (Die Vereinigungsballade, Heart is Where is Home, etc.) for separate articles.

 

 

KNOW YOUR CLASSICS.

I don’t.
But a few.
“Dos Gardenias” is one of them.

We had this tremendous session in August, at our favorite facility, in Berlin Kreuzberg.
Featuring Nir Sabag on drums, Max Schlegel on bass, and Gil Livni on guitar.
We had the great Joel Holmes as a featured guest, on piano.
Julius Christus and Patricia Schichl were filming. This video will serve as a prototype for Berlin X.Berg 2015.

VIRGIL & THE BBs 25
VIRGIL & THE BBs 16
The piano is an old made in Breslau upright we got tuned-up for the occasion, an hour before the session. First tune-up in a while, it was already slipping a bit out of tune by the time Joel Holmes sat down. Not a comment from Joel – why state the obvious ? – who just explored the harmony, blessing us with some awesome playing and out-of-this-world harmonic considerations.

VIRGIL & THE BBs 19J
VIRGIL & THE BBs 9N
Nir Sabag, on drums, reminds us that it’s all about the sound, the groove, the simplicity.
Max, a soft spoken Kasachstani is one of the Berliner with the most eloquent latin groove. He blames Carly Quiros (pianist from Argentina) for that groovy ability.

VIRGIL & THE BBs 24M
VIRGIL & THE BBs 2
VIRGIL & THE BBs 8.2

Gil Livni is a surprise, over and over again.
He’ll remind you that he’s got to go in ten minutes, just before laying a guitar solo like this one (it’s all live, with no rehearsal). And then he disappears for Yom Kippur – may you repent, but not for that solo. I suspect some local colleagues here may try to have his return flight hi-jacked.

VIRGIL & THE BBs 22g
VIRGIL & THE BBs 23GMaj9 chord ? No, not sure. Who knows ?



That was scoring for Wrangelfilm.

Since I actually do not have a film-scoring background, I don’t use the same exact tools.
Or rather, I might be missing some of the more obvious sample libraries.
Which in a sense is probably a very good thing, as I try to avoid falling into the old cheap-sample-plastic-sounding libraries.

I suppose this little piece is a blend of music and sound-design,
used for Ben Mergelsberg “Meine Oma in Schlesien”.