Two photos tell the story of the last day of recording 'ANIMO one' (2019) and 'ANIMO two' (2021). No prizes for guessing which is which! Can you tell that we are smiling with some degree of relief in both pictures?
Our 'ANIMO two' recording sessions have finished and what's left is a desire to do more, do better, learn more repertoire.
It's no secret that artists tend to be extremely self-critical. As I get older I know that perfection is not in the notes (although that's always a good place to start) but in the way the artist moves the seer, the listener, the audience. Also, in the way the artist engages themselves in everything they do.
So, with all those 'ANIMO two' experiences now in the past, we pass on the baton to Adam who has a mountain of audio and video takes to organise, tracks to glue together (yes, the digital age is a wonder!) and some of our outtakes that he promised to make into 'behind the scenes videos'. There is much to be done in the next 6 months.
So, how did it go?
We are a pretty good team who support each other completely. We tested for COVID each day and made sure we were taking every precaution we could. My studio was cleaned, sanitised and aired after each session. We used sneeze screens when the distance was less than 3 metres and enclosed Sarah in a safe circle of acoustic panels. We shielded for the duration of the recordings.
Adam is brilliant at keeping us motivated and manages us with great skill and kindness! He also reminds us when to take breaks. We worked relentlessly to create what we think is quite a pivotal album for all of us. We can't wait for you to hear it and see it.
Did anything get in the way?
This year I couldn't have a page turner so I had to learn to use a pad (I am using a PadMU) and air pedal but trying to teach my left foot to avoid double tapping the pedal (from expressive tapping) was really hard! The result of this brainwashing is that I tap the air pedal to turn hard copy scores now!
Sarah discovered that her flute had a leak during one of our recording sessions so she had to use her spare flute as it would have been against lockdown regulations to travel and have it repaired. Under normal circumstances this would have been an easy decision.
The piano had to be tuned and repaired twice in the space of three weeks leading up to the recording to bring it to the high standard it deserves. We did everything we could to create a high quality product. So, now we wait to hear the results and we hope that you enjoy what we've created.
Covid precautions meant that we had to think very carefully about how to make this recording happen safely. Adam had to record from a gazebo outside the studio with the studio doors permanently open not just to keep the studio aired but also to allow the cables to flow from the gazebo to the studio. This also meant that Adam had to survive cold winds and wear thermals every day! Recording audio and video at the same time was a tall order but he did it all with so much love and calmness!
We are ready for the next chapter: we continue live-streaming on YouTube with new repertoire, preparing for our first online large-scale concert which will (pandemic-permitting) be broadcast from London, creating more videos, starting our education channel which both Sarah and I want to set-up as soon as possible. We are also looking forward to choosing our two women composers out of 40 that applied and working with all four 2021 composers to create more 'new music'. We keep motivated and hopefully you will reap the rewards by listening to beautiful, interesting and challenging music.
Stay safe, be well, look after yourselves. And do one thing differently each day.
A neurologist named Dr. Katz found that in order to stimulate brain activity, it’s necessary to the do things in completely different ways. That was his reason for developing Neurobics: it’s a kind of brain training that gets you moving in new directions, thus activating the nerve cells in your brain. “Doing things differently” is the motto of the training. Just making small changes in the way you go about your day, or even adding unfamiliar activities, can have a big effect.