Last week I was asked by a friend of mine if I would be interested in recording some piano backing to a song he has just written. I said, "Of course, I'd love to!", thinking he just wanted an amateur recording made by myself after I'd had a bit of time to learn the music.
In the true style of this particular friend though, he landed in New York, booked a recording studio for the next evening at 8pm and I had one hour to put the music together before we would record the session live!! So, I didn't even have time to freak out about it. Probably the best way really.
I've never been in a recording studio in my life, so it was more than a little bit intimidating showing up there armed with my laptop, headphones and a pen drive containing the music and vocals I had to work with.
Lofish studios is situated not far from where I live in midtown on the top floor of a pretty inconspicuous looking building. Ben, one of the sound engineers, led me up 6 flights of stairs to a sectioned off studio with a beautiful centrepiece Yahama grand piano gleaming under the lights, and 3 iso booths.
Truth be told, I haven't played the piano in quite a while, not having my own here in New York, so I actually felt a little nervous sitting down to play such a magnificant instrument. Ben told me that it is maintained lovingly by the owners of the studios, one of whom I actually met later in the evening and who is herself a jazz musician.
Anyway, I had about an hour of practice runs, listening to the music and transposing it to the piano and coming up with some kind of creative backdrop to the vocals. Through the plate glass, Ben gave me the nod to say we would start recording. Nerves! What made it all just seem to glide past was the absolute treat of playing the Yahama with its silky black and white keys and perfectly tuned pitch.
The end recording sounded pretty good - a couple of falterings here and there - but for a first take, not bad at all. My friend was over the moon, and I fed more off his enthusiasm than anything else. Ben gave us a CD each and sent us on our way.
I found out just this morning that Lyric Fm back in Ireland have agreed to play our recording on air, so in a couple of weeks I'm heading back to Lofish to re-record again!! I think I'm hooked!