Monday, December 14, 2009

Warm Fuzzy Christmas

We finished our final Gathering for the semester last night. Campus ministry is a huge blur. It is hard for me to really believe we are done. I do have a bit of grading to do and I will be meeting with students all week, hopefully. Paul and I will continue to tinker away on this next year's recordings. We're going to mix and edit in Pro Tools instead of Digital Performer this year. So, there is a bit of a learning curve there. There is the calendar or next semester to start working on too. So, there is still work, but it's just not all crammed in with planning and leading four services a week.

On Friday each member of the staff gave a brief testimony of what we are thankful for. We framed the service as a live Christmas card and even gave a student a camera to take our picture.

Here are a few that Kate took from the stage of the gathered students:

It was a good week. I used to be so frustrated with the challenge of coming up with Christmas music so suddenly at the end of the semester, but these last two weeks were really enjoyable. A large part of the joy was changing the instrumentation for a few services: four girls singing, a real piano, drums light (kick, snare, hat played w/ brushes), vibes and a full concert glockenspiel, two acoustics, an electric mostly playing ambient swells, two violins, a cello and an upright bass. I'm a dork for not getting a photo of that group last night. On Monday I had a student organ major lead two carols with the chapel choir. Wednesday was the strings et al. Friday was standard rock core, and then last night was the strings based team again.

After much banging of the head and gnashing of the teeth, I've finally found some inspiration to keep working on the Ordinary Neighbors recordings. Some of my fears have settled. I've accepted my limitations as a mixing engineer and started hearingthe things I'm good at instead of the things I'm bad at. I've got the 'studio' set up again in the guest room and am pretty excited about working intensively on these old songs...rediscovering them. After working for the last 3+ years to get the school to give me the money to make major improvements on the Dimnent studio, the irony is that it is hard to get good extended time in there with all the others who want to use the space too. So this is where I'm working now:

I'll have to post some pics of the new mix room at Dimnent so that you can see the contrast--why this is not quite as ideal. One thing I am excited about is this:

It is a two track tape machine my grand poppa used for years with his music students. I've got a box of tapes of him instructing his students. The deck barely works, but it's got this nice sound of another age with all the crackles and hiss. Even better, I can hear poppa speaking. I'll be using samples on different songs.

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