Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Brian Ball from Women’s Radio interviewed me yesterday and you can hear the podcast now online at
(copy and paste into your browser sorry I still haven’t figured out the link system here)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Well great news the recording of the album is complete and ready to roll! I had a wonderful time at Rear Window Studios with multi-talented Adam Popowitz on Wednesday afternoon. He has an amazing little studio with windows facing the lush green woods and protected habitat. A great spot to feel inspired. I came with a metronome of sorts to help me get that rhythm down which was eluding me in cross town studios. I dusted of my old Roland key board and grabbed an r and b drum loop for Truth and Dares and then a crazy cheesy 90s dance beat at 145 beats a minute for Christmas Bells and practiced with this for several days and was indeed the answer to my troubles. I did Truth and Dares in 2 takes and am very happy with the energy and vocals of this live track, my guitar is almost smokin. Christmas Bells took a few more attempts but it too surfaced with the feel I was after. Neither of theses tunes have the cheesy drum tracks of course on the final mix but sure helped immensely in the delivery. I did Take Back the Power in free form without the click and it worked well too. This song was harder to program a drum loop as there is a tempo change midway but I get the groove with this one pretty easily. Adam was a joy to work with and got into the groove of the tunes. I look forward to working with him again. He reminds me of James Bowers a producer and friend and I worked with for many years and who also recorded some of the songs on this album from prior releases. Adam approaches songs in a similar manner and intensity and is also a multi-instrumentalist which is always any singer-songwriter’s dream ...the all in one package. Alice joined me in the studio for her ears and input on the creative process. She enjoyed the experience and was impressed with the session as well.

SO here is the lineup for the album:
Acoustically Inclined Norine Braun
1.Truth and Dares 3:31

2.Another Man's Fate 4:03

3.Ballad Of Magic Man 2:36

4.Take Back The Power 3:03

5. Christmas Bells 3:11

6. Love & Not Fear 4:21

7. Miles To Go 3:54

8. Dreams 2:49

9.There_s A Long, Long Trail A Winding 2:02

10. Little Girl With Golden Hair 4:07

11. Junkie 3;00

12.Be Brave 2:39

13. persephone 3:50

14. human kindness 3:00

15. Climb The Mountain 3:53

16. These Boots Are Made For Walkin 2:21

Truth and Dares is the lead track and here is the link to have a listen.

The lyrics...

Truth and Dares
Never needed anyone
She always did it on her own
Life seemed always black and white
People get there on their own
Willful youth she sacrificed
Her glass filled half way
In the night, in the night
She plays truth and dares

She wakes up living on the street
She’s hungry can’t find enough to eat
She’s lonely, drunks lie at her feet

Downtown, she lives downtown

She looks at me with vacant eyes
I worry that she might recognize
My interest or my empty lies

Downtown, she lives downtown

Garbage in her livingroom
She threw her pearls to the swine
World’s my oyster anyways
You see I manifest divine
Mystic visions watching me
I get connected all the time
In the night, in the night
She knows truth and dares

I walk past her most everyday
She asks for change I give away
I give my penance for the day
Downtown she lives downtown

I stand corrected in front of truth
My mind unravels the naked ruse
The spirit moves me into use
Downtown she lives downtown

Never needed anyone
She always did it on her own
Life seemed always black and white
People get there on their own
Willful youth she sacrificed
Her glass filled half way
In the night, in the night
She knows truth and dares

©Norine Braun August 27, 2008

I am very happy with this collection of acoustic tunes and I think the album demonstrates my live performance well and how songs begin in their purest form...vocal and guitar. I hope you enjoy them too.

I called Craig Waddell from Gotham City Studios and we met for coffee on the drive Friday. He is the master of mastering and has mastered thousands of albums from indies like me to the big well known artists like Sarah McLachlan, Fear Factory, Grateful Dead, Loverboy, Delerium...
An honour to have such an incredibly talented mastering artist work on this recording.

Here is the definition of Mastering for you from musicbiz academy. Mastering is
the audio step that comes just before manufacturing a CD. Once you have finished recording and mixing your songs, the tracks are shaped, sculpted, scooped, equalized, compressed, and finessed into sonic splendor (well, you hope) through the audio process known as mastering. Mastering is what gives depth, punch, clarity and volume to your tracks. It is part science, part craft, and part alchemy. . . just like songwriting, singing, performing and recording. Mastering is the crucial, critical, and final creative step in the process of making an audio recording,

The photos are of Adam at the helm in Rear Window studios, Alice at Rear Window and myself in the isoation booth at Rear Window, Craig Waddell is holding the brand new Acoustcally Inclined album in the brown envelope along with a panini to go from the drive. You can’t visit the drive without a panini.

The mastering will be done next week! Now for the design work....stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On sunny Saturday Alice and I ventured over to visit friendly Paul Wohlstetter at his home-work studio also know as Wohl of Sound. We spent about an hour an half running through several live takes to capture the right one which was the last one. The new live recording of Little Girl With Golden Hair is now complete. Alice sat in with me as co-producer and helped me get just what I was after. Here is a link to listen
Next stop is Burnaby tomorrow afternoon to visit Adam Popowitz and his studio. The live sessions continue....

Friday, September 12, 2008

Let’s try this link once more for you to copy into your browser. Cheers, Norine,%20Long%20Trail%20AWinding.mp3

The isolation booth is on the left and the window below is looking into where I sat to record. Those are my guitars I used in the recording.

This is Allan sitting at his desk in Crossstown studios.

Yours truly in session is the last photo.
I ventured over to Crosstown Studios yesterday where Allan Rodger engineered and set up the live recording. It was good to see him again. I sat in the very warm, little isolation booth (not for folks with claustrophobia!) for about 4 hours playing 7 songs several times each. I am not sure I would take this approach again as it was tiring and hard to get a fresh attitude for each tune. I think it works great as a pre-production tool though and does capture the live sound. I am quite happy with There’s a Long, Long Trail A Winding, the song from 1915, penned by Stoddard King and music by Zo Elliot. I played the harmonica on this one and we captured the haunting Waltons idea. I like Human Kindness ,too, but there is work to be done on the rest. I played free form without click track or metronome in the headphones and in hindshite I think I will always request this.
This Saturday I am visiting the studios of PD Wohl, local singer-songwriter guy with studio to see what we can do with Little Girl. The nice thing about doing acoustic tracks as opposed to studio productions is you can visit and work with a variety of engineers and studios and see how they work without greatly affecting the overall album sound.

Talk again soon! luvnb


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I have been practicing like crazy and working hard on the new tunes. I finished what is now called Truth and Dares, a smoky bluesy downtown kinda song. It has a tricky riff to give it pause for thought and I have been playing on my little classical guitar but now am going to put on some new strings on the acoustic and start getting it up to speed as I am going to record next week! Yahoodles!

I emailed Allan who produced a few tracks on the last album and told him of my idea to record the remaining songs. I have 2 ideas one is the live voice and guitar recorded at the same time or the other is separate tracks not much of a difference you may think but sometimes can be big. He likes the live together idea and I think for feel and what I am after I would agree so we shall see but that is the intent right now.

The music is finished for Christmas Bells, now for the lyrics. This is a fun song and will lift the energy of the album as there are some heavier, darker tracks. Little Girl is done too I added a c section which really flows and gives it a dreamy ending. My attempts at hammer on and pull offs gives it an edgier sound and I will keep at it. The a verse sections will be played straight ahead and then the hammer ons will be a nice contrast for the b verses. This one doesn’t have a chorus per se but it works with the hook in the verse. I changed the key to F from E and this lifts it to a real nice range for my voice as much as I love E it seemed on the b section I was really straining and didn’t sound very nice. Persephone is coming along I am thinking of trying it on the 12 string but not entirely sure.

I unearthed Human Kindness and may or may not put this on it does fit with the overall folk sound and sentiment. Take Back the Power is a tough one and still not working out all the kinks. The time change is a real challenge so have hooked up the old Roland to get some click tracks and percussion going to help me along the way.

I think that I will attempt Long Long Trail again this is an old First World War song and is unfortunately timely. I read that when the soldiers sang this song they did it in a boisterous and loud way. My approach however, is longing and haunting and I will add a harmonica solo in it too to intensify this feeling. We did record this at the Duncan showroom but the harmonica was such a new instrument I had only picked it up a week before so I have had time to get acquainted since. We also upped the tempo midway so Sherri wouldn’t feel alone but now have decided to go back to my first idea of longing, quiet introspective.

Thats where things stand for now. cheers, nb

Blog Archive