“You call me a fool
You say it’s a crazy scheme
This one’s for real
I already bought the dream
So useless to ask me why
Throw a kiss and say goodbye
I’ll make it this time
I’m ready to cross that fine line…”
© Becker/Fagan, Deacon Blues from the album Aja, 1977
Many album projects have slipping deadlines and this is equally true of the KOAS project. My previous update hinted at overdubs being completed by the end of March and this has been the one that has slid the furthest. It has been an interesting month which has been split between finding a new day job to fund this writer/producer life and getting the necessary work done. And now three weeks into April, I’m happy with the way the overdubs have all been addressed. Every track is now in the state of maturity necessary for the vocal work to start being done which I will commence over the first May Bank Holiday.
Some tracks did require some re-arrangement or pre-production work; specifically, Manhattan Lullaby, Escape From The Shadows (a particularly complex arrangement) and Elia. Others needed sections re-writing – it dawned on me rather late in the day that the intro parts for both Castles In The Sky and the problem child Doesnt Matter Now were not only similar, they were too similar. I guess thats one of the problems that comes about from working on these pieces in isolation as is my wont, compared to doing it in a more traditional structured way. But, it was something that wasnt difficult to fix; it is a source of much brow furrowing as to why DMN was such a problem for so long but then seemed to come together rather like throwing all of the pieces of a jigsaw on the floor and seeing them all join together in mid-air before hitting the ground fully formed. I know that might seem like a really odd analogy, but its the only one I’ve got that fits.
But… notwithstanding that, everything has come together pretty quickly over the last month and the next objective is doing the backing vocals, which will start next weekend. I anticipate that this will probably take most of May to complete now that I’m starting a new day job tomorrow. Once this is done the real challenging part of doing the lead vocals will start in June.
This particular phase has been challenging, it has taken longer than it should have done, but its now done. And, along the way, I’ve learned a lot and have even had some moments where I’ve finally learned to play with as much feel as I write with. Two particular parts – the guitar solo in No Getting Over You and the E-bow/sax solo in Five Years have been moments where its only afterwards when you listen back to it are quite moving, especially Five Years. It wasn’t by design, but it does that thing that I absolutely adore in a song, in that it builds, it climbs and then it soars and when it happened and came together it was quite a profound personal moment. And they do say that your music needs to move you first before it moves anyone else. And if this process has done anything, it sure as hell has moved me.
Hopefully those moments will continue to inspire during the journey of putting down the vocals, which is going to be particularly challenging as it is something I have not done with my own voice before, so I’m going to be needing all the inspiration I can get. And channelling the vocal styles of the likes of Donald Fagan, Matt Munro and Peter Skellern and others who have inspired the feel of some of the songs is going to be an absolutely monumental task. But, its what the songs need so it has to be done somehow, if the project is to succeed and it has come too far now to do anything else but succeed.
There have been other thoughts on track listings, what is going to be included and what isnt, whether one of the albums will end up more as a mini-album or extended EP, but thats for another time.
Onwards and upwards we go. More as it happens…