We just had a full day of orchestra tracking in my kitchen for Chiaroscuro. Dan Prindle from Rane (one of my favorite bands for a few years after college) came down with his cello, and proceeded to play all 4 parts of the string section, instead of us having to find two violins and a viola on top of cello. All in the right range, and really, how can you have too much cello? It's the most beautiful instrument mankind has ever produced.
Maya, Greg's gf, came over afterwards and played flute for the same song. The trumpet person we were hoping to use didn't work out, so I spent some time finding someone while Nat "conducted" and otherwise oversaw the whole thing. Nat had written out the whole score, which is really really cool. Something you pick up as a music major, I guess. For months though, all we had to work with was a MIDI file he'd created, which sounded more like we were going to be characters in Dragon Warrior than making a rock record. Suffice it to say, Krupa and I have been constantly making cracks about villages and swords and jellies since we can't hear the detail Nat's imagining.
Lead on a trumpet player - called Tony & Rick from Cosmic Jibaros, who seem to know everyone. Tony answered, just as he was crossing the Mexico border on his honeymoon, apparantly. Told me the guy from Pencilgrass is still around, to look him up. Pencilgrass? Awesome. There was a band that could have gone places...
Spent the rest of the day rewriting the lyrics to Chiaroscuro. It started life as "Kelly Song", which I'd played in my solo shows for years. Went from being a jokey song to something really cool and intricate. Between Pete's rearranging of the song, Nat's orchestra and Matt's layered drumming arrangements, it has become a really strong song. My lyrics were starting to sound really lame, even though i already finished vocals. So it's a rewrite, using the one or two key phrases i liked and throwing out the rest. Never did that before. All more more indication that this record is different from every other.
A day with great cello playing filling the house makes life much better.