Reediments of Music (2014-2015)
The Reediments of Music was a solo piano recording project. Soon after I turned 60 (in 2013), I decided that I had better record a reasonably decent version of all of my compositions/songs, including unfinished pieces, in their original form, as best as I could remember, before I wouldn’t be able to play or remember them anymore. I don’t know why, but I made a point throughout my life to try to never let any of my compositions, in their original form, fall from my memory. I think I may have lost two pieces. I decided, too, to record them on the piano that I wrote nearly all of them on, the piano being my 1906 Nordheimer upright piano that was the ‘family piano’ since my parents bought it in around 1957 in Victoria, BC.
I consider that piano almost as a co-composer with me. Same with the environment – my parents and brothers and sisters and dog and cat family members and the homes and times we lived in. Had any of those elements been different, I might have written different pieces.
I wanted to record the songs as best as I reasonably could with that piano in my living room in the house which I live with my Mom. My friend, musician and piano technician Doug Rhodes, prepped the piano and kept it in tune for the several month duration of the recording sessions. In 2005 or so, Doug had replaced the piano’s hammers, some strings, and otherwise rejuvenated the piano; so, the 110+ year old piano was in good shape for the recording. Doug also advised me about what audio recording equipment I should use and on mic placement options I should try. I recorded using three mics, through preamps, into Cubase on my laptop. I also consulted audio engineer Wynn Gogol about setting the room up and about the finer points of using the audio equipment.
In keeping with the spirit of authenticity in replicating the original performances on the original piano in a lived-in house, my Mom was often sitting on the couch in the living room, knitting a bed-spread, as I was recording. When finished, after mixing, I had recorded 4+ hours of music pieces that I later segmented into 5 eras. Judy HiIgemann drew the illustrations for 5 CDs’ packaging. To date, though, I produced only one physical CD, “Reedimentary Elements”, from that project, the tracks selected by friends and relatives during listening sessions. The remaining songs are mixed; but not mastered (yet?).