Working in a recording studio is one of my favorite things to do as a musician. It's a lot different than performing on stage, which I also enjoy. The work is fast-paced and the emphasis is on getting the job done as quickly and accurately as possible. There is a little bit more pressure to get things right the first time, but the general atmosphere is much more relaxed than it is on the concert stage. Tuxedos are not required for studio work. Neither is a serious countenance. For me this is a great relief. My poker face is non-existent. My emotions, good or bad, are written all over my face and it has gotten me into trouble a few times.
I also find the whole process of recording fascinating. Often times parts are recorded separately and then mixed together to form a full ensemble. To make sure the parts all fit together when everyone is recording separately, musicians wear headphones and listen to a click track, which is basically a metronome. Tracks can be layered so that one violinist sounds like a whole section. The end result is pieced together like a puzzle and sounds like a huge ensemble all playing in the same room together.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to work on a recording project for the Clarence Brown Theater. This week the theater will open it's season with A Streetcar Named Desire. If you have seen or read the play you know that Tennessee Williams called for many music cues. Lucas Richman actually wrote a score to go along with A Streetcar Named Desire when he was a mere teenager. His mother, actress Helen Richman, was in a production of Streetcar, came home from rehearsal one day and asked Lucas if he would write incidental music for the production. He scored the music for Dixie band and string quartet, an unlikely combination of instruments that actually works quite well to set the mood of the play. His original score was re-recorded by local musicians, many of whom are KSO members, and will be heard in this Clarence Brown Theater production.
A Streetcar Named Desire runs from September 3rd through September 20th. Information about purchasing tickets can be found here.