We're down to a handful of recording sessions at The Map Room, our official home-away-from-home on this project. Tomorrow, we record strings for three songs and a spoken word interlude. Strings have been arranged by the multi-talented Mirabai Peart (Joanna Newsom's string arranger and touring violinist).
After that, we have just two (or maybe three) recording sessions left at the studio--final male lead vocals courtesy of Rich Ray and backing vocals by Chelsea Barnes. If all goes as planned, we'll also have a short recording session to lay down some electric flute accompaniment on one song. The rest of the remaining tracks will be recorded separately and 'flown into' our engineer, Josh Powell, later in the month, with an eye toward starting the mixing process in earnest in early August.
The project has been exhausting but rewarding, with lots of details to manage. I spent a good part of last weekend making notes re: backing vocal arrangements and ideas for mixing each and every song. The sound of the album has morphed along the way, from a relatively straight ahead hard/alt-rock to heavy crossover prog. Our wonderful session drummer, Dave Coniglio, approached the songs with a jazz-orientation, giving the tracks a decidedly different texture than we originally envisioned. This distinctive touch was further enhanced by the contributions of Craig Bidondo, keyboardist extraordinaire. His penchant for retro-70s sounds with a modern twist encouraged us to develop a wider sonic palette. We're even exploring the use of a hammered dulcimer.
I anticipate receiving the album artwork sometime in the next several days. Santiago Caruso, whose glorious paintings have graced the covers of the Nightscape novels has come up with another fantastic concept. It should be a real visual treat...