December 17th, 2008


A recording diary

To get you in the mood for the next release in the Creation Advent Calendar -- which will take us up to 1991, and my Hippopotamomus album -- I want to give a much more hands-on, unglamourous description of how an album comes to be recorded.

It's easy to get carried away with the sociology, the poetry and the glamour of an album, and forget the fact that recording is work, sometimes boring, repetitive and frustrating work. I've found my diary from 1991 and transcribed the entries dealing with the period -- a couple of weeks in March and April of that year -- when I was at work in the studio, recording Hippopotamomus. It's full of details I'd quite forgotten -- the fact that my brother came into the studio and laid down a spoken-word exegesis of deconstruction, for instance (it was supposed to go at the end of Bluestocking, but got replaced by my French ex reading some Duras).

There'll be a proper Hippopotamomus entry later this week with the songs themselves, the themes and assessments and context. The glamour! But here -- straight from the horse-faced young man's mouth -- are the interestingly boring details of how Hippopotamomus got pieced together, day by day, and how I came home to Cleveland Street and played the mixes to my New Zealand flatmate Vicky. This will be boring for many -- perhaps nobody will read all of it -- but that's kind of the point. It's here (under the cut) to show that being a musician means getting up in the morning and going to work as a musician. Oh, and queuing at Safeway for sandwiches.

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