[Wednesday, 6th June 2007, 12.10 p.m]
Been feeling kinda stressed these few days.
There's so much to get done. We've got the
string session which I'm looking forward to.
Got to earn my stripes as a producer.
Also got to settle the cd cover design with the pics, practice
vocals etc. It' all a good kind of busy, but it's
so easy to feel overwhelmed and I just need to remind
myself to breathe and to take it one step at a time,
to surrender it all into His arms and to focus on the real
reason for all this...
[Friday, 8th June 2007,1.45 p.m]
We had the string session at Westlake Audio yesterday
from 2-6 p.m. It was a good session and we tracked
strings for Beautiful Seed, Shelter, 5 Loaves and 2 Fishes,
Scars and On My Way.Kavin conducting the strings
The players were great and Nicole was funny and cool
to work with as usual :)
Adrienne and Chris were there too. Afterwards,
we all hung out at Formosa Cafe to relax and to
celebrate Adrienne's 29th Birthday over Margaritas,
Ribs, Chicken Shumai, Wasabi Fries and buttermilk
Richard did a great job with the engineering on the
session too. Quick, efficient and knowledgeable.Kavin and Richard and I at Westlake Audio
Now I'm brainstorming over CD cover design angles.
Have to make a decision soon...
[10th June Sunday 2007, 1.30 p.m]
So far we've recorded vocals for 'City of Angels'
& 'On The Side of Me'. 2 songs done,...many more to go...taking a break for recording to smile for the camera
Pigeons...how do they walk around with that constant clockwork
motion of their heads and still be able to spot the tiniest crumb
on the ground? Working for every crumb that they eat
and yet God clothes them in majestic plummage, and lets
them take off, glorious in flight, swooping way up
high in a way we humans can't. How amazing the gifts
given to each creature.
My soul has been feeling so restless lately.
Don't know why, but it just feels that there are
a lot of things to take care of and Time seems
to be slipping out of my grip...
[Saturday, 16th June 2007, 3.10 pm]
It's been a busy week of recording.,
Mostly piano recording, although we had Mark Punch
come into the studio on Tuesday and Wednesday
to record the guitar tracks for 'Beautiful Seed',
'Shelter', 'Green-Eyed Monster' and 'Leaving'.Mark and Kavin working on guitar parts
It's been lovely to have this gorgeous Yamaha
C6 sitting in our living room. We rented it
to record the piano for this record and it's
been working out great. The cats are still a little
spooked by this big piano sitting in the middle
of the house. Ah...the piano sounds so warm.
I wish we could keep it beyond this recording
The movers did a good job of getting the piano into
the house. It was a little scary to hear the wooden
floors creaking and cracking under the weight
of the 6 ft grand piano as they rolled it into place,
but now that it's sitting in the living room,
it looks gorgeous and sounds beautiful....sigh :)
Too bad it costs so much to buy something like this...
We've also finished recording the piano parts for the piano-vocal
songs 'Love Song For #1', 'My Little Nephew' and '33'.
Kavin left me to record the piano in solitude
while he went to the gym. It proved to be a good thing.
It's so much easier to get into the mood of the songs,
and to put in the feel of the songs when I'm just
sitting there, by myself with the piano, free to
express all the nuances of the song, with no one watching.
Just me, the piano, and the song...
It proved to be a fruitful recording session.
I've also been brainstorming over what to do for the pics
of the album cover. I've decided to work with Metaleap Design
for the design of the cd. I love what they've done with their
design for Paste Magazine and I think they'll do a good
job with the album. Hopefully, it'll all work out
for the best.
[18th June 2007, 5.20 p.m]
Took pics with the grand piano in our living room
yesterday. Turned out some nice photos from the
photoshoot; especially the ones with the dress and the pink
Timberland boots. Those are cute.
Still have my mind wrapped around the ideas, ie. what to
do with the CD cover visual. Since the music has a message,
the visuals should be thought-provoking too.
I mean, Kavin's right. Those pics of me in a black dress
with pink shoes might make good publicity shots, but what
will it say about 'Beautiful Seed'? I guess we need
something else for the cover...
[Wednesday, 20th June 2007, 2 p.m]
Can't believe it's already 3/4 of the way into June.
A cute thing happened just now. I had just finished
lunch at Nippon Ramen and was stepping back in the car.
I turned on the radio and 'Angel in Disguise' started playing
because Thom Price was playing it on Catholic Jukebox
on EWTN. It took me a moment to recognise that it was my song :)
Thank you Lord, for the little 'winks' of surprises that you send
So the piano got moved out of the house yesterday afternoon
after a lovely 3 weeks in our living room. Now there's a
big space there to swirl cats around the floor, but it's
a little sad not to have the piano there to play with.
It feels like we just said goodbye to a good friend.
and now we have a hole in our hearts where the piano used to be...
So, we're going to record vocals for 'Beautiful Seed' today
and possibly 'Shelter'.
Pamela Springsteen just called and she's open
to doing a photoshoot for me. That's great.
I love the way she captures the essence of hands
in her opening page on her website and I love the work
she's done especially with the Randy Newman album.
It sounds like she might have some
good ideas on what to do with the piano
and she's got a Steinway baby grand in her home.
O.k, so the photoshoot is set for Friday morning
at 11 a.m and I'm getting my hair done at 8.15 a.m
Sounds like a plan.
Went to Helik's place, ie. market street studios
last night to check out the mix for 'On The Side of Me'.
We ended up only finishing up the mix at 11 p.m and by
the time we had dinner at Canter's Kibbitz, it was about 11.30 p.m
I was so hungry by then. Had corned beef and cabbage and potato
pancake, matzo ball soup and strawberry ice-cream.Playing with Gibson at Market Street StudiosKavin and Helik tweaking the mix at Market Street Studios
Anyway, we've got 3 more songs to sing vocals on.
'Slow Down', 'Love Song for #1' and 'On My Way'.
Got to sing 2 today.
I'm going to see Metaleap Design's concepts for
the album design next tuesday as well.
Let's see what they turn out. Hopefully it'll be nice.
[Friday, 29th June 2007 5.35 p.m]
I just had a photoshoot with Pamela Springsteen.
She's a sweetheart and I had a good time. She was definitely
great to work with and I think we've got some nice shots
we could use to layout the artwork for the CD.
Now I'm just winding down with a cup of First Flush
Darjeeling Tea at Peets. I'm glad that all the main vocals
are tracked. Thank God. Now we just have to track
the background vocals.
[Sunday, 1st July 2007]
Leaving tonight for Singapore. Not looking
forward to the long flight...
[Tuesday, 3rd July 2007]
Mummy and Papa picked me up from Changi airport
this morning at around 6 a.m and then
we headed to Holland Village for breakfast.
We also bumped into Vivienne, Campbell and Rowan
who were having breakfast at Crystal Jade.
What a coincidence :) The last time I was back
in Singapore, I bumped into them too on the day
that I got back into Singapore.
[Thursday, 5th July 2007]
The NUS Alumni Awards was held today at The Regent
Hotel. Guest of honour was President Nathan who was awarded
the Eminent Alumni Award.
The sound check was at 4.30 p.m. The sound check went well
and it was great to see Alan, Eugene and Daniel working the
sound board again and they did a good job.
Papa, Mummy, Mama and Popo went to the awards with me.
Seated at the same table as myself was Viswa, who worked
in the television media, Woon, an accountant at Ernst and
(continued in separate account on the NUS Alumni Awards)
[Monday, 9th July 2007]
Sitting on the plane from Singapore, heading back
to Los Angeles. Feeling tired, sleepy and actually
quite stressed over the CD cover. Should I use that
flower concept, or just a black and white photo with
pink wordings, or the hand pic with the seed?
After landing at LAX, we went straight to Santa Monica
to check out Helik's mix on 'Scars' at Market Street
Studios. It sounds good. Warm, organic. Hopefully
it won't lose much of its warmth come mastering time.
We got done only at 9.45 p.m by which time I was
hungry. We had a good ramen dinner at Chabuya, with
yummy miso chashu ramen and that got my spirits up
[11th July 2007, Wednesday, 7.25 p.m]
Just taking a breather at Peets now.
This whole crazy scheduling, to finish up
the cd on time, mixed in with a good measure
of jet-lag, has me sleeping at 7 a.m and getting
up at 3 p.m...man, I'm stressed...at least
I'm almost done taking care of the cd project.
At the end of this, I just want to go for a swim
or something, maybe take a hike or bike and de-stress..
take a drive to Valyermo and stay for one night.
Ah...the first flush Darjeeling Tea tastes so good
today and I'm glad that Peets is having it's
extended summer hours...
Have to do vocal warm-ups afterwards. Also need
to scan lyrics for the cd artwork. Oopps...put
too much milk to the tea...but it still tastes
Lord, help me to remember that even in these times,
in fact more so in these times...when it feels like
I've drifted away from you, when there are so many things
to take care of, you are ever closer by my side.
Help me to lift my hands off the steering wheel
for just a little while and let you take over.
Help me remember Lord, that you, the creator and
maker of all, you are in control, that there
is a master plan, and no matter how far I stray...
I will always be in the palm of your hand.
You hold my heart in your hand.
[Thursday, 12th July 2007, 5.35 p.m]
Feeling more rested today. Thank goodness
for eye-shades and ear-plugs. I'm also
done with getting the liner notes and lyrics
to Metaleap Design.
Bob is coming over later to work on the mix
for 'Shelter' later at 6 p.m
It's all sounding good and everything is coming
[ Friday, July 20th 2007, Friday, 5.35 p.m]
So we've been working really hard over the
past week. Thank God everything got done in time.
The mastered cd sounds great and I finally got the artwork
settled.Gene Grimaldi, mastering the album at Oasis Mastering
Kavin and Gene at Oasis Mastering
Now, I just have a couple of interviews I need
to get done, then comes the preparation for our
concert on August the 3rd.
Can't believe we're flying back to Singapore
in a week.
Labels: Beautiful Seed, recording