The steps towards the recording – managing the process

As I crash through my days, I sometimes remember that I have committed myself to writing about my recording projects in a public way, aiming to share information that might be useful to other performers.

Often, I wish I could read about the efforts of other players and beyond that, I wonder if this information is useful to anyone??  And despite the lurking wish to concentrate solely on my art, it is not possible.   Like other musicians, my projects are developed in addition to paying other bills, looking after family, creating programmes for future concerts, playing other concerts, teaching valued students, renovating the house and tending to two cats (how on earth did I, a dog person, end up with two ornery cats!?).

Doubt notwithstanding, I continue….

With each recording project, there are concrete steps that need to be taken to build the path to a successful recording.

Once the players are booked, times found that work for everybody, rough schedules created, venue booked, engineer in place, equipment rented, travel plans finalized, hotels booked for the musicians, contracts and visas, then the music must be prepared.   Actually, it all happens in simultaneous layers, along with practising the music and finding the money to make it all happen.

In the case of the Vivaldi Concerti, I ordered the facsimile prints from the National Library in Turin, which takes some time since one first must request the music, then fill out a form, then contact the photographers who produce the DVD with the images of each score page (for my project, 111 pages in total, once the missing pages were discovered and reshot!).

Once we had the facsimiles, we could create the computer scores and now we must edit, correct and mark with my ever-changing ideas before sending to the performers.  One of my students is helping me with the copying, saving me countless hours of valuable time.

It is a pyramid of activities, and if built correctly, the elements will come together on the two days of recording to produce a vivid performance that in turn signal the beginning of many other performances.

The fun part is the music…  I am rehearsing regularly with some really enthusiastic pianists to try out both my ideas and my ability to communicate them quickly… Vivaldi is a true shape-shifter and many many orchestrations of ideas work for his bassoon concerti.  My goal is to grasp this opportunity and make an interpretation that reflects the extreme vivacity of this spectacular composer.