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Thursday AM: Tallis and Tornado Warnings: The Plot Thickens

The euphoric rush we felt on Wednesday was so addictive we all stayed up on Wednesday night wondering if lightening could strike twice. At this stage, we had 2/3 of the album material recorded. All we needed was a few more solid hours of work and we'd have this project all wrapped up.

Of course, like any great reality TV show, there was the "but then..." moment. That moment when minor inconveniences make a perfect situation take a turn...

Up to this point, Buffalo boasted bright and sunny skies all week. That visit to Niagara Falls, the walks to local eating establishments, the mornings on the front porch in our neighborhood, – all perfect. Still in afterglow, we were treated to cinnamon roll and bacon breakfast by Tony before scattering to our morning affairs. I finished the morning blog post and took off to the gym, knowing everyone in the house was content and looking forward to the day's recording. Shortly after I started my workout, I received a text message from Ben:

"Help me, I'm trapped in the rain!"

It turns out that Western New York was under a tornado warning! Around noon it started to pour, and everything (including our poor Ben) was drenched! Once Ben was rescued from his morning walk, Tony and Chris decided to push the recording session one hour back, to keep everyone dry, but because the church was being pummeled by precipitation, and it was making quite a racket over the microphones.

We were able to enter the church to record around 2:00 PM, but this meant that we were preparing ourselves for a longer night than originally anticipated. We were pretty excited to record Daniel E. Gawthrop's "The Promises of Isaiah the Prophet," which was a huge crowd pleaser in our Laments live concerts and in our RenMen recording promotional video. But, the studio fatigue, the fourth day of being in the same space, and the weather kept us from getting a momentum. As Chris put it, "there seems to be a lethargy in the room." Have we lost our groove? Have we lost our sound? Have we lost our soul!?

What happened was something quite beautiful and organic. We put so much emotional, psychological, and mental energy behind the Tallis Lamentations; music which is, ironically, not the most natural for us, that by the time we arrived to music we could roll out of bed and sing, were all spent. The playbacks of Tallis were so inspiring that we continued to live in that world while we visited other literature...a true testament to the power of music and how it can dictate what we sound like as human beings.

We continued through the session, however, to remind ourselves of how we sound in the world of Gawthrop, despite it not being the easiest process. We were tired. Slightly frustrated. But we care for this repertoire deeply. Will Renaissance Men brave the storm and finish the record they started on, or will this recording capsize and float away in Lake Ontario, never to be heard by the wider public? Tune in next time for...

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