Well, despite our 'brace-yourself' faces, indeed we survived the first two rounds of edits for RenMen Laments.
In September, our illustrious producer, Chris Sclafani, sent us a 60-second snippet of the Tallis Lamentations for our 2017-18 season preview video. He had been pretty tied up with the construction of his new studio space in New York City, and was simultaneously involved in his civic responsibilities of jury duty, so 60-seconds is about all the time he had. And what a 60 seconds it was...the sound! Bold. Clean. Crisp. Rich and Handsome. RenMen. If this was any indication of what was to come, then it was definitely worth the wait.
So now we begin! Armed with comfort foods and spirits, last week, Chris sent us takes taken from hours of material to takes to find the absolute best quality for our debut record. Who has that much hard drive space? Chris has been phenomenal in capturing the sounds that make us unique in the world of professional male vocal chamber ensembles. What a process! Each of us in different locations, we compiled lists of what we loved and what we loathed. For the majority of the listening party, I couldn't believe the powerful sounds that were coming out of my speakers. This is what we sound like? But...
...there were definitely some moments that were less than perfect. Some that were downright unusable. In the process of putting this together, we had to face some pretty valuable lessons about where we are as an ensemble, where we are as individual singers, and where we are in our own journeys through life in general. Not too many people enjoy listening to themselves sing, or standing in front of a mirror, or being quiet, alone in the room. In this age of appearances, being honest about ones self is harder to do when one is persistently avoiding those truths in lieu of perfect public perceptions. But the exploration is worth the embarrassment, especially when leads to evolution. And in our digging around, we found other takes that exceeded our expectations. Never record anything just once. And, the last take may not have been your best.
How Chris recorded our Tallis interpretation is unlike any recording of Renaissance music I've ever heard. The Casals O Vos Omnes is sheer magic. And I literally screamed in my car while listening to the recent Van Ness edit. We are thrilled with where this is leading, and we cannot wait to share it.
And for this Instagram post about Nick Jonas, and still giving us the time of day to do our record. :)
Our second rounds are nearly complete, and we are off to round 3. Our timeline is on target, and this means we should have the record fully edited and mixed early next week. We have enlisted the immensely talented D.C.-based Christian Amonson (Arts Laureate, "The President's Own" United States Marine Band) to master the record, which by Thanksgiving, or earlier, the record itself will be done. Contributors and select RenFriends will get a super-secret listen (news on this soon), and if you want in, it's not too late to contribute! Think of making a donation to help us curb distribution costs by clicking here. Now that we are an official 501(c)(3) -- ta da! -- your contribution is tax-deductible. With your continued support of this groundbreaking record, you will also help us better serve our New England artistic and educational efforts. And thank you, tremendously, for all of your continued support, trust, care, and love. We are doing it! And, we owe our RenFriends a great deal for making it all possible.
Yours in pumpkin spice lattes,