Recording Day 5: "cello orchestra" & piano

On Thursday we tracked the amazing Lewis Patzner on cello for most of the entire session at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco, CA (Where bands Death Cab for Cutie, Third Eye Blind, Mountain Goats, Tune Yards and more have birthed phenomenal albums).

We layered cello over itself in rich harmony up to five times to create a brilliant full string section over the most dramatic choruses of my new album. We figured how tightly and precisely can one person play to a group of other musicians compared to playing with their exact clones?? Think about that!

The process will be two-fold however: Later we’ll have violinist Quiver Watts replay the top 2-3 highest cello parts to give us that beautiful violin register. This way we get the benefit of a composition fully written by classically trained, full-time professional cellist Lewis Patzner, along with the diversity of violins and cellos, as opposed to the sound of a room of only cellists. (Quiver will be laying down originality on a handful of other songs later, to which there’ll be another blog post!)

We also had time to squeeze in a piano track by my trusted, amazing right-hand-man, accompanist Josh Michael. He completely killed it on a gorgeous grand piano and no one would’ve guessed he was losing his recording-studio-virginity in that moment. He played with beauty and precision. We just wish we’d had more time to record with him before the clock ran out. But we’re busy booking the next studio date for that now!

PS. Shout out to Maryam Qudus our fantastic recording engineer of the day! (If you enjoy the new Tune-Yards album, you have her to thank!) She was highly skilled and a total pleasure to work with. Sidenote: she has a cool David Bowie themed cell phone case with a bunch of his faces on it, in all the styles he embodied. Hope to see more of that case and Maryam at our next session!

RecordingJesse Strickman