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My Christmas Album

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Okay. So I've been wanting to record an album for, gosh, maybe five years now, but I've finally made the decision to quit procrastinating and instead hunker down. My answers to imaginary frequently asked questions:
  • Yes, there will be handbells on almost every track.
  • No, handbells will not remotely be the only instrument, nor generally the main one.
  • The name of the "group" is tentatively The Bronze Collective, but in terms of execution (but not style) M. Dale : The Bronze Collective :: Chip Davis : Mannheim Steamroller. I am taking suggestions for alternative group names, as long as they do not include the words "hand" or "bell."
  • The album will be a Christmas album, and it will be half extensively rearranged popular (or popularish) Christmas hymns, half lyrics of obscure Christmas hymns no one has sung in 150 years (e.g.) set to new melodies.
  • Sometime in the next two or three months, I need to find a vocalist, likely female. Proximity to Chicago surprisingly unimportant as long as [s]he has access to decent recording equipment. Suggestions and self-referrals gladly accepted.

I've completed three rough mixes thus far. The one MP3 file small enough to attach is attached to this post, although I don't know how representative it is to the project as a whole. (EDIT: I added lower-fi versions of the other two songs. "Sleep Holy Babe" will eventually have vocals on the melody line instead of or along with the 1st violin.)

Anyway.

M. Dale Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Progress report: All but one of the 18 arrangements are written. A quarter of them have pretty good mixes, a quarter have have okay mixes, a quarter have very rough mixes, and a quarter I may need to rethink to a degree.

Album drop-dead date: July 1.

Current group name: The Stringed Carillon.

Will it change: Who knows.

Current album name: Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee.

Will it change: I don't think so.

A mix that I'm pretty happy with: This one, other than it needs to fade a bit at the end. And this one.

So, hey, why is that last one so short: I have five different arrangements of "OC,OC,E" on the album; I don't think you want to listen to each of them for five minutes.

Anyway: Yeah.

Dale Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Posted · Report post

Have you gotten your vocalist yet?

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Yes. She's a great singer, and more importantly, she understands how to sing in an manner that works for this project. (She normally sings jazz, blues, etc., which this project is not.) (Not that I really know what genre it's in.)

Also, please ignore pretty much everything in the first two posts, as very little of it turned out to be true. In fact, let me point out some of my lying lies:

M. Dale : The Bronze Collective [tentative early name] :: Chip Davis : Mannheim Steamroller. The tracks are still all arranged/composed by me, but I brought in more musical help than I was expecting. This is entirely a good thing.

"The album will be a Christmas album, and it will be half extensively rearranged popular (or popularish) Christmas hymns, half lyrics of obscure Christmas hymns no one has sung in 150 years (e.g.) set to new melodies." It is now more like 17 tracks in category 1, one track in category 2, and one track in newfound category 3 (a newly written Taize-esque chant).

Album drop-dead date: July 1 Uh. Although I'm now close enough to being finished that I will be very surprised if I don't have it completed by September 1.

Current album name: Emmanuel Shall Come to Thee. Will it change: I don't think so. In all fairness, it did becoming the group's name, so we'll call that a half lie.

M. Dale Edited by M. Dale Prins

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Posted · Report post

All things considered, that's pretty good.

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Posted · Report post

All things considered, this is a very good Christmas album. Good job Dale.

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