We are at 50% of our target, thus the sporting metaphor… We have also completed all the studio sessions for the album, so now just overdubs, editing, slimming 5 hours of material down to around an hour and then mixing and mastering….. But how’s it shaping up you ask?? Well let me tell you with the aid of photos and some teaser audio!!
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26 May 2016
Engineered by the ever lovely Manoli Moriaty.
The session was booked over a 12 hour period so players could come and go, which added a nice dimension to the session. I’d forgotten how long it can take to set these things up, so we only had Dave on double bass for a couple of runs at recording, but the boy done good!! And we had a triple tenor sax section. That is an awful lot of saxophone.
The session was added to by the arrival of poet Sarah Miller who had written some words on the way over about community, the disposed and austerity. This added an awful power to the room, and she continued to add to this vibe with a little direction to come up with the lathe cut track Battle Bus.
Many thanks to Manoli and the University of Salford for having us, was a real help to getting the album made.
A very happy first days recording indeed.
Shaun Blezard – electronics :: Stephen Grew – piano & voice :: Anton Hunter – guitar :: Keith Jafrate – saxophone :: Steve Lewis – vocals :: Sarah Miller – poetry & voice :: Alexx O’Shea – saxophone :: Ian Simpson – guitar :: Dave Tompkins – double bass :: Kath Tyldesley – electronics :: Mike Tyldesley – saxophone
3 June 2016
Arranged by Daniel James Ross – a bonus session during a short Southern tour.
A core group has formed in London, built around the sound art performance group Breathing Space with some lovely people I knew beforehand. The involvement with Breathing Space came about because of a long standing occasional musical relationship with Stephan Shiell and it has been a very fruitful one with the full team now being Unicorns.
A great day in the world famous EMS building with a really great vibe. We started with inspired version of Sustained Piece which morphed into a magical 40 minute improvisation. The room was just electric, many eyes were shut as we played an absolute blinder. Daniel went to get the system ready for the next recording, then didn’t come back straight away, or after a while…… turns out the computer crashed sometime near the end of the take and everything was gone…. Very upsetting. All we could do was have a break and come back and try and get the vibe back. This just didn’t happen though, the disappointment was there in the playing 🙁
We did a couple of sessions then started to pack down – Just before the end I thought I would have one last search on the recording computer, and low and behold the files were there – missing the last few minutes but mostly there and not kaput!! Joy of joys!!
Actually the whole session sounds great in retrospect but we had a few pints to celebrate the saving of the mythical Unicorn take….
Melaina Barnes – vocals :: Shaun Blezard – electronics & banjo :: Graham Dowdall – electronics :: Daniel James Ross – electronics :: Richard Sanderson – accordion :: Stephan Shiell – objects :: Jake Stoddart – trumpet :: Ian Thompson – cello :: Hannah White – vocals :: Ann Wilson – poetry :: Phoebe Wright-Spinks – vocals
17 June 2016
A great place the Baptist Church in Lancaster. Stephen Grew practices there on a regular basis and they are a friendly bunch who don’t mind the likes of us coming in and making a racket.
They let us have the place from 9am – 1pm so we had to work quickly. Very much a set up play, quick brew play leave kind of session. Some new Unicorns added to the roster and a really mixed bunch we were. Glad to say we had a great time, new friendships were forged and we really want to do a performance as this line up.
A big shout out to Ali Rigg for driving me down after my car failed it’s MOT and for bringing a host of musical toys, including a big load of bells!
Shaun Blezard– electronics & bells, Maja Bugge – cello & bells, Paul Clark – saxophone & bells, Stephen Grew – piano & bells, Steve Lewis – vocals, whirlygig & bells, Ali Rigg – vocals, whirlygig & bells, Matt Robinson – clarinet & bells, Steve Varden – percussion, electronics & bells.