Well there’s a long answer and a short answer. The short answer is I ran out of time and money. A big part of that was that I was busy getting a degree (I’ve got two now: Architecture and Jazz Performance: I’ll wear them like earrings!) which was expensive and very time consuming. I was also busy working on other projects…and that’s where the long answer comes in.
Yes it’s true I ran out of money and time, and I took on other projects in the meantime in part to help fund studio time for my own album, but it’s also true that after recording with the band I realised that the recordings had the potential to be incredible! I had that line from spiderman going through my brain on repeat: ‘with great power comes great responsibility’ and the power that these musicians had over their instrument, the power to realize my songs with such skill and beauty was ‘great’ in every sense of the word. But my skills in the studio when it came to editing, mixing…etc. were limited. When I started trying to mix and edit the album (with Dave McCune behind the desk) I realised that to do these tracks justice I needed to improve my studio chops. I needed to get better at articulating what I wanted and how to achieve it. So the longer answer isn’t just that I spent two years earning the money to finish the album, it’s that every other project I did during those two years was training so that I could go back into studio and do the album justice.
And I really believe I have! Over the last month or two I’ve been in studio about a day a week (whenever I can get a day free between other projects, gigging and teaching) and I’ve taken the album apart and put it back together again. I overdubbed piano parts. I overdubbed backing vocals. I made big sweeping decisions like cutting whole songs and stripping songs back to nothing but bass and vocals. After two years of having these recordings in the back of my mind, two years of practicing and gigging and building on my studio skills, I went back in with fresh ears and finished it relatively effortlessly.
Things that frustrated me in the past I found solutions for quickly and things about the album that I loved I brought to the forefront.
There are a few little tweaks that I want to make here and there: a touch more reverb on some guitar parts, panning the backing vocals so that they’re wider apart…etc. but it’s more or less done. Now it’s time to master and print it and that’s where Fund It comes in! I’m running a Fund It campaign over the next 35 days to raise 2200 euro to master and print the album.
I thought of the Fund It style campaigns that I’ve funded in the past that I enjoyed and tried to take the best bits from them:
I funded a Dublin walking tour run by le cool that was excellent because the rewards were simple and direct. For every ten euro you funded you got to go on a walking tour, and the tours were excellent, well researched and so much fun! So I tried to pick rewards that were simple and that people who are interested in my music would want : CDs, downloads, tickets to the launch and (for a select few) an invite to a once off listening party.
Recently I funded Becca Steven’s album through Pledge (a site similar to Fund It but based in the US) and her updates on the songwriting and recording process were brilliant. The updates were really insightful and she posted rough demos of the songs in process, bits and pieces of unpolished home recordings she had done while writing the album. They managed to get me even more excited about an album that I was already pretty damn excited about. So I’m going to try to take some cues from her when it comes to Fund It updates.
So with all that said I’m delighted to point you in the direction of my Fund It campaign! There’ll be lots more updates over the next 35 days while the campaign is running. I’m very excited for you all to hear the album.
Ríona Sally Hartman