I love my system of working with writers and producers all over the world. When I first started out with esessions I thought that not meeting up with people f2f, not being in the same room, would be a problem for some artists. But I don’t believe the creative process has suffered, just evolved.
For some producers who have asked for an arrangement, I send a st draft, knowing that once they’ve heard something they will be better placed to brief me and advise about what the string arrangement should do. Henry Priestman likes this and so too do Cooper and Ken at ProToolsMixing.com . I send an audio file (and midi) with ideas all over the track, no repeated ideas, deliberately pushing boundaries, knowing that it will be too much, but it will provoke discussion. Then they send back an edited version – musical surgery! When I first listen to the edits, it’s a bit like waking up from plastic surgery (I’d imagine) where you just don’t know what to expect, even though you kind of recognise your features! Often ideas from the 2nd verse are in the instrumental, or the intro is a link or chorus 2 and 3 are swapped round. Then notes get shortened, lengthened and re-pitched so sometimes I just don’t know where they came from out of my original audio.
Communicating musical ideas in words is always difficult so I find this way of working is really effective.
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