I just spent a very enjoyable 45 minutes ‘charting’ the songs I’m considering recording on my next album. Oops, did I say I was going to record another album. Ahem.
Anyway, over the past couple of years I’ve done lots of stealth writing and arranging, material that for the most part I’ve not performed or videotaped. I did debut a couple of pieces on my November tour with Steve Davison and in December with Raymond Gonzalez, but for the most part the 16 songs I’m going to record haven’t been heard much by the general public. I’ve been doing this on purpose because I really want the tunes to be a bit of surprise.
So this morning I was doing what I normally do about 30-45 days out from the studio dates; taking an inventory of what I’m planning on recording, which for me includes which instruments I’m going to use, an estimate of how long the piece will be, the tempo of the piece, the tuning of the piece, and whether it will be solo or ensemble.
I always try to have about 60 minutes of music ready that I can edit down to 42-48 minutes; what I consider to be a proper length for an ‘album’. Any longer and folks won’t hear the last couple of tunes, and any shorter and folks might feel like they’ve been cheated.