CD Released December 1998 by James Ozenne
Recorded December 1997-December 1998
Music Written 1992 - 1998
Website Created February 2000
I started getting interested in music recording in around 1990, and that year I started playing with a 4-track tape recorder my parents got me for Christmas. From that time I always imagined creating my own CD -- not that I hoped to become a recording star, but only that I wanted something to show my family and friends as the product of my artistic toil. :)
By 1996, the MIDI sequencing program I had always used, Cakewalk, had advanced to the point where I could use it to record and edit sound along with MIDI data -- essentially allowing me to control my synthesizers and sound processors while capturing the resulting sound waves on the computer hard disk, where the sound could be managed and edited. This gave me the potential to do much more than I could with a 4-track recorder, and by 1997 I realized I would be able to create something worthy of the ears of my target audience.
Although the recording work I've done here is far from professional quality, I have put a significant amount of effort into the composition, recording, and mixing of the songs. I practiced long hours to learn to play the parts I had written for myself, and listened to my work over and over again, mixing the sound just so to create the effect I was after. Improvement beyond what I've done here will come only from improving my performance and production technique -- what I've produced here represents a full effort.
The recording project took me basically all of 1998. I had already finished recording Somehow You in December 1997, but 1998 was when I resolved to record a whole CD and started budgeting my time so that I could finish it. I really wanted to surprise my friends and family by producing a CD, so I decided to keep the whole project secret. I only told a few people, and those only late in the year. This was because I did not think people would be interested in bits and pieces, but would actually listen if presented with a whole CD. Probably no one had any idea why I spent months locked in my bedroom alone from dinner time until well past bed time, but this was what I was doing.
Indeed, this project is special to me partly because of the solitude in which I pursued it for that year. All of the work here is my own, including all of the production and recording and virtually all of the composition. Throughout the year of the project, I supplied my own motivation and was my only audience and critic, and I performed all the work.
Although it was gratifying to work in solitude, I became ever more anxious to play the music for others as the year went on. I mixed, re-mixed, and re-worked the songs according to what I heard in my ears, but always with the hope that I was doing something that would make sense to others. It actually occurred to me in the middle of the year that if I were kidnapped or killed, I would really hope that my friends would find my computer and at least listen to what I had been working on -- it was that important to me that I not be the only one who ever listened to this music. (I suppose this is part of my strange artistic side.) :)
Many have asked me about the technical aspect of this work, so let me summarize. My recording equipment consists of a $100 microphone, a small mixer, an old Quadraverb signal processor, and, most importantly, a personal computer. I used a Dell Pentium II 300 with an ordinary IDE hard drive (I think it's a 10K rpm drive, which I picked because the access time is a bit faster than a 7500 rpm drive). On that machine I ran Cakewalk Pro Audio software, which controlled the whole operation.
My instruments consisted of two acoustic guitars (one Washburn given to me by Lotus Goldberg that has been my mainstay for 8 years now, and a new Taylor which I love), one Jackson electric guitar (with a Mr. Crybaby and a Tube Screamer), an electric bass, a Roland keyboard which I use as a controller, and a Roland JV-1080 synthesizer with the Vintage Synth and Orchestral expanders. I mixed everything down onto minidisc, and from there I captured sound and burned CDs using the CD-R given to me by my brother David for Christmas 1997. Ro Kolakowski helped me create the very popular CD cover art.
Please listen to my music and enjoy it. There are many layers of sound, meaning, and effort contained within this work, all created because I thought it sounded good and because I hoped you would like it. Thanks for visiting.
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