Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 12:08 am
I googled Lux Vixens and found a great site originally from lynchnet; apparently you can't post a link to go there now--it didn't work. So if you want to see and hear the making of this album, just google it and you come up with a bunch of quicktime videos and realplayer samples.
I'd like to hear more about what it was like in production and if it's worth buying now. I'm hoping to get John to come in here and talk about it.
Re: Lux Vixens
Posted: Sat May 26, 2012 10:46 am
OOowwww.... Who dragged me in here!?
Annie... let go of my ear!!
Wow... this is a 'Back from the Grave' topic.
This was the second project, and first album, I did with David.
The first project was the Honda Passport "Mountain Man" TV commercial, done while Dave was a client of mine and I was still installing the new studio.
Jocelyn used to be (and is again) Jocelyn West.
You can see her in Toby Keeler's documentary, in the studio in New York with Dave and Angelo Badalamenti, working on a song called "And Still".
Then somehow she was married to Monty Montgomery, former co-owner of Propaganda Films and The Cowboy in 'Mulholland Drive'.
Monty or Dave got her a deal with Mammoth Records, whose biggest act at the time was The Squirrel Nut Zippers.
They did not have a lot of money.
Dave wanted me to engineer this project and provide some musical arrangements, but you see I had this studio technical design company in LA. Dave was one of about 20 clients at the time. We had studios going in from Buenos Aires to Bangkok. Honolulu to Hollywood. Tokyo to Toronto.
This record was scheduled for a three to four month production time, and I certainly could not take the time off to do this. Dave said, "Well, you'll have to quit your job then".
I laughed and said I could not afford the pay cut.
Which was true, as I had bought a canyon mountainside lot and was about to start building a new home. Not cheap in LA County!
He had offered me an amount of money to do this, but it was not a lot, and I just skipped the subject for a week while we were still installing his studio. Production was not going to begin for about three months.
So a week later, David brought it up again and said he was committing to the project and wanted an answer.
About the same time I told him that I needed to meet with his studio engineer, because the studio we built had so many functions and was so non-standard that I was going to have to write an operations manual for it.
He said he wasn't going to have a house engineer, an d that he would use freelancers.
I said that was a bad idea, because his console (Euphonix CS-2000 for the gearheads) was non-standard, though an Excellent board!, and that it had a very small operator base. Engineers would have to come in days ahead to learn it and that an independent engineer working at that level in Hollywood at that time got between $500 and $1200 a day.
He said, "Well you're going to have to run this studio - you're the only one that konws how it works".
So we made a deal, I took the job, I took the paycut, and we made this record.
It is an amazing 'soundscape' as we called it. A movie soundtrack without the movie. You have to invent that in your mind.
A German woman named Heidrun Roescheft was the scholar on Hildegarde and had taken Jocelyn to the Abbey where Hildegarde lived and worked.
Hildegarde von Bingen was a Roman Catholic nun, and a mystic. She started having 'visions' at the age of 42. She was a prolific songwriter, physician and religious writer. If she'd been born a man, she would have been the most famous person in the word during that time, the late 1100s. Yes... 1100s.
She invented opera 300 years before the Italians.
She wrote music using a diagram of the human hand, where the lines of your finger joints were the equivalent of staff lines. She would point to a finger portion to indicate which note should be sung. The standard music staff was yet to be invented.
So, still, the music was all vocal, mostly everyone singing the same note, and if you've heard Gregorian chants, you know what it sounds like.
So Dave and Heidrun wanted to make a modern interpretation of this music, which was quite haunting and beautiful by itself.
Jocelyn had this incredibly clear high voice that was perfect for it,and she played violin.
WSell, Dave did not want much violin, so we made these 'drone tracks' that Jocelyn would sing to, and then she went away.
Then Dave and I would make all these film soundtrack type of backgrounds, usually removing the original drone.
In one track, we recorded this wonderful 'singing' glass bowl that Jocelyn would run her moistened finger around.
Well, it was a beautiful sound, but had no musical note value. So I vari-speeded the 24 track tape recorder and mage scales of tones of this bowl, which we then recorded digitally into Pro Tools.
Now I had a virtual instrument, laid out on faders of the console. I could raise a fader and 'play' a note.
So the orchestra for that piece ("Hodie" for those that know the record), is me playing bowl notes on channel faders of the console!
We experimented for months on this record! Made up new ways to make music!
It was so much fun!
But Jocelyn hated it and the record company did not kn ow what to do with it and it tanked.
Mammoth was sold to Disney' Hollywood redcords shortly after, and it disappeared.
That record led to BlueBOB though.
Dave played a dive bomb guitar track on 'Sapientie' and liked the possibilities, so when Jocelyn's record was done, we just kept experimenting on our own.
OK, gotta go back to my current life now!