Perils of recording at home

March 8, 2021

I spent the last few weeks recording pieces to be included in the Great Lakes Regional College Music Society virtual conference in April. There always going to be issues with creating live recordings. Wrong notes, water under keys, early or late foot pedal triggers, etc. I am not afraid to admit that on the recordings I made, they are all there. Annoying to me? Yes. 

Also present were sounds of my dog tossing on her bed, rain, birds tapping on the metal windowsill, trucks driving by (and seemingly doing loops in the neighborhood) and artillery practice at Fort Jackson. Do I wish these things didn’t occur? Yes. 

I could have done a lot more takes to make sure my playing was perfect and there was complete silence in the house. Would that have created a better recording? Most likely. However, I feel it more accurately represents me and my environment to include these ‘errors’. I am human after all. 

I’ve heard many recordings where the playing and production are perfect. There is something nice about that. However, to me, it is usually just that. Nice. They don’t contain much passion or personality. When I am listening to a piece, whether it is a live performance or a recording, I want to connect to the composer/performer and to be drawn into the performance. I want to be invited to participate in the work emotionally. Sterile recordings or performances don’t do that for me. 

And so, in these recordings for CMS, as well as in all that I do, I want to create performances that are personally meaningful for audience members. Performances that reflect where I am emotionally. Performances that despite a few flaws are well done and honest.


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