On Sunday evening, I took a night flight from Detroit to London, arriving at Heathrow around 11 AM. After sitting on a cramped plane without much sleep, the train to Paddington station and a few hours walking around London on a beautifully sunny day felt great.
A few minutes before the train to Cardiff, Gabriel arrived at the platform and thus he and I could spend the 2.5 hour trip chatting about his music, about the upcoming recording, about the electronics, about other works of music and projects we are working on. He is an awesome and insightful guy to work with, and I am eager to play his music today and get it down on the recording! We met up with Phil, our excellent producer and engineer, in Cardiff Bay, for a quick bite last night, and then to bed.
I have a beautiful room in a hotel overlooking the downtown Bay area of Cardiff, which has apparently undergone some major revitalization. I can see the Millennium Centre across the water, which houses Hoddinott Hall, where we will begin recording in a few hours. It is beautifully sunny and warm again, and I am especially grateful for the sunshine knowing that it is often overcast in this part of the UK. Plus, waking up to sunshine always helps to beat the effects of jetlag.
Today we will record Gabriel's Beethoven9 Symphonic Remix. It is the first time that the musicians will likely have ever seen or heard this piece, so the challenges abound in having everyone learn it quickly and assimilate Gabriel's unique style. There are some tricky passages, and difficult ensemble places. But most important is for the players to feel comfortable in grooving to this "funky" Beethoven. Gabriel will also be performing the electronics (there is a sampled chorus) and thus will be standing right next to me as a soloist for his own piece, and this will be super helpful to have the composer present to be able to ask questions and change things on the fly.