I had a great experience on my recent trip to Nashville to record an orchestral score for the National Museum of the Pacific War at Oceanway Studios.
A converted church, Oceanway has high rounded ceilings and a nice bright decay time. The crew adapted to my somewhat unorthodox methods of working without effort. We pulled all the panels off the walls, spread the orchestra out, put mics in uncommon places, used just about every fader on their vintage Neve console, and so on.
Orchestral music is at times about extreme nuances that most people listening don’t hear, frankly. However most people will feel them. Here I am in a new city with a room full of classically trained musicians that spend a lifetime perfecting things like their vibrato, and articulation. Refining their art on a their chosen instrument. This is why I give 110% of my focus and respect to these players. At times it’s all about the nuances; In how we work, in our treatment of the people in the session, in the players’ articulation of a passage. When I am given the opportunity to travel and capture orchestral performances, it is up to me to realize the subtleness in their contribution.
I will continue to reach for a greater level of excellence in my craft…. I will never stop learning. This to me is the ideal that manages to separate us from mediocrity. I care a great deal about this seemingly obscure concept.