5 Jul 2005

Helena Josefsson, backing singer at AGM Studios (XI): The Swedish Dream of Doug Wyatt (IV)

Doug Wyatt has finished the recordings of his new album at AGM Studios, with the producer Christoffer Lundquist, Justin Winokur, Jens Jansson and Helena Josefsson. You can read his day-by-day notes here.

Day 15
Midsummer's Eve. Spent the day at C’s in-laws, about an hour away. Cookies and sparkling wine. Dancing around a maypole (though oddly located outside a church, and with the maypole formed into a cross). Singing cute Swedish songs. Juice, coffee, cookies. Sunny, warm (maybe 75-80 F) and humid. Dinner: several kinds of herring, potatoes, a drinking song, Danish schnapps, northern Swedish beer, more herring, more drinking songs, more schnapps, two kinds of salmon, salad, yet more drinking songs and schnapps. Food, drink and company all great. Swedish history lesson with the help of an historical atlas. Walk down to the sea, view of the bridge connecting Malmö to Copenhagen, Copenhagen barely visible in the distance. More coffee, more cookies. It was a good break. Back to the guest house a bit after 11.
Day 16
Back at the studio, the Artiste patiently laid on the couch while the world seemed to rotate around him more viscerally than usual, and made occasional comments while Christoffer continued to outline a mix. Brought in Helena’s vocal track in places.
Day 17
So we nearly finished 3 tracks today (including one that had consumed most of yesterday). Justin had been sounding a little concerned that we weren’t going to finish in time, but Christoffer and I both expressed confidence when we talked about it.
Day 18
We got a lot done Monday, but not as much as I’d hoped. Pizza for dinner in Sjöbo. Tired. Stopped at 1:30, plan to start early in the morning. Must leave for Malmö by 9:30 am Wednesday.

Day 19
Christoffer and I both were very tired, which didn’t help, but after maybe half an hour of groaning we got everything lined up correctly. I’m going to record a bunch of tracks at home and send them to Christoffer to pick from. We did two passes of Taurus bass pedals, excited that we were almost done. Well, there are a few loose ends to clear up before Christoffer starts mixing on his own next month, but now enough of the album was in the can that we “declared victory and went home.” We had a drink, chatted, and began to pack up and clean up.

Day 20 (29 June)
Woke up at 7:45 am in rural southern Sweden. Showered, packed clothes etc., got to the studio around 8:45. Managed to get a last dose of Scandinavian salmon into my stomach, and all my stuff and a few things Justin is sending back with me into his duffel bag and my cases by 9:15. Got to the main Malmö train station around 10:45. At the Copenhagen airport around 11:30, the transition I’d been dreading—getting the luggage from the train to the SAS checkin counter, alone—went OK though my back was not happy. No interest in duty-free Danish schnapps or cookies or even cigarettes (while in Sweden I’d cut down so much that I didn’t finish the carton I’d bought in the US 3 weeks earlier). Slept much of the way to Reykjavik. Afraid that because of the delay, the connection would be terribly short and I’d have to rush, and that gear wouldn’t make the connection. Better sleep before my body realizes it is 8 am in Sweden, time to be awake.

Back in the USA (5 July)
I’ve been asked a few times how it feels to be back in the U.S. after spending three weeks in Sweden (and, briefly, Denmark). I offer this handful of random observations from the last 5 days.

In the U.S., hillbillies do not drive Volvos. In Sweden, I did not see more than a handful of SUVs. I am sure that none of them had bumper stickers reading “what’s our oil doing under their soil?”In the U.S. you can go to a massive fireworks display and barely hear a single explosion over the loud patriotic music that makes one feel one has inadvertently stumbled into a George W. Bush rally. “God bless America! Let freedom ring! Born in the USA!” Damn it, the 4th of July is about blowing things up (do you think it’s an accident that NASA chose this day to crash a spacecraft into a comet?), and BOOMs are important.

I half-awoke from a jetlag-induced nap with my album playing in my head. Didn’t want to wake up fully. When I finally did, I had some new words to describe the music. Have continued to imagine segments of two songs sharing a key center morphing into each other. For fun (or perhaps for an extra track on the record) I am making a list and will try rendering them when the mixes are done.

Doug Wyatt - Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

No comments: