Well, what a couple of days! It was highly intensive, taking about ten hours each day (including breaks of course). By the end of day 2, everyone was pretty shattered, but they'd all done an amazing job. There was some terrific ensemble playing, even through my impossible changes of time signature; and we had some lovely solos all round. In spite of the encroaching exhaustion, everyone gave it their all, for which I'll for ever be grateful.
AIR Studios is a superb facility, with every possible eventuality and requirement (that I can think of) covered, including having an excellent café with some yummy lunches.
Studio 1 is essentialy a large, rectangular room (unlike The Hall, which is an old church with room for orchestras, etc.), but there are tracks in the ceiling along which huge full-height panels with windows can be wheeled into a variety of positions to divide the room in a number of ways. For us the room was divided into two with the horns in the section next to the control room and everyone else in the other bit. So the view from the control room had the back view of the horn players Adam, Mick, Shanti and Tom just outside the window; beyond them in the other 'room' Eddy (guitar), Paul (bass) and Jonas (drums) along the left side, Alcyona in the right-hand corner with the piano (a lovely Bösendorfer grand) and her Nord keyboard, Rob with all his percussion inside a kind of padded cell on the right; and me lording it over the whole lot - and the only one facing the control room - in the middle on my podium, which was equipped with a lovely big stand for my scores and a nice comfy tall stool with a padded seat and back.
In the control room was our superb engineer, John Prestage, with whom there will be much work to do in the coming months, along with his assistants Jed and Ash. John was a calm presence throughout, keeping all takes and re-takes under control and meticulously logged with Ash. This means he'll have all the information he needs to do the major (re)construction job that's needed before we even get into proper editing and mixing, at which point I'll get involved again. I'm entirely confident to leave this first stage in his hands.
On day 2 we also had a video crew present, Crusoe Weston and his team from Drift Studios. They took videos and still photos. The videos will doubtless take some time to be ready as they partly depend on the progress of the audio, but we're hoping to have some decent stills soon. Meanwhile you can see various photos taken by my wife Mary, our guitarist Eddy and our drummer Jonas here - if you scroll down past that gorgeous old pic of a streamlined railway engine!
That's more than enough for now, and I'll keep reporting as things progress, but I know John's a busy man, so it's all going to take some time - and for what it's worth, I'm pleased this will be coming out some time in 2024, because then most of the music will be 50 years old!