Juliet Fraser Recording Session

Tuesday 25 August 2015 – Scantlebury recording session with Juliet Fraser @Poundarts

20150825_164142On Tuesday 25 August Juliet and I recorded the tape parts for my piece, Scantlebury, in the theatre at the Pound. Recording at the Pound in the space in which the piece will be first performed was very special. We were in there all day and managed to record everything we needed to.  This was my first experience of a recording session, albeit a slightly more ‘homemade’ format than one might usually expect. This was due to the lo-fi equipment that I am using for my piece, which is for Soprano and tape recorder.

The process of recording the tape parts for Scantlebury involves recording multiple short extracts of material on top of each other within the same portion of tape. The end result resembles a collage where one can hear where the record and stop buttons have been pressed on the tape recorder. The photo above shows Juliet and I at work and this is how we were sat all day. I was in charge of pressing record and stop on the tape recorder as well as (crucially) rewinding the tape to make sure that it was in the correct place to record the next bit. This was made harder by the fact that there is no counter on my tape recorder so it involved a lot of careful rewinding and listening back to what we had just recorded to find our place. As the day went on this became almost like a game as Juliet would regularly question whether I’d got the tape in the right spot. Funnily enough she would be pleased (almost as if we were winning against the tape recorder) when I found the right position first time round. I feel I might be overstating my part in the recording session because it was Juliet’s fascinating ability to navigate my score and sing and speak so beautifully that has resulted in final recordings for Scantlebury that I am very pleased with. Why I have chosen to use a tape recorder in my piece is something I will cover in a future post as there are multiple reasons.

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