Category Archives: Recording diary

Studio diary 2014, part 3

What a beautiful, sunny day it’s been! And how productive! Today we started our morning with eggs and bacon (our studio guru really knows how to get lazy musicans out of bed!) and lots of coffee. After the breakfast we continued playing around with Waiting for the Roses, with which we weren’t entirely satisfied with yesterday. The other song we started approaching in the morning was La Lirio, a ballad that came about when Laura and I were visiting Andalucía a few years ago. It’s going to be a real old school tear jerker once we’re through with it.

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It seems we’ve now found the pace for doing things. We start after breakfast, playing a certain song through four to six times, in two different takes, after which we take a break and change the song. At some point we have dinner, after which we listen to the takes, and maybe start with a different song. Before supper we get back to the song we started the day with. After supper we listen to all of the best takes once more, and maybe do some song a few more times. After that it’s a glass of wine or a beer or two – and a lot of reading old comic books.

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Today, though, it’s sauna, confit du canard for supper and some rum for dessert. After all, it is Sunday, and we now have four songs recorded, which means we actually nailed three songs today. That’s a lot.

-Jere

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Studio diary 2014, part 2

On Thursday we arrived at our cottage, where the bulk of the recordings take place. Thursday and Friday we mostly set up equipment and rehearsed and did a bit of last minute arranging.

Today we started the day with one of the most demanding songs we’ve written. Luckily we practiced this song a lot  for Kammerkabarett. It’s also surprisingly old song, one we actually wanted to include on Mascot Moth, but decided against, for some reason. The song is called Is This Casablanca?, and it’ll make a killer first track.
After Casablanca we did a few takes on a much more streamlined Waiting for the Roses, which is a song we haven’t really played live anywhere else than Savoy-teatteri. Personally I’m pretty anxious to get this one out there for all you to hear. Laura does some amazing acting on this track!

We took a short break from recording, when we were invited to see Irina Björklund, who happened to play in Salo (which is the town closest to our cottage). Irina is a wonderful person and performer, and her band is amazing. The drummer, a certain Mr. Haavisto has been a great support for us, never too busy to lend his extensive know-how in all things musical. He also has a role to play on the upcoming album, but we’ll get back on that a bit later.

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Right now we’re back from the show (needless to say, it was great!) and up for a few takes still. And then we’ll eat. And have a few beers. And relax, and listen to music, and spend time together. Isolated from pretty much everything, in the peace and quiet of the Finnish countryside, we’re probably much more relaxed than we ought to be. No matter. This is heaven.

-Jere

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Studio diary 2014, part 1

Sweethearts! We’re off to the very specific la-la land some people refer to as The Studio! We’ll post daily (maybe!) about our adventures! Here’s the first part:

We’ll start recording tomorrow. This is true.

Yesterday I wrote a new song. This is not strictly speaking true.

The lyrics for the song I wrote have been lying around for about a year. Without giving too much away, they have something to do with this. I’ve been, from time to time, playing around with different ideas, but yesterday the song really came together, and I ditched most of the ideas I had had up until then. I am a bit nervous, though, because we’ll need to work out the song very quickly. On the other hand, working under pressure will help us crop all excessive bits and pieces. And trust me, there’s a definite risk of excess. We’re talking about way artsy stuff, here.

Other than that, we’re doing dandy.  The last week or so we’ve mostly been editing videos and providing material for our very-soon-to-begin crowd funding campaign for the next album. The record will be available for pre-order through Mesenaatti.me, and we’ll let you know more as next week.

There are wonderful people all around, and so, like our studio engineer Juha put it, we now have “a caseful of Neumann microphones and half the city’s stompboxes”, as well as a beautiful Anders Liljeström acoustic guitar at our disposal. This was also a good time to get my flamenco guitar fixed. The work was done by a friend and a future luthier Markus Ullakko, who’s also made some amazing archtops and acoustics, and I’m looking forward to getting him make one just for me.

Right now we wish to thank Aatsi, Markus, Timpe, Hannu and Markus for lending us various stuff from stompboxes to guitar building skills.

 

Jere

Jere testing microphones and a Liljeström acoustic guitar.

Jere testing microphones and a Liljeström acoustic guitar.

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October 2, 2014 · 1:46 pm

Update

Here it is, our cover with a reproduction of an illusion by the illustrious illusionist, David Devant.

Here it is, our cover with a reproduction of an illusion by the illustrious illusionist, David Devant.

The album is here! It arrived just in time before Christmas to be sent to our patrons, and three songs – The Mascot Moth, The Captain & the Widow and Strawberry Gin – are already online for everyone to hear. We are adding finishing touches to the cocktail booklet and planning the most extravagant of release parties. There are some upcoming concerts too, and more will be added, so keep checking the calendar and Facebook.

 

Happy new year to all sweethearts alike, see you in 2013!

– Laura & Jere

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Mascot Moth

Finally news! We have been working hard on the songs and the cover art and have given the album a name: Mascot Moth. The title is borrowed from an illusion by the illustrious magician David Devant, and today we have uploaded the song of the same name on Soundcloud for you to hear!

Follow this link to Soundcloud to hear The Mascot Moth from our upcoming album!

Album pre-order INFO:

Apparently, Sponsume is not working at all. But no worries, we have our own methods. Here’s how to pre-order “Mascot Moth”, the debut album of Café de Abejas:

The album is 15€. There is also an exclusive postcard set for 5€ and a cocktail recipe book that includes drinks designed to suit the mood of the album is 10€. The prices include postage to Europe.

Pay your order to Laura’s account: Kerberina Oy, international account number FI41 4055 0011 2704 40, the BIC is HELSFIHH (in case you need it). Write your order (e.g. “Two albums and the cocktail recipes”) in the payment form if possible. Then send us your posting address and order details to cafedeabejas@gmail.com. Easy!

Pre-orders will arrive for Christmas, whereas all the others will have to wait until the official release date somewhere in January or February 2013. We are hoping to cover roughly half of the costs of album making with pre-orders (so about 1500€), and now we are halfway, which is just splendid!

Special thanks to everyone who already ordered the album, you are helping us tremendously in making it happen! We’ll post about the cover art as soon as we can. It’s going to be beautiful, decadent and look very much like our music.

– Laura & Jere

Levyn ennakkotilaus INFO:

Ystävät! Tässä ohjeet Café de Abejas-duon “Mascot Moth”-debyyttialbumin ennakkotilaamiseen:

Levyn hinta ennakkotilattuna on 15€, ja siihen sisältyvät postikulut Eurooppaan. Lisäksi on mahdollista tilata kirjanen, johon on kerätty levyn tunnelmaan sopivia cocktail-ohjeita hintaan 10€, ja neljän postikortin erikoissarja hintaan 5€.

Maksu tapahtuu Lauran aputoiminimen tilille FI41 4055 0011 2704 40.

Maksun saaja on Kerberina Oy.

Kirjoita tilauksesi (esim. “kaksi levyä ja drinkkikirja”) viestikenttään. Lähetä sitten meille toimitusosoitteesi osoitteeseen cafedeabejas@gmail.com. Helppoa!

Ennakkotilaajat saavat albuminsa jouluksi, kun muut joutuvat odottamaan tammi-helmikuuhun 2013. Ennakkotilauksilla on tarkoitus kattaa n. puolet levynteon kustannuksista, eli 1500€. Nyt ollaan tämän tavoitteen puolivälissä, aivan mahtavaa!

Suurkiitos kaikille levyn jo tilanneille, autatte meitä suunnattomasti levypainon kulujen kattamisessa!

– Laura & Jere

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Recording Diary, pt. 5 – Singing Solo

Jere’s drawing of me.

Yesterday, it was just me and the microphone. How liberating and at the same time how frightening to keep your own time! Today we recorded just the two of us playing and singing together, and the result was a very silent, pensive rendition of one of the songs.

Fascinating how songs change their mood in the studio. Some of them take so much more effort and articulation than when you play them live, and with others you have to keep your hands in your pockets in order not to do too much. These are wonderful times, and I feel like I’m growing with every passing day and song. It is indeed our biggest adventure yet!

– Laura

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Recording Diary, pt. 4 – Elsie Smith

Here is Elsie. As you can tell, she’s thrilled to be a part of the album.

Yesterday, we recorded another song for the album (One Man’s Sweetheart), and everything went very smoothly (if we don’t take into account the famished percussionist, the swooning vocalist and the guitarrist’s broken nail, all problems easily solved). So smoothly in fact that we were able to proceed to recording what we call “fairy dust”. That means small things and effects that are meant to spice up the otherwise live performance.

This time we concentrated on a typewriter Laura got from her grandfather a few years ago. It’s an old L. C. Smith probably from the 1920’s, and commonly known as Elsie Smith. The unique sound of a well-oiled vintage typewriter was just what we needed as a small percussive element in one of the songs, and this is how Ilari played the new instrument:

– Jere and Laura

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