Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Pause for Celebration

This week, I’m planning to start recording vocals for the new single Missing and will continue tracking vocals for the rest of the album over the next month or so. This is a huge milestone! Looking back, here are some of the other highlights (with blog links).

Aug 2009-Dec 2010 - wrote lyrics & music for 13 songs

“Creative Floodgates” -

Jan-June 2010 – worked on demos and midi mock-ups, prep for Nashville

“Demos” -

June 18th, 2010 - recorded drums, bass and guitar at Darkhorse Recording in Nashville (1st trip to Nashville)

“The Big Day” -

July 2010-Feb 2011 – editing, additional midi sounds

“Editing” -

Aug-Oct 2010 – recorded acoustic guitar with Matt Meyer at 10x12 Productions (Columbus)

Nov 2010 – began working with composer Rich Barrett & Robert Nugent

“Strings” -

Feb 3rd-4th, 2011 – recorded strings and guitar leads/textures in Nashville (2nd trip to Nashville)

“The String & Guitar Sessions” -

Feb-March 2011
– programmed midi strings

“Programming Midi Strings” -

March 2011 – additional overdubs with guitarist Mike Payne -

April 15th, 2011 – final string session

“The Last String Session”

April-May 2011
– recorded piano

“The Perfect Piano”

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Portrait By My Father

Some of you know that my dad is an amazing artist. The other day, Crystal and I were over at my parent's house and were looking at a number of his paintings as he is showing some of his art at a local event tonight. One of the paintings we came across was the one you see right here. This was painted in the original 10x12 Productions - one of the bedrooms at my parent's house (my small business was named after the dimensions of this room). This was painted in 2001, not long after the release of my first pop rock album Dishes (you can see a copy of this album sitting on a table toward the left side of the painting). You also will notice a black sheet hanging down from the top of one side of the windows - I didn't have any blinds in this room. I would simply pull the black sheet across the windows at night, attaching the sheet to a nail on the right side of the windows. Oh, the bachelor days.

One of the songs on the new album is actually dedicated to my father. It includes a beautiful string arrangement by composer Robert Nugent.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Latest News

The new album is coming together! So far, I’ve recorded piano for six songs using my new East West piano samples (I have three songs to go, which I hope to wrap up in the next week and a half or so).

The Final Recording Stage: Vocals

I plan to start recording vocals the week of May 23rd (at 10x12 Productions). A friend is renting me his compressor (Empirical Labs Distressor), which I’ll use in conjunction with my API pre-amp. I’ve allotted about a month of time for vocal tracking. I will probably record the vocal for Missing first (the soon-to-release single off of the new album). I hope to send this tune off to my mix engineer sometime in early June. Hopefully, the new single will hit the streets later June or early July.

A Song Gets a Face Lift
I recently made some significant changes to a tune called Bed of Strangers. This has been a tricky one all along. I’ve been consistently attached to the message of the song, but have at times been unsure about the musical arrangement. The other night at the point of discouragement, I asked Crystal if she liked the song, and she said, “Yeah, I like it, but it’s not my favorite on the project.” I then asked, “What don’t you like about it in particular?” and she responded, “The chorus… I think the first part of it.” I knew something wasn’t clicking with this song, and I think it hit me at that point that the chorus was indeed the weakest part. We prayed about it, and the next morning I woke up with stronger lyrics and a new improved chorus melody! I’ve also shortened the song by a minute. Wow, what a difference! I’m really digging this tune now! You may ask what is Bed of Strangers about? Well, I guess you’ll have to wait until the album releases to find out!

Graphic Design
In other news, I may meet with a graphic designer to start discussing the overall look of the album cover and jacket next week.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Starting to see the finish line. Back to the studio!

Thursday, May 05, 2011

An Ever Present Help in Trouble

Here's what one listener had to say (he discovered my music through a free mp3 site)....

"I returned from Afghanistan in January...I know I already mentioned it on your wall, but God really used your music to calm my nerves during my deployment. The two songs in particular were "Hurricane" and "Pull Through." Amazing... It was as if Hurricane was written for me. My father passed away this July, after a long battle with Alzheimer's Disease. And throughout the previous year in Afghanistan, I found myself listening to music whenever possible to keep my brain occupied; I knew that if I had a moment of quiet I'd be thinking about my dad, and I couldn't afford to bust out crying wherever I was. So... thank you for those songs...I can't wait to hear the new album!" - Brian

Maybe you need encouragement today. Here's a verse I referenced while writing the song Hurricane.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; Though its waters roar and foam, Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride...'Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.' The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold."
- Psalm 46

(Brian's comments above were posted with permission)

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

New Marc Andre Single – Missing

Just wanted to give a quick update on the new album, Snapshots of the Shattered Soul. Production wise, things are moving along! I’ve recorded final piano tracks for four songs now, and I hope to be wrapping up the piano parts in the next 2-3 weeks. After that, I will start recording the final vocals.

New Single Coming Soon…
I’m sure you’re curious what the new album sounds like! Well, in the next couple months, I will be releasing a single from the new album called Missing. You will be able to preview and purchase this single on my page at Stay tuned for more details!