Recorded: June 16, 2006
Instrumentation: Acoustic Guitar, BaurGyil, Voice, Organ, Guitar
Audio Stems: No
Let’s go all of the way back to 2006. I had recently moved into my 5th apartment in NYC in 5 years time. Pela had released our first EP and were starting to tour around the country more and more. And little did I know, but I was laying the foundation of a life style I would be living for the next decade.
“Saturday” was recorded on a beautiful, rainy (Saturday) afternoon. It started with sticking a microphone out the window and simply listening for a while. The guitar part came to me soon after and was recorded on my Kay guitar with a SM57. This recording will certainly not win any awards in the engineering department, nor the editing (as you can hear parts drop out almost randomly), but it is something that was created that day, in that moment, and that cannot be taken away.
Historically this song has a special importance to me because it was the first time I recorded a song with my BaurGyil, a xylophone that was made for me while living in the just outside of Nandom in the Upper West region of Ghana. The instrument is not tuned to a western scale, making it difficult to record with many of my other instruments. Fortunately I had recently gotten the pitch correction program Melodyne, so I was able to multitrack the various parts, then tune them to fit with the guitar. Magic.
I was also able to work magic in order to make the Steve Reich like vocals. Originally recorded with Diana and I singing into one microphone, I was able to pitch the vocals through the chord progression. This would certainly be an example of “do whatever it takes to make something." On a technical note there are also some ambient guitars and organ that fill out the mix. I honestly don’t remember the details of these, but I’m sure it was just playing with reverb and delay.
This song also marks the end of side one of the record. Next week begins a new journey that will go even deeper into my past and present a side of me you may not expect.