Making the world a better place through music

August 28th, 2016 Debra Mann

blog imageMusic is the vibration of the entire universe, and the heart and soul of a musician.  It is essential to our common humanity.  It has the power to sooth, inspire, uplift, and motivate us to be better.  We use it to dance, to grieve, to laugh, to celebrate, to heal, and be entertained by. We can barely go anywhere or do anything where music is not an accompaniment.  The simple need that musicians have to express ourselves and share with others is what drives us to take on the monumental, and costly, task of making a recording. It is our honor to do this and our contribution to making the world a better place. 


Steve Rizzo, engineer extraordinaire, at mixing board

Steve Rizzo, engineer extraordinaire, at mixing board

 A dream come true

In striving to make the world a better place, I am fulfilling a dream of mine to record a new CD featuring the music of Joni Mitchell. I am currently in the middle of this recording project at a premier studio with a great audio-engineer at Stable Sound Recording Studio, Portsmouth, RI, and am grateful to have world-class musicians playing on it.

                             Do you like my hat?

Wearing many hats

In addition to being the pianist, vocalist, arranger, and leader on this project, I am also wearing the producer’s hat.  There are so many things to think about that it can feel overwhelming at times.  So, for me, the essential ingredient, when doing anything of great importance, is to prepare myself, spiritually, to be in a state of grace, peace, and joy, listening for the wisdom and direction that comes through inner stillness, and providing an atmosphere of ease, openness, and creativity for everyone involved in the recording sessions.

What goes into being a producer?

A producer’s role and responsibilities vary with each artist and project, from overseeing the creative direction, to managing logistics, including musical arrangements, choosing songs, hiring musicians, selecting the recording studio and engineer, and even scheduling. They are indispensable as objective observers, and providing valuable input when needed. They also help to keep things running smoothly and efficiently in the studio.

What goes into making a recording? 

Courage is one of the first things that comes to mind.  It’s not a small undertaking, and its importance in the life of an artist cannot be overstated.  It takes years of preparation through practice, self-education, dedication, and experience, which become the central most ingredients for making the best possible recording.  But, the main components are:

  • Determine what the overall concept is
  • Create budget
  • Choose your best songs
  • Create great arrangements of songs
  • Choose the best musicians you can afford
  • Choose the best recording studio you can afford
  • Schedule studio dates to record, mix, and master
  • Print charts for musicians
  • Practice/rehearse


Countdown to recording session (one week ahead)

  • Plan how many songs to record each day
  • Plan the order of songs to record
  • Confirm recording schedule and arrival time with musicians and engineer
  • Plan food and beverages for musicians for recording sessions
  • Get plenty of rest leading up to recording session



Catered by Leon’s Café & Catering

Heading into the Recording Studio

  • Pick up food and drinks for musicians
  • Greet musicians
  • Be calm and upbeat
  • Set up, do soundcheck, & get individual headphone mixes
  • Record (I record everything live with the entire band, doing up to three takes of each song, and choose the best take)
  • Take breaks, as needed, stay hydrated and well nourished


What’s next?

At this point I have recorded all of the basis tracks with the band (which I can’t wait to share with you), and I am heading back into the studio to record the vocal tracks.

Stay tuned to my blog for project updates.

Preorder a CD today!

Female Vocalist Jazz Pianist and Singer in Barrington Rhode Island

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