Sunday, November 11, 2012


I took a little breather from blogging to prepare for a recording I did last weekend.  I was joined by Kris Allen on saxophones, Christopher Hoffman on cello, and Rogerio Boccato on drums and assorted percussion.  I call this ensemble "C.O.W." (the Creative Opportunity Workshop) and have described the band and posted some concert recordings on my web page.

Earl MacDonald & C.O.W. (the Creative Opportunity Workshop)
Kris Allen, Christopher Hoffman, Earl MacDonald, Rogerio Boccato
We recorded (a whopping) twenty eight of my compositions/arrangements during our two, 9-hour recording sessions on Friday and Saturday with my favorite engineer, Peter Kontrimas.  His studio is located in Westwood, MA.

Much of the music was written previously for two collaborative, cross-disciplinary projects I have done with artists Deborah Dancy and Ted Efremoff.  My music was written to correspond and interact with their projected artistic images.  These two suites have only been publicly performed twice.  I am happy to now have the music documented in fixed form, and performed accurately and beautifully by incredibly capable musicians.  A body of new works was also recorded for another collaboration with the aforementioned artists plus puppeteer, Bart Roccoberton.

This photo shows the twenty eight pieces of music recorded by the Creative Opportunity Workshop during the two day recording session.
The 28 pieces we recorded, laid out on Rogerio's drum kit, following the session.
Characterizing the music I wrote isn't easy.  As the instrumentation intimates, most of it is a true, bona fide hybrid between classical, jazz and "world music".  I like that it has been tricky for reviewers to categorize my last three CDs, and this will be no exception.  In fact, I anticipate it being considerably more perplexing for those who like clearly defined genres.

I imagine this project being released as a DVD, rather than a typical CD, so that the audience can experience both the audio and corresponding imagery together.  I anticipate that having it in this format will also facilitate more frequent public viewings in galleries and theaters.

Selecting "takes", and then editing and mixing the recorded tracks will be the next steps.  I anticipate the bulk of this work taking place in December and January.  Then, the video with which we previously performed will be edited to fit and reciprocate exactly with the recorded music.

I plan to post a couple of raw "sneak peek" tracks in the days ahead.

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