After touring the program in early November – visiting dear new locations of Shelby, Big Sandy, and Lewistown as well as one of our favorites in Bozeman, Old Main Gallery – John and I reconvened in Bozeman to lay down the tracks for our album Sonata Tramontana. We experimented with where to find the optimal sound in Reynolds Recital Hall, and after one reset with Jeremiah Slovarp’s expert manning of the mic placement, the sound completely changed from brittle and thin to the desired resonant and warm. We were ready to roll. The first day was LONG, as it took over 3 hours to set up for optimal sound followed by recording until 10pm, with some uncertainty if we’d be able to get through recording all pieces by the deadline of our limited three days.
Acclaimed baroque violinist Ingrid Matthews joined us from Indiana to produce. She offered kind words of encouragement and an deeply experienced ear, letting us know when we had enough satisfactory options recorded, or if we needed to redo patches for intonation, musicality, or ensemble. BaMM board member Rob Maher also stopped by, lending support and revel in the process. Day two went well thanks to excellent preparation from the concert tour earlier in the month.
Day three finished up with enough time for a celebratory snowy Hyalite hike with the crew before departures for the Thanksgiving holiday. Each minute I felt so grateful for the chance to be working with this excellent team, recording music we love so deeply. It was quite a thrill!
John and Ingrid offered expert advice on the editing process, and January was spent listening critically to all 120 tracks, weighing perfection versus musicality versus ensemble to choose the best cuts. The edits are currently in the hands of Jeremiah, and we’ll trade edits a few more times before final production. While playing the violin is something with which I have a lot of experience, editing tracks has been a tremendous and fascinating learning curve. What a gift to embark on this process, and create a unique and lasting artistic document in Montana. —Carrie