The Videos, Raw and Honest

I’ve had a lot of compliments on our videos and everybody wants to know: “Did you produce them yourselves?”

Ah, yeah.

The second question comes up is ‘are they live’ and, then, ‘how’.

Here’s the process:

The master sound track is recorded to computer via the magic of electronica, through one of several varieties of condenser mic (headset, mounted, or suspended) or from the pickup inside Forrest’s guitar to the computer with a few mysterious pieces of equipment in between, namely, two soundboards, two POG2s, two Digitech RP1000 effects units, and a 404HD by Behringer. This allows us to somewhat avoid any environmental noise being captured to the track, providing we do it during quiet hours when the trains aren’t coming through every few minutes. (Train rumbles and their horn noise is, in our set-up, nigh on impossible to eradicate). Of course, because I am live mic’d with a condenser mic that loves to pick up key sounds from the flute and my breathing (and any cat walking across the floor), those sounds are just an immutable part of the experience.

The video captures on camera also catch the sound, unless we turn it off. Because of stuff too technical for me to get my brain around, sound lags the visual on video capture, destroying sync. So sound is recorded separate from video capture, which complicates my job as the video compiler.

So, session done, Forrest does post-processing on the audio that was laid to the computer while I get to start pulling the raw footage.

Forrest can get the audio finalized a lot faster than I can compile the video, which requires me to sort through the various camera angles, deciding what goes where, snipping out the parts we’ll use, then pulling them into the program that actually compiles them. Forrest can usually get the audio processed in hours, while my job takes me days upon days to complete unless it’s something simple like our tribute to Chris Cornell, “Black Hole Sun”.

Laying the Tracks Today for Our First Official Album

not just a flute and a guitar - power-driven flute and electrified acoustic guitar, DLKeur and FWLineberry music
Today, with Forrest home for a week of much-needed vacation, the most they’ll allow him at one time, we’re laying the tracks for our first official album release. …At least, I think it will be our first album to be released, unless some sort of craziness happens and we get to do another release prior to this one’s set-in-stone release date. Because we’re using multiple voicing on some pieces, the tracks must be overdubbed. We usually record live, rather than overdubbing, but, because I’m playing both flute and harpsichord and Forrest is playing recorders and clarinets, along with guitar, well, without clones of ourselves or other musicians willing and capable of stepping in, overdubbing is what has to happen.

It’s an interesting process, much harder than playing live, because you have to implicitly match timing with the previously recorded track(s), not always an easy thing. In fact, not easy, at all for me who is used to syncing with other musicians in the moment.

I’ll keep you all posted on progress as we begin the long process of laying piece after piece, up to twenty in all, for what sounds, so far, to my ear, anyway, like an amazingly glorious album of Forrest’s arrangements of some traditional, but universally beloved music.

Repertoire List

Because there just hasn’t been time to live record or video any new stuff, I haven’t been doing much over here on this site. In case folks are wondering what we play, though, here’s the list in alphabetical order. Missing are some other Zappa pieces, some Michael Hedges works.

1. Alone Again Or
2. Another Brick in the Wall/Goodbye Blue Sky
3. Aqualung
4. Baby I Love Your Way
5. Beth
6. Black Hole Sun
7. Black Magic Woman
8. Bungle in the Jungle
9. Carry On Wayward Son
10. Cheap Sunglasses
11. Closer to the Heart
12. Cross-Eyed Mary
13. Dog Breath Variations
14. Duetto
15. Dust in the Wind
16. Eye of the Tiger
17. FM
18. Fooling Yourself
19. Hold Your Head Up
20. Hotel California
21. Icarus
22. Idiot Bastard Son
23. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed
24. JS Tull Medley
25. Lazy
26. Let’s Make the Water Turn Black
27. Let’s Move to Cleveland
28. Light My Fire
29. Living in the Past
30. Locomotive Breah
31. Long Distance Run Around
32. Marqueson’s Chicken
33. Mission Impossible
34. Money
35. More Than a Feeling
36. My Favorite Things
37. Never Been Any Reason
38. Norwegian Wood
39. Nothing Else Matters
40. Oh No
41. Oye Como Va
42. Peaches in Regalia
43. Porgy & Bess
44. Roundabout
45. Roxanne
46. Scarborough Fair/Sounds of Silence
47. She’s Not There
48. Siciliano
49. Sing or the Day
50. Summertime
51. Time of the Season
52. Uncle Meat
53. Waltz in A Minor
54. Walking on the Moon
55. Watermelon in Easter Hay
56. What’s New in Baltimore
57. Woman in Love

Just a Flute and a Guitar

Forrest's Seagull guitar and my Haynes flute ...and, yes, that's athletic tape on my embouchure plate. It's there for a reason. :D

I quit playing for decades, my last big formal gig being a World Expo. The political requirements were way too steep to continue. I’m a wall flower in high-end social gatherings, preferring to carry on a discussion with the chair or the drapes rather than with that glittering person who just walked up to congratulate me and ask all sorts of personal questions. Classical music patrons and their ‘need-to-know’s make me squirm and look longingly for the exit.

Forrest struggled for years trying to find other rock musicians willing to commit themselves to excellence. Well, ‘rock’ musician is mostly synonymous with “in it for the sex, booze, drugs, and fame.” Then, suddenly, sometime in the last few years, Forrest turned around and realized that he had a good, dedicated musician right there in the house — a captive session musician who had no escape, never mind that she was trained in classical concert flute and piano.

So he began arranging pieces for us, and, with effort, got me somewhat familiar with electronica. Somewhat. (I’m still struggling with foot switching and remembering that the flute acts like an antenna sometimes, especially with distortion patches.)

When all is said and done, we’re not just some flute tooting along with a guitar. We really don’t do boring, and that’s all because of original custom arrangements and an audio vision of what the piece should sound like, all accomplished by our use of electronics, which can turn the guitar into anything from a harpsichord to a petulant child and the flute into a saxophone, screaming electric guitar, an organ, or a chorus.

Our goal is to make each piece uniquely listenable, even considering that we’re just a flute and a guitar making the music happen.     — D. L. Keur (Dawn)