I remember the exact moment last year when Peter Guralnick told me the title of his next book… we were sitting in my control room and I was in the middle of writing my new album. We were discussing why people make music… a process we each have deep perspectives on but from very different vantage points. The title, “Looking To Get Lost,” is as perfect a description of my personal process as I’ve ever heard, and, as it turns out, is a concept that has come up again and again in the thousands of interviews Peter has done with a musicians over the years.
Part of what draws me to music is the atmosphere around the notes, the feelings that the sounds evoke, and the landscape in which each piece lives. I’ve always gravitated towards textural music: music that doesn’t reveal itself fully, or at least rewards as deep a listen as you are willing and able to give. I always strive to create a world for each piece I work on: a place that is believable and trustworthy.
That can be a problem when the moment is so easily broken. The part of me that wants to get lost in the music is like a dog who can’t help but snap his head towards every possible squirrel. Maybe I’m spoiled by being able to listen to music in rooms that are actually quiet, but little anomalies (clicks, thumps, creaks, or anything not of the world of the music) break the spell for me… shatter the illusion of being alone in a place made of music.
I think that’s part of why I love mastering, actually, because I have the opportunity both to shape the final form of the world of the music for the listener and to remove any small events that break that fragile spell.
When I am truly lost in the music I know I’ve done my job.
Going deeper in is always rewarding. Peter’s Looking To Get Lost is out now…
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