I'm always given to reflection this time of year. Perhaps it is the longer hours of darkness that prods me towards internal focus - in any case, I'm very excited to have completed my first solo CD project of songs that I've loved forever. They are like friends that I meet and we just pick up where we left off - never strangers and always glad to reacquaint. These are just a few of many that I've been performing with my trio over the last couple of years. House concerts are lovely in that they allow for an intense intimacy and joyful exchange - an accessiblity to audience and performer. I have only recently been experimenting with different kinds of venues such as restaurants for performances. It is definitely a different experience. I will not make any decisions on preferences until I've tried a number of venue types.
The main objective is to have more people hear my voice and how I express myself through song. I'm certainly curious where this journey will lead. I look forward to sharing a joyful noise in the New Year.
Blessings to you all and may musical magic grace your moments as it does mine!
With a lot of help from friends and family, this project made its Kickstarter goal and is off and running! Very exciting! I've been in studio replacing vocals and am really looking forward to sharing my versions of these pop and jazz standards with you. It is an absolute JOY to be creating and enjoying this music. I am savoring every moment!
Special Note from Charles Davis
I first met Lisa Star at a party given by our mutual friend, Roberta Donnay. That evening we sat around playing and singing various tunes we knew. Lisa sang a most lovely unplugged version of Greg Lake's song From The Beginning. What became immediately apparent was the beautiful qualities of her gossamery voice and expressive phrasing. These few years later, the opportunity presented itself to work together, and what a great time we had. It didn't take Lisa long to settle into what was her new environment at "the Abbey Road of the Southwest," Sugarhill Recording Studios in Houston, TX. Chief Engineer Andy Bradley set up a vintage Neumann U67 microphone which captured every detail of Lisa's voice. What struck me again as we rehearsed and recorded was the lovely quality of her almost ethereal voice. The contrast of the resonance of my guitar and her subtile voice, I think, is a striking combination. I'm very excited about this project and look forward to working more with Lisa in the future. I'm proud to have played a part in this artist's evolving craft.
Hi Everyone - Thank you again for your support of my project with your pledge. Now that I have what is called the "bed" tracks - what to do! Good Question! Listen Listen Listen.. and what am I hearing.. I had a house concert this past weekend and the trio played a lot of the music that will be on this CD. We had great response and I had a complete blast. It's about singing the way that I hear the lyrics.. and how I feel them in the music. I love winding my way through a melody.. bending here.. shaping there.. breathy and then suddenly soaring.. and that is what is beautiful about a house concert as well.. everyone there becomes part of an experience.. really beautiful, intimate, tender and fun! Which is what I wanted for this CD project.. and it is incredibly intimate.. just my voice and Charles' guitar.. I have very simple vocal arrangements - I leave the fills to Charles.. just the feeling, the lyrics and the music.. Which leads me to what I'm doing now. I'm listening to what I've recorded so far as vocals and deciding if they hit the mark I'm aiming for. Some of the vocals are already slated for replacement as they were placeholders in order to get the arrangement down with the guitar. I'm going through all 12 songs with the idea that likely 10 will make it to the final CD. I'm really going for a certain feeling throughout the CD and all of the songs are being held up against that mark. Next Update: Production Progress!
Going into the Studio at SugarHill in Houston: The first time I enter the studio for a session, it is a lot of motion - mikes being moved and set up, the space arranged just so, and in this case we also had two amplifiers in isolation booths to record a live sound for the guitar while Charles was busy recording on a DI (direct input to the digital recording system). (Thanks to Ray Cooper for the Guitar sound idea).
Charles and I were facing each other across a low-lit room. There was a gobo (a sound treatment barrier) between us to prevent my mic from "hearing" his picking on the guitar and we could see each other for cues and grins.
Charles looked 14 - so excited, happy and focused! Then our engineer gave us our headphone "mixes". I could hear Charles and he could hear me.. and then, just looking for that sweet spot of the mix between the two.. add the magic of a little reverb and we were ready to roll.
Next Update: Tracking..(the joy of)
PS: If you know others who would be interested in backing and supporting this project, let them know how easy it is to pledge using Kickstarter. Thank you! Lisa
Hi Everyone! I'm so excited for this project to be born! I'm posting blog entries to share my recording/production experience with my upcoming project with Houston Guitarist, Charles Davis.
While I've been part of the production team in the past, this is my first foray into solo producing. What does that mean? Good question! As not only am I producing this project but I am also the artist along with Charles. It requires a watchful eye over energy, attitude, technical process, and making sure that the primary objective is served - having fun creating music together!
A typical day would be prepping the songs we were to record during that evening's session. Charles and I would share our ideas about arrangement, tempo, intros and outros for an hour or two - then have lunch (energy is paramount!) and head over to the studio. The drive was about 30 minutes over freeways that passed downtown Houston and then into a rural, older section of the area. It was a time to relax and get to know each other a bit more.
Next Update: Entering the studio!
As those of you who've received my newsletter know, I love color! I love the crafting of which color will look good with the neighboring one - how the font looks.. Oh yes! And what is the actual news. I labor over the thing like a child who is being sent off to the first day of school..but in the end - it's the music!
We, at Passion Star Music, are having a blast every day with our craft. It brings us into our moment - where we can rest, reclaim our perspective and revel in our being here - alive, right here and now. And it is a joy to share that moment with our listeners.
May your moments be filled with music!
What is "happiness" and can we ever achieve more? Does this sound greedy and self centered to want more happiness? I think not. The path in life is Sisyphean. How can one be satisfied with a never ending journey? The goal or the stopping places in life; buying a house, putting out a CD, having a family are these stopping places or goals along the endless journey. Even at the end of our life, we're not too sure it ends at our death. So here we are going about our business, running through the processes of doing things, neglecting self, arguing with partners/spouses over trivial matters, nagging and whatnot. Can we improve our day to day existence? I say yes. By not living goal oriented and be more vested in the process of life. "Stopping to smell the roses" as it were.
There is more happiness through changing the mundane and by not living by rote we can live exiting happier lives. Here are some steps that I'm starting with:
There is only Love, Be Edo, Embrace Failure, Enjoy the now, you can't change anyone and Act how you want to feel.
Despite all difficult social intra/inter personal situations my mantra is "There is only love."
Be Edo - I am that I am and continuing to be so. We all have our pitfalls and advantages, bring them all in the embrace of who I am.
Embrace Failure - Don't be afraid of failure or criticism. See them as positives in all situations
Enjoy the now- Well I'm digging typing this to you readers. What's next is going to be equally fun, whatever that is...
You can't change anyone - Damned if you don't understand this one. But equally difficult is to remember it.
Act how you want to feel - If you want to feel happier, act happier. Want to feel sexy, Act that way and you will be. I'm not saying be shallow, but be in that frame of mind and the rest follows. Try it.
Today I am pondering all of the many steps that got me here, singing, creating music.. working with other artists doing the same.. (working on the web blog at 10:30 at night!) I can tell you that I had the dream writing music since I can remember.. I just liked to listen to it.. any kind of music.. enjoy the riffs.. the hooks.. the lyrics.. I started writing my first song in the 5th or 6th grade..
Beauty, Beauty everywhere - where you are I really care, when I walk along the sand, I feel Beauty hold my hand
Nature, Nature everywhere - where you are I really care, when I walk along the sand, I feel Nature hold my hand
God, God everywhere - where you are I really care, when I walk along the sand, I feel God hold my hand.. Lisa Star
It was the pure and innocent vision of this song that captured me and will forever keep me writing.. and sing