Words of Wisdom, II

“We are only ready to undertake a piece of work when we have completed that piece of work. Doing the task prepares us to do the task: we are learning on the job. So, clearly, we don’t understand how to do the job until we’ve already done it.” – Robert Fripp

Note: Although not intending to, Robert summed up Stone Document in 3 sentences.


Friday we began recording the next Stone Document CD. We convened at Glen Brook Studio (a.k.a. Tirch Manor) Friday night, set up our gear and did what could only very loosely be considered a sound check. Our plan was this: we would improvise and record Saturday and Sunday and then Doc and I would spend Monday compiling and reviewing what we had done. We hoped to get a handful of decent pieces that could then be edited and re-arranged into diferent structures to form the framework of the album. Friend and fellow musician Mike Dennis would be engineering for us (if only his middle name was Mark). So it was me, Mike, Dennis and Mike Dennis (simple, eh?).

This is my absolute favorite way to record: all of us living and recording together in the same space. Working at a comfortable pace is possible because when we are ready we just walk in, pick up our instruments and (after getting the thumbs up from our engineer) play. By the time Saturday evening rolled around we had several good-sized and hopefully sonically acceptable takes. Saturday night we had a few spectators including NYC-area Crafty Tim Butler. I thought that having an “audience” would effect they way we played but when we reviewed the tracks on Monday I couldn’t tell which were done that night.

Sunday was also spent tracking and we got a few more strong takes. By the time Monday rolled around we had almost 25 pieces, though they were all in different stages of acceptability. Some assembly required. All in all it was a very productive weekend. Mike Dennis was a great help and his presence was definitely a contributing factor to how easy the sessions felt. The other three contributors to this batch of work were our wives. Jaclyn and Eileen feeding and cleaning up after us and Elizabeth holding down the fort back home thereby allowing me to be there 100 percent. Us boys are pretty lucky – and we know it.

And now we move forward.


If you are still trying to find the perfect gift for the prog rock fan on your holiday shopping list don’t forget Stone Document’s first CD is available at CD Baby (http://cdbaby.com/cd/stonedocument).

Merry Christmahanaukawanzadan!