ABONECRONEDRONE

   


John:

So what you're singing is sort of growing out of what you're picking out of the drone - is that ...

Sheila:

Yeah, we had a challenge really, because, Steve and I wanted to create an album that...

John:

Steve Coe?

Sheila:

Steve Coe, who co-writes with me and who produces for me. We wanted to create a living experience. Recording is, by its nature a static thing. One freezes a moment in time and, usually that's what one wants. You want to be manipulative, you want to say to the listener. "Well, someone broke my heart and this is how I felt on that particular day when I stuffed 20 chocolate cookies. This is exactly how I felt and now you can feel it too". And ... Gosh! That sounded indulgent, doesn't it, and not just with the cookies?! But this was more about helping the listeners to connect to the place that I do and, so it needed to be a living experience. Which means that it needs to be different every single time, and the way that we approached that technically, was to freeze a moment in time, as far as the writing was concerned. So we sat down, on a particular evening and listened, to say, the drone that makes up "ABoneCroneDrone" I and said, right this is what we can hear and we won't over arrange it or structure it. This is what we can hear as we hear it and then I sang that in the studio. But what Steve also did was, worked out lots and lots of ways of enhancing that in the studio, so that, we used filters, for instance, on "ABoneCroneDroneI", one which would bring out the harmonics. So what you have is, the harmonic pattern or signature of my voice, in the drone, because that drone is me singing over and over and over - it's not looped up, 'cos then you get marvellous imperfections and you get better harmonics, and then me mimicking the harmonic signature and that producing harmonic signatures, so there is this kind of double harmonic signature of my voice on that particular track.

Steve:

Everything reinforcing everything else.

Sheila:

Yeah, and so it builds up into a particular sort of pattern. But we used other things, I mean, Steve threw my voice through a loud speaker up into a grand piano, with the loud pedal down. Very, very loud so that the strings tuned to the pitches I was singing, vibrated like mad and gave us another harmonic signature which melted very well into my voice. And then on "ABoneCroneDrone III", he played a piano and recorded it without any attack and I've never heard a piano without any attack, but what you get is this lovely whoamm ... of the dying away of the resonating of the strings and of course you get all these little sparkles of sound from that.