(13) thirteen DVD/CD Design
The story of this amazing "happening" is a long one, so I will give you the Cliff Notes version...
I met David Francis Smith 4 years ago when I moved to Columbus for graduate school. I led a weekly art meeting that I held in my studio at The Milo Building and it was there that David came and began to share his poetry that we all have come to fall in love with.
* David Francis Smith is a poet who has had an eclectic life, which includes cab driving in NYC and a stint as a mayor in a small town in southern Ohio, among many other amazing things!
In 2010, I was producing a dinner theatre night at my house/underground restaurant named MINOU! (www.MaisonDeMinou.blogspot.com), and David became a regular act on the ticket. It was at that production that the birth of this idea entered my head. I had planned to have David read his poetry as one of the acts, and on a whim, we all decided to have the MINOU! house jazz band (Adrian Jusdanis and Jordan Kirk) play improv music to accompany him. It went over FANTASTICALLY! So much so, that it would turn into the premier act of the night. It became clear that I needed to record David professionally.
So after a year of juggling schedules, we came up with a date and brought David and a group ** of musicians to the recording studio. We were going to work with renowned sound engineer Joey Gurwin of Oranjudio Studios, and jack-of-all-trades technician Victor Thomas.
**The musicians of the day were: Adrian Jusdanis (violin, mouth whistle) and Counterfeit Madison (piano, rocker, toy piano) of "The Apes", Josh Thomas (guitar, bongos, piano strings) of "The Beluga Fumes", and Noah Demland (all things percussive) of too many bands to list...
(I banged on a toy piano and made wind sounds with my mouth as my musical contribution.)
This is where it gets really interesting.
The day of recording it was a miserable 100+ degrees outside, and the heat rendered David limited on performance time. My intention was to capture the live element we had so well mastered at MINOU! It was not to be. So we decided hastily to record David first, let him go, and then record a live track (per poem) after every first listen, all thirteen of them.
What you will be listening to is the FIRST TAKE of each piece! The experience was amazing, track after track, composing on a whim, each musician throwing their ideas into the hat and the whole 3-hour adventure happened without incident!
A few days later Joey and I made a first master cut of the tracks and voila!