Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Knicks-N-Knacks of Sit-N-Spin

One of the charms of this studio in Greenville is all the visual eye candy. As an artist and illustrator, I definitely appreciated all the interesting things to look at while we gave our ears a break every once in a while. When the "listening fatigue" settled in, it was time to go kick some alien butt on "Space Invaders" or go chat it up with the baby knight. Oh, and I was extra impressed with the "Christmas Story" tribute. Good touch!

Check out all the fun things gracing the walls and halls of Sit-N-Spin.







Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alex In Pencil

To keep with tradition of sketching my engineers and mixing masters while they work, here is my rendition of Alex at the booth.

Sketched from the comfortable leather couch at Sit-N-Spin Studios during "Hello, Amy" mixing session.

Sit-N-Spin Studios

A couple weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with Matt Morgan and Alex Vieria on finishing up What To Keep & Let Go. Their studio, drenched in soothing lights, invigorating art and a sweet throwback to video gaming in the form of "Space Invaders" arcade game (no quarters required!), truly helped to shine up and polish what David Eastman, the band and myself shaped and carved up in Boston. With proper compression, EQ balance, and track leveling, What To Keep & Let Go went from great to brilliant in just a few short days. What we created in Boston was already tight and magnificent in structure and soul. But these guys in Greenville, SC certainly added a touch of clarity needed for this album to walk out the door in confidence. It has a lot of places to go after all and many people to see! Gotta look its best!

So with all that said, I'd like to give a shout-out to the guys over at Sit-N-Spin and thank them for their tag-team effort for helping me meet my deadline on March 20th. You truly are a great duo of engineers that did a stand-up job and I can't show my appreciation enough.

Take a look at some photos from our weekend session.

















Taking In The Silence

So it's been about a week since the online release of What To Keep & Let Go and so far it seems to be quite the success. The response is good, some sales have been made and an overall air of satisfaction appears present. I, myself, have taken the time to take a few steps away from it all, breathe, think, feel and simply soak in everything that is going on around me. I've recently referred to this album as my child who I have finally let out into the world and now I feel it is out right now playing with you all, making its mark and growing even more with you all in its life. I think that's appropriate. For something to grow it has to be let go. It has to be free and it has to be out there to show every inch of itself, the flaws and imperfections as well. It can be sad. It can be humbling. It can be hard to lose something so close to you. But it's good and healthy to realize that your creation is not just for you. It's for everyone else as well. And while you were the one that cared after it, raised it and brought value to its life, it will be the people around it to truly help it shine. From all angles, the creation will be bombarded with self-realizations, criticism, and empathy as it absorbs into their lives. It will be so much more than it ever could be sitting in a computer, trapped in folders marked "To Do" and "Rough Mixes". And I have many people to thank for helping me nudge this child out into the world. You know who you are.

So, with a cup of coffee in hand on a Saturday morning, I'm clicking through the tracks and soaking in the silence of my life, contemplating the meaning of it all and examining myself a bit more. It feels good to have accomplished something so big in scale, so full in purpose. My vision isn't over, however, and you will see the next project pick up right where this leaves off. I will gather my thoughts and see to the strings of ambition inside me being tugged left and right to get going on something else.

But for now, there's silence. And I think I like it for now.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

What To Keep & Let Go

It has arrived. Finally. :) It's truly amazing to be here at this moment after recalling when it all began for me back in 2003...I remember sitting at my computer desk in my college-memorabilia littered bedroom, penning the very first words of Stand. Since then it has gone through many revisions...finally landing itself with a sweet bass line, energetic drum section, atmospheric guitar riff and a beautiful female vocal presence. This can be said for all the tracks on the record, in fact, as they all took a very long road to get to where they are...being graced by such talent as Marcin Kuc, Cullen Corley, Chad Macomber, and F. Eastman as the main contributors to its development as well as supporting roles like Alyson McKinster, Brendon Thomas, Aaron Pring, Tess Gallagher, Matt Koelsch, Dan Cooper, Angela Paladino and Matt Morgan. Phew...what an ensemble. What a team!

Two years. And here it is. I'm so proud of it...so grateful, so humbled by the help, love and support I received during this time. You ALL truly made this happen for me and I'll never forget the experience. Thank you for helping me tell my story... I love you guys very much.

Listen here now.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My Night Drives

Well my Mazda definitely got the workout of its life this last weekend/week as I made my way to and from Greenville and Columbia...back and forth in a passionate attempt to be there for every moment of the mixing. Of course there were times it wasn't necessary for me to be lurking over their shoulders so I took advantage of the down time to do some laundry, clean a little and catch a few breaths after this full-speed-ahead couple of months.

It was a great time up in Greenville with Matt and Alex and an experience that just adds to my already memorable adventure this last two years. Check out a couple videos from my rather sleepy self driving in the dark..but feeling full of light, believe me.

3-12 Update

video

3-14 Update

video

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Matt Morgan On Guitar

I have added Matt Morgan, the mixing engineer for What To Keep & Let Go, as a guitarist on the record. On Saturday, we made the decision to replace the piano part that was planned for If Not Now, Then When performed by Alyson McKinster with another instrument. Unfortunately, as beautiful as Alyson's ideas were for the song, we just didn't get a good enough take for it. I think that in the future it'd be a great idea to record an acoustic version of the song with Alyson on keys. In the meantime, I think you'll all be very happy with the guitar part we added.. Thanks, Matt, for putting something together on a whim! It came out incredible.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Choices That We Make...TAKE THE POLL!!

I have made a mountain of decisions during this project...creatively and personally. I'm going to leave this one up to you haha

To the right you will see a poll in regards to whether or not I should release the tracks on the 20th in their digital form or wait until the CD is ready (which, financially speaking...could be a while I'm afraid) I'm really hoping to have the physical CD in your hands sometime in April but there's a hefty process involved that a week just won't allow.

However, with that said, there is no reason why you can't hear the songs and perhaps purchase the album on Itunes by next week. The music world, as we know, has changed a great deal with the digital age so perhaps this is what most of you would prefer anyways. But for you who like something tangible, something you can throw on the floor of your car and say "damn, I don't take care of my CD's like I should!" (like me), then you might want to wait a little bit longer.

So please...participate in the poll and lend me your opinion on this. After all, I have delayed this enough and would hate to do it again without at least getting some feedback from you guys.

I appreciate it! Thank you! Poll closes on March 19th..

A Closer Look At The Monster

Here is a better view of the "I Mean No Harm" poster, included in The Monster Package on my site. If you're interested in purchasing just the poster, they are also individually for sale. Just write me at music@dylanduncan.com for details. The poster is 17x30 inches.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan

I'm going to find a way to help..

Red. Yellow. Greenville.

I'm getting my album mixed this weekend in Greenville and last night I took the trip up to meet with Matt Morgan and Alex Riviera at Sit-N-Spin Studios to drop off my LaCie (pronounced Lay-See?) hard drive and hang out for a little while to get things started. It was great to get acquainted and see where What To Keep & Let Go's home would be for the next few days. I'm heading back up today for the remainder of our weekend session and will be sure to get lots of photos and perhaps video of everything. Very exciting!

Here is a video from last night's trip up there.

video

Café Chartier Set

Here are some photos from my small show the other night. Thanks again to Leslie and Ernie for the opportunity to play for them and their customers! If you ever happen to be in the Lexington area, be sure to stop into their place and get the veggie sandwich...it's amazing!








Friday, March 11, 2011

I Mean No Harm. The Monster Has Finally Arrived...

The Weston Monster has finally shown itself. Click on the link below to see what all the mystery has been about...

"I Mean No Harm"

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Café Chartier Performance Tonight

If anyone is in the Lexington/Columbia area tonight and wants to come out and see me play some tunes from my forthcoming album (and others NOT included) then make your way down to Café Chartier where Leslie and her husband, Ernie, have invited me to play 2 half-hour sets between 7:00 and 9:00. Anything in between will involve me sampling some of what I hear is their delicious food and sipping on some soothing tea in the corner somewhere. :) There will be some merchandise for sale to help raise money for the production of the album as well. Should be a good time, provided my broken finger doesn't get in the way. I've already had words with it to behave.

Thanks again to Leslie and Ernie for the opportunity. See you tonight!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kelin Welborn Joins The Behind The Music Section

I was up visiting my good friends Jason and Kelin Welborn (and their daughter Amelia) this last weekend in Portland, Maine and it was probably the most relaxed I've been in months! Getting a good chill in these bones, drinking up some good coffee talk and revisiting my childhood through Disney cartoon sketching was just what I needed away from the hecticity that has been my life lately.

Anyway, the "work" I did get done up in Maine for the album was all thanks to my favorite Portland family for they took me around to find a shooting location for What To Keep & Let Go art. It was such a blast. Being the last possible winter before its release, it was important to me to get as many visual elements as I could and what better place than this frigid state to ensure I could walk on water and be okay. So on a gloomy Saturday afternoon, the four of us headed out to find the perfect spot. I do believe we found it. Kelin, sporting a nice Nikon D5000, accompanied me to the edge of the snowy and icy surface and snapped shots as I made my way out into the center. After some wide shots of me out in the white open space, Kelin took the opportunity to take some portrait shots as well. It was a great and humbling feeling to be coming full circle on the project, topping off my 8 year concept with the final images to be used from here on out.

They came out great and I thank you, Kelin, for your dedication on this! And Jason, thanks for driving and offering up suggestions. And Amelia, your picture came out great too ;)

To check out Kelin and Jason's design, illustration and computer animation website, be sure to check out their brand new site! They're both very talented. Thanks again, guys.

Welborn Design

Matt Koelsch: The Next and Final Back Up Vocalist

Allow me to introduce singer/songwriter Matt Koelsch to you all. I met met Matt through an online posting for a back-up singer to be on Circles and after listening to a few demos and hearing his rendition of the song itself, I was sold and invited him to be a part of the project.

Matt and I worked long distance over the computer on his part for Circles as well as coordinating times for him and Dave to meet up in the studio. We were able to him in last Thursday and apparently everything went really well! I am excited for you to hear Matt on the album but before you do, go ahead and check out his own websites.

Thanks again Matt for all your hard work on the project!

www.myspace.com/mattkoelsch

www.myspace.com/musicbylunchbox