Psalm Bird
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  Recording 150 songs in 150 days

In May of 2011, Anne Coyle asked me to help put together a website which would debut 150 musical works in 150 days. My response was that the website was "do-able" as long as Anne could deliver the material. Anne was working on the arrangements to record the music, and I thought if she can produce the recorded material on schedule, I can surely put it online. At the time, many of the lyrics were already written and Anne was spending hours each day at the piano writing the music by hand, note by note on musical staff paper with a pencil.

After a few weeks, Anne was showing frustration that she was not able to get the recordings started, so I offered to help get the ball rolling. I had done some studio work many years ago, unfortunately I no longer had the recording equipment or a permanently set up studio, but I figured that I could put together something that would at least get some "demo" quality recordings.

So on June 9th, Anne recorded the first 10 Psalms on my living room piano with me and the recording equipment set up in the laundry room.

We released Psalm #1 on June 12. We were so excited to get that first Psalm online, however, I don't think that we realized that this action would start the clock on our commitment to release a new Psalm each day for 150 days.

These "Laundry Room Sessions" continued until Psalm #74 when our church lent us a good quality electronic keyboard and we were able say goodbye to the living room piano which was going noticeably out of tune as sessions progressed. (Psalms 60, 68, and 72 were also recorded post-laundry room).
 

With some newly acquired technology, occasional guest musicians, and even yours truly lending some vocal assistance (Psalm 104), we feel that we've added some new dimension to these recorded words of our Lord.

The recordings continued until the end of August, 2011 and post recording production and mixing for several of the songs was completed in New York

 

Fun Facts about the recordings.
- The piano in Psalms 1-73 had to be moved before and after each recording session to place microphones.
  This caused the piano to grow progressively out of tune. Psalm 73, the last song recorded with this piano
  sounds like it was recorded in a old western saloon. We are so glad to have a new piano, and we hope to
  update many of the older recording with fresh sounds after we finish the first round of the project.

- Most of the musical instrument sounds were produced with the same electronic keyboard and some really
  cool computer software.

- A recording session takes about 4 hours and produces 4 to 8 raw recordings. Each song takes an additional
  1-4 hours in post-production and mix down to finish.

- The organ at the beginning and in the background on Psalm 96 was set up with the same drawbar settings 
   as the organ in the 1960's rock and roll song "Whiter Shade of Pale" by the band
Procol Harum.

- The full band song arrangements were done by Paul. Anne did not play on those sessions and she sang the
  songs in post production. She had trouble following the melody on some of the recordings without hearing
  her own piano playing on the tape. If you listen closely enough, you can hear Paul quietly singing the
  melody in Anne's headphones so she could follow the song.

- Anne sings with the San Jose Catholic Church Choir. Paul's wife, Carol is the choir director.
 

- Paul used to be a professional rock and roll and blues musician and ran a record store in Nashville.
 

- Paul's Dachshunds, Roxi
  and Doolittle are present at
  every recording session.
  Doolittle can be heard
  barking in the background
  of at least one recording.

- Roxi snores loudly enough that
  Paul sometimes has to quietly
  throw things at her to wake her
  up while Anne is singing with the
  tape rolling. We'd hate to leave
  the impression that our music
  is boring!

- BumbleDachshund Studios got it's name from a bumblebee Halloween costume that Roxi wore the year
  Zirro Budget Productions began. That year Zirro Budget produced several short films which featured Roxi
  imitating the MGM lion roar at the end of each film. (she was actually yawning)

- Anne Coyle and Paul Burns are honored that you have taken the time to visit our website, and we hope
  that you are able to use Psalmbird.net to enhance your day with a daily devotion to the word of God. We
  would love to hear your thoughts and comments, and we welcome your participation in our ministry.

Thanks! Paul Burns
Producer and Webmaster

To comment, contact: Anne@Psalmbird.net

 

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copyright Anne R. Coyle 2011-2012