Today was the day we very nearly left for the church at the time proposed the night before. A landmark I think you’ll agree. Having almost enjoyed the breakfast begrudgingly prepared by the artist formerly known as One Take Jake we headed off.
Having already finished the drums, bass and the bulk of the guitars today was to be a slightly more experimental day. It turned out to be even more experimental than we thought due to the fact that the builders had decided today was the day they needed to operate heavy machinery. The world isn’t ready for a record full of pneumatic drill noises. Rammstein take note. Brian Eno wouldn’t even touch that shit.
Consequently we headed into the house to record some piano.
Will’s deft hands nailed Our Heavy Hands fairly quickly and unusually I managed to get a new intro track down in a couple of takes. Just a couple more bits of piano and we moved onto some minor glockenspiel parts. All in a days work.
Hoping the builders had lived up to their stereotype and broken for an extended tea break we headed back to the church only to find we were unlucky enough to have come across some particularly industrious labourers.
We attempted to track some of Will’s cornet in the gaps between the destruction (ironic for a project who’s aim is restoration) but eventually conceded and went for lunch, during which Jake displayed a flagrant disregard for the boundaries of mixing sweet and savoury and once again Will came dangerously close to exceeding the recommended five fruit and veg a day rule.
The possibility of recording anything involving microphones was scuppered for the immediate future and so I fannied around twiddling knobs for an hour or so (quiet at the back!) getting some looping for the intro done. We found to our confusion and amusement that given the right combination of leads into one of my delay pedals being loosened it can receive radio signals. Apart from the odd bit of Coldplay and Oasis and with the right amount of delays and loops, this proved quite an atmospheric sound. It even sounded at one point like one of the multiple voices being received was saying the word ‘abacus’ – the title of the following track. It had to go in.
A walk was suggested to pass some time until the builders were done. Anyhow, we strolled up the lane and into a field. A little muddy we thought, but nothing we can’t handle. It turned out when after about five minutes of walking our feet were caked in a seemingly impossible amount of mud that we had probably misjudged the situation. We walked back, stopping occasionally to flail around in the hope of flinging at least some of the mud off. By the time we got back Jake’s attempts to scrape his shoes in some dead grass had him resembling Wurzel Gummage.
On returning we finished off the brass just in time for Josiah (Chris D’s housemate and fellow Fiction Fighter) to arrive and after I did my best to destroy Jake’s drum beaters recording some rimshots for Little Spoken Wars, he and Chris D helped us out with some rowdy shouting.
After shouting in the gaps in ‘Little Spoken Wars’, Amber appeared. We took this opportunity to do the choral sections in ‘Follow Me Around’ with the aid of Josiah and Chris D.
Violins next. Will had taken on the jug of rancid watered down juice we brought on Monday and beat it, remarking “Fruit juice turned me into a vegetable”. Cabin fever has well and truly set in.
Amber set up it’s all go. ‘Moscow..’ first. Slightly troublesome because of the cold but she soon worked through it. ‘Abacus’ was next and after some discrepancies over the length of the second verse and after some more quality miming along to the track, perfection was achieved. ‘Art is..’ and ‘Plinky Plonk’ were much of a muchness in that the twiddly bits were fiddly and took a fair few takes.
By this point we were all extremely tired and tomorrow was going to be a long one so we adjourned.