Tuesday, 19 January 2021


four and forty blackbirds, singing daydreams

volume up, 720p

old friends
the story behind the song

home - homeland
throw your worthless coins into my case

The title track from the album that was never released commercially.  Old Friends (the song) was recorded after I moved to Toronto in January 1980 after a 2 year hiatus from the studio. I was 23.  Acoustic ballads had no appeal to record companies back then, so it wasn't submitted as a possibility for my first album (later on) but I always liked it. No synths/samplers, computers or drum machines back in those days - just my guitars and now a recording studio at my disposal.  I barely slept in the 16 weeks that I was on that government grant.

I got into Kensington Sound, Toronto as an intern of sorts, through a program called OCAP which allowed me a short window to do something in the field in which I was educated.  Best part, is that I was given keys and security clearance, so I went in at night and spent several weeks playing with ideas on my own and this was the first song I recorded.



One thing that's really cool about being in a studio at 4 am, during yet another cold, late Canadian winter storm in Toronto recording voices when everyone else is asleep, stumbling home at 6 (sun rising) - for a noon callback - beyond that?  ... is that one comes up with ideas that would never have appeared if others were present - making it all more intimate. 

The high voices were recorded at half speed (15ips) on the 24 track analog recorder and then I put them through a Marshall Time Modulator (the vibrato effect), after bumping the speed back to 30ips.  This song was remastered in 2010 with Wave plug-ins and pulling it up recently, inspired to put some pictures to it in October 2015 - 35 years later.  

My best work has always been done in a relatively short period of time.  I wrote this song in a couple of hours before recording it that night in 6 hours (Feb 1980) and mixed it the following night in 2 hours.  This clip was assembled here in Final Cut on October 06, 2015 in 4 hours.  

A 12 hour project front to back.

Turns out I was hired on at Kensington Sound that April, where I continued as an engineer until that June before moving on to another studio ... Captain Audio in Yorkville, freelancing Eastern Sound then Amber Studios on Queen West.  



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