Getting Joan's voice down was relatively easy: she was a one-take
wonder. However, finding the time to do it was another matter because
Joan was traveling a lot. I made many train trips, carrying the equipment
each time to her place to retake a cut here and there. Coordination
tensions were eased - by food! Joan always had a nice meal for me,
even if she was putting out fires in her busy life. For the re-records,
I made a pop-filter out of a pair of pantyhose and a yogurt container
to shield the mike from unwanted noise; it worked.
Now that her voice was down, I could go to work. I started blindly,
with only the information of the poem itself and the sound of Joan's
voice. I experimented with some of my instruments, but I quickly learned
the potential of using prerecorded loops that came with my software
package, along with other freeware I found here and
there. I even
used wave files from BBC archives that I got from the public library.
(They have a catalogue of sounds from all over the world, collected
over decades.) I changed pitches, spliced pieces, added sounds, and
even learned to simulate a cello with a keyboard to create the sounds
I heard in the words. I then bought a hand-held recorder, which made
every sound I picked up on the street a potential collaborator.
Joan: The re-records were rough for me. Other difficulties
occurred when Marty had worked hard on a piece, thinking he was going
down the right path, only to have me criticize it. Once the summer
came, it was even harder to stay on track. This was where Marty really
excelled. He was a fantastic project manager.