Gelfand & Castleberg Page 5
Marty: I made friends with audiophiles and asked lots of questions: there are many fingerprints on this project. Some arrangements dropped into my lap, while others took sweat. And after many hours of listening and tweaking, what both of us learned was that not all the poems Joan had chosen lent themselves to this process. What really helped was getting Joan to think through her original intent with a particular piece-the emotion underlying it, the context of the piece. In a couple of cases this gave me an insight that opened up new musical and sound options. Until that point, I had taken a traditional throw-it-over-the-wall approach to the project: I recorded her voice and went to my cave to make it work, then I would forward a digital mockup to Joan for her reaction.

Joan: After recording and re-recording the poems, we had to work out our differences on several pieces. There were a few pieces that, try as we might, we couldn't get right. Fortunately, we were able to step back, surrender our attachment to particular poems or compositions, and say, does this really work? Does it really serve the overall vision?

We made hard decisions and eliminated many pieces. In fact, we changed the play list four times. Finally, after many meetings, the moment came when Marty had a complete draft. We met at Blue Bottle, a café in downtown San Francisco. Sitting in that breezy courtyard on an August afternoon, listening to the music Marty had composed, I was thoroughly impressed - and inspired! The satisfaction and the feeling of "arriving" creatively at one of the coolest things I'd ever done overwhelmed me.