The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

Some Personal Notes On The Boats





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Re: Songs From The Boats

This album is a compilation of material drawn from my second opera The Boats. Just as when I wrote my first opera Detroit, the bones of these songs were originally generated for utilitarian means. In today’s world, one composes in (or is it ‘at?’ or ‘with?’ or ‘on?’) a computer rather than the old fashion pencil. Then the machine generates the actual notes the players need, plus a synthesized recording of the orchestration called a ‘mock up’. These days, you need to submit both to any organizations that might consider producing your composition because unlike the good ol’ days, the people evaluating your masterpiece don’t want to (or are unable to) read a score and imagine the piece; they want to hear it. And since we have the technology…

To cut to the chase, most of this album started out as ‘demos’ for stakeholders: not only the orchestra and singers, but also potential investors. And once I’d gotten past the ‘demo’ phase, as with “Detroit” I decided it was not a bad idea to try and ‘monetize’ all that effort for people interested in my usual brand of non-operatic stuff. But just as with Songs From Detroit this album is certainly not a collection of ‘demos’.

So, how does one create “songs” from an opera? Well, in this case it was basically a matter of yanking some of the more song-like bits (‘arias’ for you posh types) from the opera and then converting those bits into discrete songs. And that meant doing a lot of transposing so that material meant for sopranos and tenors could be sung by this card-carrying baritone. Other than that, the arrangements are almost all the ‘mock ups’ of the original orchestrations. Sounds like a walk in the park.

Not exactly. In fact, this album has been one of the more difficult recording experiences I’ve had because it coincided with the passing of two of my oldest and closest friends. My cousin Ciarán, was my also my great partner in crime growing up. He is, in fact, the character Cian in The Boats and every time I had to sing this material it brought back the pain of his passing. The other was my dear Bernadette who lived the kind of Christian life I so often wish I could. This album is dedicated to both their memories.

Mixed here at Funhouse West in the (increasingly) warm winter of 2018. Mastering once again by the ever ready Ed Brooks who apparently now calls his business Resonant Mastering.

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