Hi all, hope your Lunar New Year holiday and festive celebrations went well.
A couple of updates:
First of, my heartiest congratulations to my student. Advait, for scoring a distinction in his Grade 3 Trinity College “Classical and Jazz” Drumkit exam. His work ethic is nothing short of inspiring. To me, he almost always takes to learning new things on the instrument like a duck takes to water, and I enjoy the lessons with him very much. He is a very thoughtful individual who is never short of interesting questions to ask during lessons. I look forward to working with him to take his drumming and musicianship to the next level.
Secondly, in my last update, I shared about my experience recording the Sentimental Ride album by singer-songwriter, Thomas Willemsen. I have been invited by Thomas again to play on his second album along with the same group of musicians as on the last recording. Details to follow. I thank Thomas for giving me this opportunity once again to work with him as I truly enjoyed the process for the last album.
I’ve also completed 4 originals for my own music project and am in discussion with the musicians and engineer for the recording of these songs, as well as organizing rehearsals. Details to follow.
May this year be at least a slightly better one than last year for all of us.
Imp Act is a newcomer to the more progressive sector of the Singapore Rock and Metal scenes. Consisting of Eugene Ng, Willie Lyou, Jayash Prakash, Benjamin Hwang, Nivian Chia, and Qush Abdul, they released their first single, Another Life, also available on their page at Bandcamp.
Round about early to mid July (or mid to late July, I forget now..) Eugene, who is also very talented recording engineer and producer, called me to consider the possibility of replacing the original drummer in Imp Act. I could not do it, but offered to session for the band till they found a suitable replacement. It didn’t take long for them to find one in Jayash Prakash, and I’m glad that things worked out for them quickly. In the interim, the band approached me to assist them with writing and performing the drum part for their latest single, Island of Alsocanla (Singaporeans and Malaysians will get the last word, lol!), and we recorded the drum track on 19th September.
The drums were done at Mr. Tony Goh’s excellent recording facility, Greenroom Suite, overseen by Eugene, and assisted by a capable two-man team, Mark, and Ray, who also mastered the single. It was also the first time I met the music veteran, Mr. Goh, himself. On the very kind referral from Eugene, I subsequently worked with Tony for one of his clients on an album project which I share more details of below.
Drums used on Island of Alsocanla consists of:
Ludwig Accent CS Custom kit with Ludwig Supraphonic LM400 snare.
In the same drum tracking session, Eugene produced me on providing sounds from my kit for a sample pack, which is also available on their page at Bandcamp for SGD 2.90.
It was fun working with the entire band and recording team on this track, and I extend best wishes to everyone involved during the session. I’m personally happy with how the whole track came out. This is a testament to the creativity, talent, and excellent skill of the band and recording team. I hope you feel the same when you listen to it.
2. Thomas Willemsen’s Sentimental Ride
This was another fun project to work on. Thomas Willemsen is a talented songwriter who counts The Beatles, and in particular, John Lennon, as his key musical and songwriting influences. Being a Beatles fan myself, it was an easy process for me. Special thanks to Tony for trusting my ability to play this music after only seeing me on the Imp Act drum tracking session, which is whole different world stylistically. If I’m not wrong, he went on Eugene’s word, that I could play the classic 1960’s and 1970’s stuff, and I am very grateful. As with Eugene and his team, I also learnt a lot by observing as quietly as possible how he works during a session, the microphones he used, his choice of outboard signal processors, amps, and his commitment to capturing the old school “whole band in the studio playing the music together” feel.
Drumkit used on this project were a hybrid of the following:
Ludwig Accent CS Custom rack tom and floor tom
DW 18″ Bebop bass drum with the front head off
Omar Hakim Signature snare by Pearl and Ludwig Supraphonic LM400 snare
A Custom Ping Ride, A Custom 16″ Crash, and K Dark Hi-Hats by Zildjian.
We also experimented with the classic Beatles drum recording technique, famously known as the Tea-Towels-On-The-Kit (literally) technique. You can hear this type of drum sound on The Beatles’ albums from 1968 to 1970. It made sense to Tony and me to employ this type of drum sound for Thomas’ music.
I wish to thank Thomas for his very clear musical directions, which made it very easy for me to provide him what he needs from the drums on his songs, which are very personal to him.
Also thanks to the other band members, Matthew, Jack, Colin, I-Shyan, David. Although I didn’t track together with David and I-Shyan, the string players, I appreciate their excellent contributions on top of the basic rhythm tracks. It was indeed very easy to work with Matthew, Colin, and Jack, who are all very experienced at this stuff.
Sentimental Ride is available for purchase at the iTunes store. It will make a great Christmas gift. The YouTube link above is a slightly lower quality audio sampler of the album. Get the paid version! The recording and mixing quality is great!