I am currently hard at work on the Transient ambient guitar album.
It reminds of how the album is ever evolving. Having listened to a rough demo of recordings the other night I realised how some of the old works are very different to what I'm recording now. Some are more elaborate with synths and strings and beats, while the more recent works are much more stripped back and minimal.
Over the process of 12 months quite a few other things have changed. Firstly, the recording process. Recording using a audio interface into my Mac was fine, until I realised I was spending all this time working with the plug-ins and software in my DAW. I spent more time wrestling with the technology than actually playing. I purchased a 8-track recorder and even dug out the old 4-track recorder that I initially recorded Heartland on. I even recorded a version of Silent Night on that using a Strymon Big Sky that made it to the Strymon Happy Holiday Sounds list this christmas
I sold a guitar, bought new ones and spent time actually playing again without being attached to recording everything. This has allowed songs to develop as well as morph into new ideas for other songs.
I've had a multi-effects pedal that I haven't really used a lot and recently I've been learning the art of looping (not that I expect any looping on this album). I also started picking up some stand-alone effects pedals and I started to find a sound for the album, as well as paying more attention to notes, after-tones and the spaces in between notes. I don't believe in the cut & paste theory for building a song, I like to record the performance and work with that instead of taking a verse from one version, the intro from another etc.
This is the second time I thought I was close to finishing the album, but I've realised I'm probably only 40% of the way through. And that's ok.
Although I expect Transient to be released in the first half of 2015, for the time being I'm focusing on the journey and not the destination.