New Music // Will Stratton - The Art of Spontaneous Recording

Will Stratton recorded his album Post-Empire in the small confines of the Rare Book Room in Greenpoint, Brooklyn .  It's a beautiful record filled with lush landscapes full of strings, choirs and guitar textures.  His bare-boned intricate guitar work conducts and hovers over a bedding of dense arrangement, while delivering confident vocals to paint a huge auditory landscape that remains so present.  Part of what makes the songs sound so alive is the way they were recorded, and therein lies another art form.

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As recording techniques become more modern and accessible, recordings can be edited and reedited with ease; this album takes a different approach.  Each instrument was given one to two takes, capturing a moment in time even if mess ups and blemishes occurring.  The recording process may seem hasty, yet there is strong intentionality with each track building into a larger picture that's taken as a whole instead of specific parts making up the song.

There is a strong folk influence to Will Stratton's music, from the earnest lyrical storytelling to the guitar work, and he ventures with his own take on the folk lineage bringing in experimental textures such as field recordings into the mix.  However, there may be a subconscious decision to pay homage to the Appalachian recordings, often recording everything in one take.  The factors may be different, but the ultimate result leaves a similar feel.

There's a certain "magic" that happens when working quickly in the studio, the song and moment are made rather than labored over and given time to doubt.   In any case, there are many ways to make a great album, and this is one of them - laid bare one moment at a time.

 

Posted on July 29, 2013 and filed under Music.