Recording with Ronja [30 November ’19]

The viola recording session

For those of you who have been following this blog for the last couple of months, you know that finding a viola player for this recording took a long time. I sent out emails to producers and other musicians, hoping that they might know someone who was right for the job. When that didn’t go anywhere, I started contacting (student) orchestras. They in turn forwarded the message to everyone they knew. And that worked because, seemingly out of the blue, I was contacted by Ronja, a student at the conservatory in Utrecht and dedicated violist. Best of all: she was very interested in working on this project. We met up a few weeks later to discuss the part, I had to make sure that what I wrote was in fact suitable for the instrument. After the meeting, I decided to rework a few sections and then played it along to the previous recordings on guitar, over and over. We set a date with Silvia Vermeulen because once again, the production of this album would bring us to Studio Moskou. I’ve been loving my visits there and the place has quickly become essential to the success of this ongoing project.

The recording session itself went great, Ronja was a delight to work with (again, I’m so lucky) and there was enough time to pay attention to small details and redo parts that we thought could be improved. During the recording I even decided to rewrite a couple of notes because of how they sounded together with the violin. The things I wasn’t able to hear before now became very clear in the studio. Everything fell into place eventually and we are very content with the end result. I’m also glad to have learned so much about the viola first hand now, I think it’s an overlooked instrument in terms of how much music is written for it. Compared to the violin, viola sounds much warmer and fuller. Double stops in particular sound awesome on this instrument. Perfectly suitable for doom metal arrangements!

Below some pictures, courtesy of Silvia:

Next up: bass guitar! As always, I’ll keep you posted.


Listening to: Андрей Сенькевич – Свет

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