Friends of Swordpaw
Swordpaw is a space where music making happens. Shortly after we moved into the space we were so excited to actually have, you know, SPACE to make music, that we thought it would be a great idea to make as much music as possible with as many people as we could. It’s not like we were asking people to come into a tiny basement, or a cramped rehearsal room, no, this was a downright medium-sized recording studio! Bring in the drums, bring two drum kits and a giant bass amp, stretch your legs.
We were excited and proud to invite people in. We were inspired to create. We just wanted to share.
Song Of The Month
Song of the month was a year long recording and collaboration project that took place in 2013. We invited musicians and whole bands to come into the studio with the intention of creating and recording an original song in one session. It usually took more than one session but never under estimate the power setting goals and expectations. Our intentions were good.
One of my favorite sessions was the first one we tried. Alta Mira came in with no plan and an extra guitar player. The main room was occupied by two mics recording two drum kits that were facing each other. There was a guitar amp in the hallway and another in a side room. The bass was DI’d. The whole band was recorded with 4 mics…including two drum kits! All the musicians crowded in the main room and invented a song over the course of a couple hours.
The intensity of that session hasn’t been matched. Everything was so new. The studio was new. The song of the month project was new. Rory, the extra guitar player, was new. Playing with two drummers at once was new. The song was new. My role of focusing only on recording, not playing and recording, was new.
Throughout the night, the performance of the song was getting to a place where it was no longer new, where it was known, but I don’t think it ever quite got there and that’s why the recording is so fantastic; it’s right on the edge of being familiar, it still has the excitement of discovery and the fear of failure.
Song of The Month carried on like that through out the year. New musicians would come in and create new songs and we’d figure out new ways to mess up recording them and Ian would write a new newsletter about it. It was a golden age for Swordpaw thanks to all the musicians who met our invitation to share our space with sharing their time and talent.