Bridge Over Troubled Water, part II

on Sunday, February 17, 2008

Now that trivia is over I can start concentrating on learning the music for Bridge. Nathan, Jeff & I had our first real sing-through on Saturday night and we got together with some of the horn players on Sunday. Unfortunately, I am fighting a case of the "creeping trivia crud" and my concentration and vocal ability were left wanting.

I've spent the last few weeks getting "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" and "Song for the Asking" under my fingers, they are by far the most challenging things I have to play. Most of the album is pretty simple from a basic musical standpoint, Simon was and is a folk singer, after all. He throws a curve at you now and again, but if you know basic folk and blues chord progressions you can find your way through most of the music without too much trouble. The challenge is going to be finding the nuance within the song and to try to recreate it live -- instantly. They spent months in the studio perfecting each song, we have to do it right the first time, every time.

I am very excited about having the strings play with us, we've got some very good players on board. Ken has been transcribing a lot of the string parts and he says they're kind of "odd." If you listen to the album very closely, and you have to because they're buried so far down in the mix, you can hear that they are indeed playing some rather strange lines, but they fit so well into the song. The strings are what will bring "So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright" and "Song for the Asking" to life! I can't wait.

So now I will spend the next few weeks making sure that I listen to the album every day. The trick is to listen -- just listen -- to not sing along. Mouth shut, ears open. That's the only way to learn.