Comeau : I ’ d say learn where the ‘ MIDI panic ’ button is on all their gear before they get on stage . In all seriousness , though , live , it ’ s important to know how to keep the show going when everything goes wrong because if it can go wrong , it will . We ’ ve had every kind of technical disaster on stage but never stopped a song and started over . It ’ s important to never let the audience know ( anything is wrong ). Just keep going .
For recording , practice everything to a click way before you step foot in the studio . The day of tracking shouldn ’ t be the day you ’ re debating if it ’ s 120 , 123 , or 125 BPM .
Copeland : Have copies of the piece written down in a structure that players can follow , even a chart with chords over lyrics . On the day , everyone needs to know what they ’ re doing , including the writer . For score , it depends on what ’ s needed . Recently , I worked with violinist Drew Jurecka who , in a major time crunch , recorded live strings to replace my MIDI mock-ups . I provided the instrumental for him to record his parts and the MIDI mock-up of the string stem ( soloed ) that needed replacing . He ’ s a wizard and did a lot of the simpler replacements by ear . For the longer main title theme , we provided sheet
music so Jurecka could focus on performance . My fellow composer Henry Mitton did the copy one morning based on the MIDI data . So , know what your players need to do their job efficiently and give them the tools for success , even if it means reaching out for support to prep the sessions .
Davis : If you ’ re preparing for a recording session with other instrumentalists where collaboration is an important element ( as it is for me ), try not to get too attached to the way you originally conceived your composition . Be open to the possibilities and approaches your bandmates can offer . Possibly the most rewarding element of composing and working with skilled improvisers is the moment when an artist offers an idea or approach I didn ’ t expect , and it completely transports and elevates the performance .
Dourado : You cannot think of what to play . Audiation is the skill .
CANADIAN MUSICIAN 55