Bookmark and Share

Question and Answer

Question View

Login to Post
--- Aug 13 2001 Go to category
Subject: Differences in production technique
Category: Producing
From: Tym Quarman (London/UK)

I have a general question regarding recording/conception: in the early days of PMG recordings there were particular economic/aesthetic constraints ( a European legacy?). In the US your recordings are "fuller", perhaps more experimental in form and modern recording techniques - do you feel this is a natural creative progression and/or is it because you spend more time in the recording environment? All the same, I feel the early work stands on its own - just as post-ECM work produces consistent creative forms and techniques that are perhaps evermore pan-global in their content. In the US, party to the recording schedule, do you still get the feeling you are: "Up-against-the-wall?"

Pat’s Answer:

hi tym,

at this point, i have had the opportunities to make records lots of different ways, with lots of different budgets, with lots of different schedules and lots of different goals. the one thing that is consistent is that it is never easy (for me anyway). each project has its own story and its own way of becoming whatever it is that it will eventually become.

the process itself is a big part of the fun - the fact that you never really know exactly how it is going to turn out and what it will finally be like when it is all done.

i tend to like the records the most where i feel like i have had enough time to consider the whole of it and not just "get it done". so many jazz records are just about getting it done on time and on or under budget. this can create an atmosphere of efficiency that actually can be quite beneficial to the process - it has a way of focusing everyones attention. but, it is also kind of a fakeout - it becomes about the $ driving the project which on both the extreme high and the extreme low end, bugs me. my policy is to let the musical goal itself dictate how a record is produced. for instance, the recent studio trio record was made in a matter of hours with lots of playing and no listening back to the takes in the studio itself - with a fair amount of time alloted for going through the tapes after the fact to find the very best stuff. on the other hand, a record like secret story or imaginary day could not have been done in a matter of hours or even days - those projects require a totally different approach and we are lucky to be able to spend the time when needed.

in the end, i often hear people make blanket statements about production techniques - and i have to say that in my limited experience, this is impossible. sometimes it is better to do it really fast, sometimes not. it just depends on what the goal is.

thanks for writing in from pat