Paul says, “What I like about the people who come here on a semi-regular basis is the mixture: Classical, Traditional… We’ve had some Central City Opera people. We have Rogue Sound.
Paul explains that the two songs Tamra Hayden had been working on when I arrived—“Mountain Thyme” and “Greensleeves”—are for Traditions, Tartan, and Tears ; a compilation featuring many of the performers from Angus Mohr’s Christmas Pageant CD. Traditions, Tartan, and Tears, is intended to launch Mohr Fire’s Nice Niche Music, which Paul describes as a, “Common thread catalogue that includes what we do and have done, but also goes beyond it.”
They’re also a couple sessions into the new Angus Mohr Album. Paul says, “[It’s] hard to record with everybody’s schedule. We’re further along now than two months ago. We’ve got over half—closer to two thirds—that are started. We’ve got some [songs] that haven’t been written or selected yet. We’re terrible about being almost done and then saying: let’s do one more thing.”
Matt nods. “If we had ten days, ten or twelve hours a day, even eight hours a day, we could crank it out.”
Paul adds, “It’s a challenging process because we want to move along, but trying to make it successful here, trying to own businesses, get jobs, work at jobs… no one can afford to take the full-time musician’s vow of poverty. So we just do whatever we can do, however we can do it. It’s time to have a new album. I’d still like to have one by Christmas. I’d like to have the 2nd annual Angus Mohr Christmas Party and Potluck at Jonathan’s be a CD release as well.”
Paul shrugs, “I don’t know how realistic it is. The recording process is very different than playing live. It’s equally [as] frustrating as it is satisfying. You always know that you can go for perfection, but as human beings it’s hard to get. You have to settle for what is as close to perfect as is reasonable.
“I can’t think of any song that I sing, that is recorded, that I think is perfect. There’s always something that I wish I could go back and do again. A lot of it is just personal preference. It isn’t necessarily a bad note or bad inflection or anything else. Perfection would be listening to a piece of music that I didn’t want to change…perfection is a momentary thing.”
Matt grins, nodding, “[You hear it and think] wait a second, that’s not what I wanted to be… forever. There are some things that you’re never really happy with, but that’s how it’s gonna be. That’s what it is.”
Paul says, “It’s sort of a joke that you’re done with your album when you run out of money. As long as you have money, there are more things that you want to do. It’s good to have a producer, someone else to be in charge of that, because they’ll tell you that you’ve got it.”
I asked Matt and Paul a final, somewhat cheesy, question: If you had the form of dementia that causes the same musical hallucination to loop endlessly through your mind, which song would you want it to be?
Matt’s choice was thematic, “Pink Floyd’s, ‘Brain Damage’ and ‘Eclipse.’” Two songs most of us think of as one song, which we mistakenly call “Dark Side of the Moon.”
Paul’s, classical, “Either the second movement of Dvorak’s New World Symphony, or the fourth movement of Beethoven’s Ninth.
Mine would be Joe Strummer’s “Johnny Appleseed.”
What’s yours? Leave a comment.
Well, for me it would be either the “Finale” from the film version of Shakespeare’s Titus with Anthony Hopkins, or more likely Snow Patrol’s “Make this Last Forever”–a song I almost listened to “forever” while caught in a major downpour for two hours en-route to Oklahoma City. Actually, now that I think of it there are two others, but I am somewhat shamed that I listen to them and will keep them to myself. God, I love music.
This is a very difficult question because I have so many! One would have to be Big Green Tractor. LOL… Ironic right? Music is a great piece of life. It explains alot and puts feelings into words that make life easier to deal with in some cases. In other cases, it just helps relieve the stress of everyday doings and brings the fun out in people.
There are so many songs that have touched my life in some way. I can go from one extreme to another, and say Styx’s Crystal Ball, to Sarah McLaughlin’s Angel, to George Strait’s Amarillo by Morning. It’s all about how a song makes you feel inside, how it touches your heart and soul.
Ah, for me it has to be Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Southern Cross. After a strong introduction, the vocals tease you into journey that juxtaposes adventure and wistfulness, heartache and redemption; and culminates in the need for all of us to both escape and then return home. After all these years, every time I hear it I get chills. I would love to hear an Angus Mohr version.
What a beautiful description. I’ve heard that song all my life; now, I’ll have to give it a real listen. I also love the idea of a, “What would you like Anguscized.” comment thread. I’m going to have to think about mine…
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