Brockton James Where Dreams Begin

Production Notes

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Brockton James / "Where Dreams Begin" (Production Notes):

Release Date: December 6, 2007
Released and marketed by James Specialty Co., P.O. Box 656, Paradise CA, 95967 USA
UPC: 634479653179
Total playing time: 56:39

Rhythm in Solitude (3:40)
Recorded approximately Autumn 2006 to Summer 2007. Most tracks were produced using Propellerhead Reason and finished in MOTU Digital Performer. This piece was originally a "western thematic" idea I had for possible underscore/theatrical use. I roughly sketched out the main verse (was originally at a slower tempo), then shelved it. I later revisited this piece when I needed another song for this CD. I didn't think it would fit in at first, however, after adding some synth pads (heard throughout the beginning few measures) and more importantly, speeding up the tempo, this song began to evolve in a different direction. After composing the refrain and the long "bridge," this song really began to take shape! The title refers to the fact that there are many complex and simple rhythms within this piece which work together, but at the same time, can stand on their own, much like the rhythms that are taking place within our bodies and our surroundings! This song quickly became one of my favorites, and I decided to present it as the first track on this CD!

Reflections Within (4:25)
The first few bars of this song (the piano part) was the first rough idea I had for this song. I set it aside for a while, then continued the composition and production a few months later. The original piano and orchestra tracks were produced in Propellerhead Reason, and finished in MOTU Digital Performer. It was finished in the Autumn of 2007, and was originally intended to be the opening track on this CD, until I decided to begin with Rhythm in Solitude. Although the title can mean many things to different people, musically, "reflections" are represented in this piece by the right to left stereo delay on the french horns.

Beautiful Ways (3:26)
This song was originally recorded in 2001 using an old Alesis MMT-8 sequencer and a Fostex 8-track open-reel deck. The tracks were later transferred into an ADAT, then ultimately into MOTU Digital Performer, where I added some orchestral reinforcement parts, classical guitar, and remixed. This version was completed in the Summer of 2007. The earlier version has aired on the Music Oven Network in the US, and I believe has appeared on radio programs in Europe and Russia!

Visions of Springtime (5:44)
I originally recorded a "sketch" of this song using an old Alesis MMT-8 sequencer with a Proteus 1 sound module, and an acoustic guitar. This was probably in the late1990s. I later re-recorded it using Propellerhead Reason and MOTU Digital Performer, completing it in early 2007. It's one of my favorites--very light and "airy!"

The Edge of Thought (6:26)
This song was originally a "spooky" production piece using a program on the Kurzweil K2000 called "The Cymbal Sings," and a piano patch. It was originally titled, "The Night Cometh." I later augmented the piece by adding a synth-effects laden segue into a more upbeat orchestral movement. The production utilized an ADAT originally, and was finished with Propellerhead Reason and MOTU Digital Performer. The new title is from a comment that my friend, Rexene Collier said one day a couple of years ago that just stuck with me--I thought it would make a great title! (I'm always on the lookout for potential song titles!)

Inner Realm (6:12)
This song was originally a "soundscape" production piece recorded in 20 using a Fostex open-reel 8-track machine. The tracks were eventually transferred to ADAT, then ultimately imported into MOTU Digital Performer. I kept all the original parts and simply added some synth parts, completing the song in the summer of 2007. This is a good piece for meditation!

Journey of the Night (6:51)
Originally titled, "Nightfall," the initial rhythm tracks (drums, organ, piano, orchestra) were recorded on a Fostex open-reel 8-track machine in about 1998. This song was "shelved" for a few years while I was in the midst of other projects, however, I always wanted to complete it! The tracks were eventually transferred to ADAT for safekeeping, then ultimately into MOTU Digital Performer. I later used Propellerhead Reason to add new orchestral sounds to reinforce the old tracks. I finally completed this song in September of 2007, having added bass, lead synths, lead guitar, saxophone, harmonica and a few synth effects. This song basically evolved with my personal studio, from the analog recording days to modern computer-based recording!

Sea of Illusion (5:50)
This mesmerizing piece was entirely produced and mixed using Propellerhead Reason. I had fun experimenting with different sounds on this one! I especially like the cymbal swells as a musical representation of ocean "waves." Completed in early 2007.

A Beacon in the Night (8:36)
The oldest song on this CD, it was originally recorded starting in 1992 and completed in 1993. It was an experimental piece--I was just playing around with synth pads (a Korg M1), etc., and it eventually evolved into what I called the long sax thing! I believe I worked on it for a couple of years! It appeared on the album, "On the Shores of a New Millennium" (by James and Kling) in 1995. This version contains the original tracks, but I have added guitar, some additional percussion and a few synth effects. The original tracks were also "cleaned up" a bit. It was originally recorded on a Fostex 8-track open-reel machine, but the new material and remix was done in MOTU Digital Performer. Overall, it has retained that older, analogue sound, and is a bit rough around the edges, but I could probably never capture the same spirit if I were to rerecord it! This new and enhanced version was completed in September of 2007.

Spirit of a New Dawn (4:55)
The original organ part was recorded circa 1998. I always wanted to add more to the song, however, I retained the original organ part by itself as a long intro! I finally recorded the "2nd half" (consisting of the synth and orchestra material) in 2006-07, primarily through the use of Propellerhead Reason, then finished the entire production in MOTU Digital Performer. I think it makes a good ending to this CD!

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Production equipment used on this project:
Computer applications: MOTU Digital Performer, Propellerhead Reason, T-Racks Mastering / Interface: MOTU 728mkII / Console: Mackie 1604VLZ / Control Surfaces: Mackie HUI, Novation Remote Zero / Mics: Rode, Shure / Monitors: Event Studio Precision / Other: Alesis ADAT, Alesis SR-16 Drum Machine, Alesis Microverb III, Alesis and DBX Compressor-Limiters, ART Studio MP Tube Preamp, Fostex Analog Multitrack Recorder / Keyboards: Kurzweil K2000R, Kawai K5000S, M-Audio Ozone, EMU Proteus 1 / Instruments: Rickenbacker 4001 Bass, Yamaha BB300 Bass; Yamaha, Fender, Epiphone and Washburn Guitars; 1925 Conn Alto Saxophone, Lee Oskar and Hohner Harmonicas; Amplifiers by Vox and Orange; and a vast collection of percussion instruments--drums, shakers, bells, etc.

All contents copyright 2007 James. All rights reserved.