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Sometimes a tour diary, sometimes just a diary. Here's where I jot notes on what's swimming in my head -- apart from snatches of music and bits of wordplay, which you can find in the songscraps section.

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20 August 2003
Recording, Part II

So much for updating regularly. Sorry folks! Once the 14-hour days kicked in, it was all I could do to fall into bed every night. Getting on a plane every Tuesday didn't help either, I suppose.

In any case, these journal entries serve as bookends for the recording process, seeing as we reached one of the final production milestones tonight. Around 1:00 am we finished mixing My Medea, the last song on our list of twelve. Tomorrow David and I will bring the whole collection to mastering, which is sort of the recording equivalent of getting one's car waxed -- massaging the mixes for that last bit of glimmer. After that, all that's left is the artwork before I pass our baby to the promotional team, to begin the long months of preparation for the release.

It's been a wonderful, wonderful summer.

"If songs are people, as you often say," someone asked me a few weeks ago, "do you love all your children equally?" It was an excellent question. I love each song as it comes into being -- I have to, since it's such painstaking work -- but as they grow older, they meet with very different fates. Some become successful creatures, attractive and thoughtful and fun to be around. Some are perpetually awkward, either ignored or politely tolerated. A few venture into radicalism, fascinating some while unsettling others. And I have songs that simply take an office job and go out on weekends, content to be perfectly ordinary. I love them all, yes. But I feel close to only a handful, and I am proud of fewer still.

It feels dangerous to say so, but I am proud of this album we've made. I'm good friends with the songs that comprise the record and the arrangements that clothe them; they're an accurate reflection of who I am and the kind of music I'm making at this point in time. Practical considerations aside (hit singles, multiplatinum sales and so on), that's what albums are really for: to chronicle a journey, to tell a story. I think we've done it well.

[Special thanks to Eric Cheng for loaning us the really nice digital camera for these photos.]

- VT

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