Last week I produced a string quartet recording in Tel Aviv…from my home near Washington DC. I’d written the quartet as a sort of reverse overture for an upcoming film, An Open Door. The score will be for full orchestra, but this condensed ten-minute work contains all the major themes. Of course the compositional trick was to write idiomatic string parts for melodies that I’ve imagined for French horn or oboe, along with a full string section, brass, woodwinds, percussion section, etc. The practical trick—a kind of 21st century magic—was to oversee the recording without actually being there.
The onsite engineer and I managed the second trick via Facetime on our phones. Barack gave me a quick tour of the space and of each microphone he was using. I met the members of the quartet, with first violinist, Hagai Shaham translating between Hebrew and English. Maybe you have worked this way before, but it was my first experience with virtual audio production, and I’m now hooked. Though I unfortunately wasn’t able to travel to the session due to other obligations, I was able to get the performance I was hoping for from the quartet. Futurists have been predicting the advent of videophones since I was a little kid. I can’t believe the future is finally here.