Every now and then, I get called to lay down some flute tracks in the studio - mostly for motion pictures and as a sideman to other musician’s commercial projects. This was taken at Horus Studio: a cosy, simple but power-packed recording room with state-of-the-art technology; check them out if you are in Singapore and looking for a high quality, one-man overdubbing recording room.
Most producers and music directors today will send the music and scores (if any) to you a week or two in advance before the recording so as to allow time for individual preparation; it’s a fair procedure. However, it is also common practice to provide the scores only at the recording session itself–which means that musicians will have to sight-read and be ready to record at a moment’s notice; such was the case on that day.
Most music are pretty straightforward to read; but sometimes you are given the most difficult thing you can imagine playing to record on the spot, and that’s the petrifying part! It can turn out to be the longest two or three hours of your life–or not. Having done this for the last 18 years, I have figured out how to stay consistently at the latter.
My secret? Sight-read some music everyday–be it only a few bars. The idea is to keep the connection between the eyes and fingers active, sharp and ready to function at any level. I know; it is a boring answer, but just like any other vocational skills in life: use it or lose it!
I was playing (picture above) the chinese vertical flute; also known as the Xiao. Besides the Boehm flute, I pride myself on my ability to paint wondrous soundscapes through various traditional flute-related instruments that brings out the particular emotion of the movie segment; or just a tune. I would say that my influences are a combination of: 1) a sense of awe with Hollywood’s musical treatment on period films, especially where flutes can be heard; 2) having ears for traditional/folk music interpretation; 3) having ears for jazz improvisation.
I am generally always excited for every recording project and look forward each time to add further emotional dimension to the movie/music through the sound of my flutes. Anyway, more details on this upcoming movie can be found here.
Have a blessed week!