Love in 6 Stages - Producer through the eye of the composer

Many Months for 6 Stages

When I work with Jean, I have two spots I like to sit: either on the couch behind him so I can hear the bigger sound, or directly to his left at the board in an old black chair that looks like it was salvaged from the set of Little House on the Prairie. I like sitting beside him if I need to see the visuals of edits and tracks on his screen.

Love in 6 Stages - Producer through the eye of the composer

In yesterday’s session (Tuesday), Jean was pissed off because the building in which he lives and works is having renovations on the floor below. They have been jackhammering all morning. Can’t blame Jean for being upset…sort of hard to edit and mix with that racket.

But we continue working on because we have a deadline, must be done by Thursday. After that, Jean heads to Europe for an extended tour with Tanya Tagaq. If Love in 6 Stages isn’t done by the end of June, then I’m not sure if we can get it released with the other 3 albums this fall.

But if a delay is necessary to get it done, that’s okay. Most important thing is that Jean, Laura and I are perfectly happy with the final mix.

Love in 6 Stages - The whole gang - Jean Martin, Frank Horvat, Laura Swankey

Love in 6 Stages - The whole happy gang

Sitting here listening to take after take after take repeating incessantly (that’s just part of the territory), I never get tired of hearing Laura’s beautiful voice. I wrote all the songs for Love in 6 Stages before I even knew who would be singing it. I gave my demos to Jean and he instantly recommended Laura. When I listened to her stuff online, I could instantly envision her singing 6 Stages. Then we arranged a meet-and-greet and we instantly hit it off. She’s got such an easy-going personality. Yet on Love in 6 Stages, she sounds vulnerable, sad, dreamy, melancholy, angry and everything in between.

Love in 6 Stages - Recording session with Laura Swankey

So we started working on this album a bit in April, then a few more sessions in May and finally now the “big push” in June. In between recording Laura, Jean would edit and mix. Even though the album only features me on piano and Laura’s voice, the overall mix sounds so BIG. This is because of Jean’s skill with the edit and mix…so many layers.

Love in 6 Stages - A whole lot of Bliss going on

To do an album about a couple falling in love and then falling out of love has obviously been done before. So to tackle it with just 2 performing forces but with unlimited effects and super long songs (each of the 6 are 10 minutes!), I’m really happy that the 3 of us have been able to achieve a new type of “epic” song. Despite the many months of work to get to this point and a tight deadline, I’ve really enjoyed the journey of making this album. I can’t wait to share!

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