This is a throwback, at least 5 years, to playing some piano during a studio session with Mike Turner (Crash Karma, Our Lady Peace), Rick Wellbanks (The Rook, Zygote, Tallman) and Amir Epstien (Crash Karma, Zygote).
This was one of those strange moments where I performed on a record, and then found myself a few days later at a night club in the city, engineering sound for a young band covering their tunes. What a trip.
Amir has been at the help of several great Canadian music projects. His former band Zygote held the distinction of being the only local band able to sell out the Opera House two nights in a row.
I’ve crossed paths with Amir many times from 2000 on, in multiple capacities — as a fan, as a mix engineer, and finally as a session performer.
Kirsten and I worked together on this studio track at Jacob King’s studio in 2014, after her creative mentor passed away.
It was a great priviledge to be entrusted with a song for someone who was so dear to her.
Kirsten relays her fond memories:
“His name was John Rusich. I met him when we did a show together in 2007 and we continued to perform together in musicals until I moved to Toronto.
He was like the father I never had. He was my mentor, my reassurance, occasional human prop and my 3 am human panic button as long as he was in my life. He was kind and gentle, Italian, blue eyed and a true renaissance man in every sense.
He cultivated a love of culture and wine in me. He could hop on one leg to chuck berry or lean against a piano and sing the Rat Pack catalog with ease and grace, and not a crease in his suit.
To this day his laugh is the most musical thing I’ve heard and I can still hear it on the air. He was my person.”
I had the chance to work with Toronto artist, Joshua Jlatte Lopez and Videographer Julian Meli at JMPro Creative, and we put together this stunning and sonically pleasing musical moment. I engineered tracking and the mix/master process, as well as playing bass.
Local legends, Nicholas Otway and Richard Wiesdorf are on Drums and Keys respectively.
Something specially interesting about this performance is that it is an authentic live off the floor performance. Nothing is auto-tuned, or altered in any way except for basic mixing techniques. I felt this was true to the style that we were playing.
The session began with Jlatte playing through the songs, and then as Julian and I set up cameras and microphones respectively, we also discussed as a band how we would perform.
5 hours from start to finish, and we walked out with 3 takes and lots of video footage.
Per usual, take number one was selected, and we cut off a slice of magic.
This song is available for licensing here: bit.ly/1pI6Ytq It was co-written for a project tentatively called Datascape, with Jacob King, Andrew Lauzon and Dick Fairthorne.
Andrew Lauzon tells the story.
“Jacob and I started this track a few years ago and it probably would have been and instrumental – however, I was presented an opportunity to pitch a song to be considered for use as the end credit roll in the movie, “In Time” with Justiin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried. The unfinished demo we had fit the vibe of what they were looking for, so we contacted Richard – I knew he would be the perfect vocalist for this. We came up with vocals keeping the story in mind, and finished the track in a marathon 24-hour writing recording session.”