The Recording sessions took place over one full day in October at the Pro-Soul Studios in Beijing. Jarome Matthew was the Recording Engineer, with Brent Parker as Producer and Sam Christie as Assistant Producer.
The Artist's Perspective on Four Corners
Four Corners is a lovely fun piece and a clever interpretation of the very specific brief. It all fits together nicely and tells a logical story of a journey through four lands. It is, at times, pretty, haunting, cheeky and mysterious. Phoenix Quartet has had the valuable opportunity of working closely with Brent, who attended several rehearsals. Having the composer scrutinising every sound you make is nerve-racking! But he was pleased with how it was taking shape, described the feelings behind each section and demonstrated the specific effects he was after from each instrument.
The recording studio session was an amazing experience. None of us had ever been in a studio before so were a bit nervous - some of us would even admit to being terrified. However, Jarome was brilliant, clearly knew his stuff and put us at ease while placing the microphones, plugging us all in and sorting out the balance. Once we got into it, it was fun and we really enjoyed it, although we were all exhausted afterwards. It was really helpful having Brent there too. He is the one who knows best what the music should sound like so his OK was important, as was his undying reassurance and encouragement.
All in all, the whole Four Corners project has been a fantastic experience for all involved. At the initial meeting with Chris when he told me his crazy idea, I was sceptical that we could pull it off in the time available. We took it one step at a time and with buckets of enthusiasm all round, and here we are! We've been really looking forward to sharing Four Corners with the guests in Beijing and Shanghai and hearing their reactions to it.
Sam Christie, Phoenix Quartet, Novemeber 2012