About Live Strings & Jeff Silverman Collaborations
Below are 3 gifted players that I have had the pleasure of working and collaborating with on many different projects. In these examples, you will hear how each each player brings something unique to the table. These are all co-arrangements that have been crafted together. But . . . there can be no mistaking that each player brings their own personal style and talent to the table - along with such amazing emotion, improvisation and expression, which only comes from many years of experience with their instrument(s).
I'm proud to share "Live Strings" with you, not just as another branch of services and talents that Palette (MSP) offers our artists and clients, but for the creative work we all have accomplished together.
About Tim Lorsch:
Whether playing the Italian violin his grandmother used 100 years ago, the German cello he acquired in Nashville or anything in between, Tim Lorsch creates, performs and records compelling string arrangements. He has played on thousands of recordings covering a wide spectrum of musical styles and has made contributions to Grammy and Emmy Award winning projects, performed on TV and scored for the theater.
Artists he has performed and/or recorded with include Kris Kristofferson, Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Pat Green, Ray Price, Percy Sledge, Lorrie Morgan, Andrew Gold, Joy Lynn White, Goose Creek Symphony, Mel McDaniel, Mary Gauthier, Hank Thompson, Jo-El Sonnier, Allison Moorer, Danni Leigh, Townes Van Zandt, The Kinleys, Keith Gaddis, Lucinda Williams, Rodney Crowell, Kevin Welch and Sam Baker.
Proving that two heads are often better than one, Tim and I have been collaborating on arrangements for a number of projects. Everyone has been extremely pleased (including us!) with the results. Our "live strings" samples will give you a good idea of the wide variety and diversity of styles and genres we have covered.
Notes from Jeff:
Jerzee's "It's All Over" (video) has to be the most experimental orchestral arrangement that Tim and I have done together to date. The challenge was to emulate the power of a rock band arrangement, with just strings and one vocal. Except for a small reoccurring cello figure, everything was intended not to repeat and dynamically ascend to the very end. We had a blast - although with Tim playing every single string line himself, we had our work cut out for us!!!
Christina Reese's version of Queen's "Nevermore" (video) was yet another challenge to not only score to picture, but to compose the music score in a way that felt as if it was part of the production of the song. We also had our hands full again with stacking multiple parts and counterpoints to keep this classic anthemic Queen cover as "rock" as possible!
Debra Lyn's "A Cold Wind Blows" (video) sets the tone to her entire Americana album, creating a haunting eerie feeling of love gone wrong. Our sonic focus was to reach for much more but, with less going on - taking a very organic approach to the production, as well as the string arrangements. Tim's spontaneous improvisation on this is stellar! The track speaks much louder than I can so I hope you enjoy listening to it in it's entirety!
The Dease and Reese project took us all into several different styles that were sometimes, simply indescribable. Creating string arrangements for songs like "Lollypop Ice Cream" to the almost "Django Reinhardt-esque" voicings on "How Did It Happen"certainly kept us on our toes! 🙂 On "Lollypop," my first instinct was to have the cello part emulate my bass part note for note. Tyler Reese quickly notated the part so we had a quick foundation to start from.
On "Simply To Choose," Tyler Reese and I had initially spoken about doing something unusual with his burning guitar solo on this song, especially since it was a co-artist project feat. Kimberley Dahme, bass player for Boston. After collaborating on several different ideas, we decided that Tyler would play his solo first and then chart out the more signature melodic lines for Tim to play along with and the rest is history! 🙂
It was GREAT fun moving into unknown territory and exceeding our expectations on all of these arrangements. But, no matter how simple or complex, with or without a "GPS," Tim and I are always amazed at our work at the end of every session, wondering where all of the creativity came from!!! We call it a GREAT creative collaboration!
For more information on Tim Lorsch
"Simply To Choose II"
About John Catchings:
John Catchings is a highly regarded and in-demand session cellist and concert performer. He graduated from the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore, Maryland in 1969. He worked closely with many contemporary composers such as Alberto Ginestara, Frank Martin, Zoltan Kodaly, Ernst Krenek, Sergio Cervetti, and others, as a performer. His major cello instructors were Paul Olefsky, Lawrence Lesser, and Stephen Kates. John chose to go into the commercial music field in the early 80's, attracted by the diversity of the work and the science of the recording arts. In the early 90's, John established Chapter & Verse Media Inc, a recording services company, a recording and visual arts facility shared with Sue, his wife, who is a mixed media artist.
To speak of just a few, John has performed on albums for artists such as Rascal Flatts, Garth Brooks, Darius Rucker, The Civil Wars, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Antebellum.
Notes from Jeff:
There is never is a lack of improvisational "gems" when you hear John perform on songs like "Don't Give Up On Me" and "One Day From Someday." In both these cases, I had worked out several melody lines via midi prior to the session. On "I Feel Your Love," John took a stellar solo and then we augmented many of the lines that were already established with the other instruments on the track such as playing along with part of the Tyler Reese flaming guitar solo!
"Eleanor Rigby" had some existing live violin parts that my co-producer, Vince DeVincenzo had recorded prior to John coming into the studio. However, even though we did use some of those parts, my focus was to have John's cello parts be the signature sound of this remake. After John and I bounced many ideas around, he ended up capturing the essence of this classic Beatles' song.
About Steve Stokes:
Steve Stokes was just your local neighborhood “prodigy” in his hometown of Indiana, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With an amazing “touch” on the fiddle, and every other musical instrument he laid his hands on, Steve was destined for a bright future in the music business. After earning his college degree, he made the journey to Nashville. His affable personality and impressive abilities landed him gigs with many artists, including, Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Blake Shelton, Mel McDaniel, John Michael Montgomery, Graham Murray and Debra Lyn.
Notes from Jeff:
Graham Murray's "Do You Want To Dance" started out with Scott Vestal (Ricky Skaggs, Tony Rice, Sam Bush) doing the "signature" banjo lines for the song. The intention was to have Steve reinforce those lines but, at the same time, do what Steve is so great at doing. Performing some amazing solo's with Scott!
Steve's signature Celtic-esque like line in Debra Lyn's "So Long Since September (remix)" made it from the first version she did on her last CD. In this remix stripped down version of the song, I asked Dave Flint to double Steve's line with his acoustic guitar lead, which puts even more of "The Irish" signature on the line!
Steve played a more traditional country "hoedown" feel (with a hint of Popeye in there!! HA!) feel on "Dependin' How You're Lookin At It." It was intentional. Steve took the idea, ran with it and made it his own. It gave the track just the "smile" it needed! 🙂
Notes From Jeff:
Producing a Palette (MSP) 'Live Strings' session requires a unique approach - using my experience and ability from producing and recording artists/musicians over the years, to guiding a player towards the musical goal. Both an openness and sense of collaboration are required to bring this all together in a common musical "language." It's all about chemistry! I believe, with any great collaboration, an affinity arises that opens creative doorways to a flow of spontaneous ideas and expression that are different but, more importantly, are greater than either person would have created on their own. This makes for amazing end results! While I am still there producing and keeping my overall vision, it must be said, that this is collaboration at its very best!
Creating a unique production or arrangement entails many variables to say the least. There are certain instruments that can be re-created authentically with some of THE very best sample libraries available at Palette (MSP). However, I can say without a doubt, when it comes to strings, there is no substitute for "the real thing!" Having some of the finest players in Nashville to work and collaborate with, makes the creative process and the finished music even better!
Produced, mixed and mastered by Jeff Silverman
* Refer to links for co-producer credits
About Jeff Silverman and Palette MSP, VSN & Records
Palette Music Studio Productions (MSP) and Virtual Studio Nashville (VSN) offers world-class studio production services driven by the talents of its founder, Jeff Silverman. The VSN online recording studio allows Jeff to work with artists and musicians worldwide! Jeff's nearly 40 years' of experience in the music industry has included working on Emmy and Grammy-nominated projects such as "Mists of Avalon" with Palette Recording artist Aeone. He has also produced, mixed, mastered, co-written, edited and performed on a number of gold, platinum and award-winning projects for artists such as Rick Springfield (refer to discography). Jeff co-founded Palette Records in 2013 with award winning artist Debra Lyn, "a label created by artists - for the artists."