Back home after some days in Berlin, where we mixed singer and composer Sarah Buechi‘s new record Shadow Garden (to be released by Intakt Records in the fall) in Martin Ruch‘s great control room. Somehow, this time around was the first time I really loved being in Berlin. Maybe simply because of the great listening situation (transparency! definition! panorama!) – and the great music we listened to. And maybe the lovely weather (once we were out in the evening… ) helped, too.
Sound is an art and a science all of its own, and I certainly will never pretend mastering it at all. I did receive some cues from the sound engineers I like working with (Boris Darley, Tijmen Zinkhaan and Gilles Olivesi). And I also rely heavily on my own studio experience as I’ve had the chance to record several times with the best – producer Manfred Eicher, and sound engineers Jan Erik Kongshaug and Gérard de Haro. But when it comes to the technical aspects of recording and mixing, I am a beginner, still. Which is fine when there are great sound engineers around! Somehow it all comes down to what Manfred Eicher quotes as being key: you have to be a really good listener. I will take any chance I get to be exactly that.
Shadow Garden has a room and a space all of its own. It features Sarah’s compositions and words, brought to life by the wonderful musicianship of Stefan Aeby, André Pousaz, Lionel Friedli and Sarah herself. There’s nothing I could compare this record to – and oh do I love records that stand on their own. It has been nothing but a privilege to be with them.