My music director for ‘Both Sides Now’, Brad Hatfield, and I were recording the two piano/vocal tunes at the end of our two day recording session at Q Division Studios last September. We finished our fifth take of ‘Both Sides Now’. Crit said he thought we had all we needed. Later at Crit’s studio I did re-record one line of that last take but the rest we kept. Next was ‘Float on My Ocean.’
Though the original of that song is on my first cd, Just Landing, working on it with Vance Gilbert helped lift the song to a new level. He suggested a subtle but effective change to a repeating lyric. In the chorus I repeated the phrase ‘drifting from white cap to trough.’ He suggested I change that phrase each chorus. Masterful.
In a quest to make the songs the best they could be for the album I sought another pair of musical extraordinaire ears in my friend, Barbara Kessler, who actually lives right down the street. She heard ‘Float on My Ocean’ and suggested a change to the accompaniment style – instead of a constant flowing arpeggio-style, consider playing the piano part more sparse but building. By the time I sent the rough versions to Brad ‘Float on My Ocean’ was fully transformed – though Crit had a few tweaks taboot!
Brad and I recorded eight takes. At the end of the eighth we both agreed we had the one we wanted. That’s when Crit interjected, “Good. You’ve got one you both agree on – now why don’t we try it another way just for something different. We don’t have to use it but we’ll have another option” – the beauty of having a good producer. “Can we turn the lights down, Jon [Lupfer,engineer]? Amanda – you sing this song to one specific person. Picture them in your mind and sing this as if it’s the most devastatingly vulnerable thing you could possibly do.” Right away every fiber of my being said NO! That’s when I knew I had to. I pictured Peter’s eyes.
One take was all it took. When Brad played the last note I backed abruptly away from the microphone to save face, Crit claimed goose bumps and Brad wiped his eyes.
When I told Vance about it at my next coaching he said, “You can’t ask any more from music than that.”