Guest blogger-Veronica Charnley (Plumes)
We (Geof, Eveline, Karl and I) arrived at Castle Rörhsdorf on a misty Saturday night after flying from Paris to Berlin, picking up the harp at Les Harpes Camac, then driving to the castle. We were tired, especially after our time in Paris carrying a harp through the metro, then getting used to driving stick-shift in Berlin traffic. It had not quite sunk in that we’d be staying at Castle Rörsdorf for a couple of weeks to record an album – surreal! We quickly chose our rooms in the impeccably clean and beautifully decorated apt and settled into our home away from home.
The next day Arno showed us around the large, sunny studio, which has a wonderful view of a village and vineyards. We went to work setting up our instruments and testing drums and synths in the studio. For the next five days we laid down the bed tracks, making sure we had Karl’s drums and Eveline’s harp parts down.
On Friday we performed a show at the castle bar, which turned out to be one of my favourite shows. Arno did a great job with the sound and so many of the songs were new – Eveline and I couldn’t keep from dancing.
On Monday Nora (our German import from Lübeck) arrived to add clarinets. After a hectic schedule she was happy to relax a bit and we took a walk along the vineyards then lay on the divan, reading passages from romance novels and drinking beer while the others finished up their work in the studio. Eveline had to fly back to Montreal the next day and Nora began adding clarinets! What magic to hear clarinets added to our bed tracks. Nora was amazing – I was unaware that a clarinet could play as high as she played it sometimes.
A day later Todd (our Canadian friend and Nora’s partner) and Pemi, from Montreal, arrived. They both went to work adding percussion and viola. Nora left and I was now with just the boys! The atmosphere got more party-ish (the beer disappeared faster) and more meats were bought from the local shop.
We added some guitars, voice and synths and could have kept going (in the studio one can go on forever it seems) but we were out of time! I loved the 60s East German mic that we chose for my voice. It allowed me to sing very close to the mic and still get a full sound. I’d never worked with a mic quite like it.
Our time at the studio was intense and creative and we’re so grateful for this experience! Looking back it still seems surreal to me. We’re grateful to Arno for his expertise, knowledge and generosity. He made our time at the studio very smooth. (And I’d like to thank him for fixing my distortion pedal – it turns out he’s a master at electronics and can fix anything electronic as far as I can see). Many thanks to Sanne for bringing us coffee and cookies in the afternoons to keep us going. This recording required a lot of stamina.
Goodbye, Castle Rörhsdorf!
Now off we go on another adventure –