The "Big Picture" project started with a beat, and the rest was history. There were many unique things about the recording of this album, the post-production stages, the music and words written, and last but not least the album art. All of these things combined made the album what it ended up being, live documentation of interactions using music, exposing and introducing new sounds, blended with more recent sounds, old and new, giving thanks to our inspirations ironically drawn out and entitled "The Big Picture".
I'm no critic but since I did record the album I can tell you that this was as experimental as it gets when it came to putting it together whether or not it sounded like it or not. It allowed me to do things and learn things I haven't while recording previous albums.
Like many others "The Big Picture" started as an idea and then found its direction and sound halfway through the recording process.
I guess one of the many points that I wanted to make as far as looking outside the box, and seeing a big picture is that there is talent everywhere rather than just the specific place your accustomed too getting your sources from. Another point was to reassure that the greats have not been forgotten in youth these days. Overall, there isn't a specific genre I could use to classify it. Four words to describe this album would be, experimental, imaginative, overdubbed, dubs.
It was the first project of 2009 and the recording progress started during the recording sessions for the "Young Timer, One Liner (2008)" album. The most important recording session for this mix was the recording of what was to be used as the drum tracks for the entire CD. A man by the name of Masood Cameron Cates allowed me to record his gift of beat boxing so I could have a backbone for the album.
I ended up acquiring a large amount of beats and sounds to work with and I then spent a few days going through and creating samples to later loop in turn, constructing 13 separate sets of Masoods' work. Those then became the beats for the 13 tracks for the album.
There were a couple live recordings of us playing together, those that were not consisted of remixed songs, jams recorded on the spot, and new music made for the beats. The ending of the track, Bedside Ramble, includes a sample from the jazzy funk super group, Spyro Gyra. Calypso included a live sample of the song Calypso from the record album "When You Were Smiling", by Nat King Cole.
This album has its share of instrumentals and the songs that do include lyrics have a serious message. Masood is also featured on track one called, "On That Note" playing the acoustic guitar. The cover art for this album was created by a great artist by the name of Jeff Rood who took my ideas and made them exactly what I wanted but 100% better and all in the matter of a couple days. He delivers and has a great gift. He produced 4 different drawings as cover art for this album and I consider each and every one of them as the cover. Once again this album was recorded using a Boss digital 8-track recorder and Adobe Audition 1.0 for the mixing process.
big thanks to Masood and Jeff!
released January 15, 2009
Music By: Nathaniel Hockman
Drum Tracks By: Masood
Album Art: Jeff Rood
all rights reserved