One of the most exciting projects I’ve worked on to date was just released this week: Libation, the debut EP from King at Bay, featuring the voices of Mel Hsu and Jess Best over the sparse grooves of Hsu on Cello, Mark Bennett on drums, Sam Friedman getting dirty on the harmonica, and keys by Best and Friedman. We recorded the tracks at the Best household in Pound Ridge, NY, mixed it at Mavericks NYC and Russell Street Recording in Brooklyn, and had it mastered by Steve Berson at Total Sonic Media.
The ever-prolific Hsu won’t let me rest just yet, though. Even before we finished Libation, we were already hard at work recording her next solo album, Call Home the Crow, in Wesleyan University’s Memorial Chapel, one of the most acoustically stunning spaces I’ve ever been lucky enough to work in. This music bears more classical influences, and features over 20 of Mel’s closest collaborators playing lush choral and string arrangements. Plus cajon, taiko drums, and all kinds of other surprises. (Mel and her ensemble also performed the music from Call Home the Crow live in the Chapel at her breathtaking senior recital in April.) The album is slated for a fall release.
I’ve been working with some great hip-hop artists, too; I’m recording the emcee E. Oks for his upcoming full-length, due for release this summer. I also recently recorded a new track with my longtime collaborator Josh Smith, and I’ll be working on some new material soon with Smith and his all-new band The Riot Act.
Meanwhile, I’ve been working for the Tricycle Foundation doing on-set and post-production sound for a profile video about the great Shaolin monk Shifu Shi Yan Ming. A 34th-generation monk from the original Shaolin Temple in China, Shi came to New York in the early ’90s and founded the USA Shaolin Temple, and has taught hundreds of students worldwide, including such cool famous people as RZA, Wesley Snipes, Jim Jarmusch, and Bjork.