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Les Heifner 2019 Releases, Album, General News, Recording, The Norm

Parallel to a more than full-time job and plenty of other mandatory responsibilities, the life’s work continues. A few days ago, as I drank coffee and looked at the gargantuan task ahead of me, I had an interesting thought. What if I organize these albums into week-long or month-long projects? I’m going to try it. 

One difficulty I’ve encountered is that my first inclination is to pick my favorite material to tackle before my less favorite material. This creates a workflow problem. However, remembering that this project is not to painstakingly recreate demo recordings, but record these songs as they were originally intended, I can allow myself plenty of creative room to make up for the drag.

A piece that exemplifies this notion is from an album called The Norm. It’s called “Go Get Engaged.” Originally written and demo’d back in early 2001, this song’s finale found it exploding into factions of unorganized nervous ticks. It was an ending that always disappointed me. 2017’s ending actually completes the song and takes it to the point it needs to be taken to, before the next track. The rest of the song is in working order and stands up to the original demo quite well, for being 16 years separated.

The Norm was recorded primarily in New Standard Tuning (from low to high, C, G, D, A, E, G.) There was one issue that I forgot about from 2001. I was not in tune. In some cases I was 3 or 4 steps higher than I needed to be. Depending on the gauge of strings you’re using, this can be quite unhealthy for a guitar’s neck. However, staying true to the original pieces, I’ve gone and tuned the Dean Evo up like crazy, with the house capo missing in action, unavailable for cutting corners.

After I’ve completed recording on The Norm (now 75% completed,) I’ll be switching focus back to Mechanical Echoes, the new album that I’d like to release completely before the end of this year. I’ve got 3 weeks and some change. That should be enough time. More to come.

Les Heifner
December 2017