First single now available

We’re thrilled to release the first single off the album.  Yellowhead West — a song for that other great Canadian highway stretching across the prairies and into the mountains– was a finalist and received special mention in the Jameson Upstart category at the 2016 Ship & Anchor song contest in Calgary and I’m pleased to be able to share it with you.

Become a fan of Selkirk Range at Reverbnation before November 22 and help build the buzz.  I’ll send you a link to the pre-release digital download copy of the album.

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Closing in on a release date

Final mixes are done and we are sending the tracks to be mastered at Golden Mastering in California in the coming week.

From there, we will send master tracks for replication on a small run of CDs, as well as uploading to CD Baby for distribution to various online retailers, including iTunes.

It will be a soft launch of the record in November, meaning that I will release some or all of the album but plan for a more formal release event in the coming months.

Everett’s been wonderful to work with throughout this process, and I’m very pleased with the results so far; and especially for the opportunity to work with some talented musicians who performed on the record.

Stay tuned for more soon.

 

Tacoma ER22C SJ by brett jordan

Preproduction session 5: get back (to where you once belonged)

Tracking will start on the record in January but the last preproduction session of 2015 was about continuing to run songs and exploring ideas for arrangements.

One important point that came out of the conversation was about capturing the essential energy of a song, and how that energy changes as a song evolves from a seed into a demo and beyond.  Sometimes the seed of the song captured on a smartphone or a scratch track has a liveliness to it that slowly disappears as it is massaged into a more complete piece and arrangement.

As a result there are times when it may be helpful to scrap the demo version and go at a song fresh in order to re-energize it and bring back the sparkle of that first blush of an idea.

Philosophers and anthropologists talk about liminality, that moment of first encounter with something new and unknown.  It’s a notion that captures the idea of a threshold, of disorientation, of radical potential.  The liminal energy of a new song is vital, and trying to bring it out in a record is a priority if the track is to come alive for the listener.

Studio LaRoi empty_Dec. 20_2015

Everett LaRoi’s home studio where we will be recording in January

One of the tracks planned for the record, “Meet me in Montreal” has been indelibly etched in my mind with an arrangement I cobbled together for the first demo of it.

Everett and I had an important conversation about that song yesterday, discussing the idea of departing from that demo version and taking it in a brand new direction from a production standpoint.

And while the demo version is familiar and has some good ideas in it, I’m totally okay with trying something new as a way to recover that liminal energy and inject into it some outside creative influences.  I realize that it’s not quite a tabula rasa but it is more about returning to that original place of inspiration … or getting back to where I once belonged.

 

Let’s make a record

I’m excited to be starting work on my first record with Edmonton-based musician and producer Everett LaRoi.  We will be setting up the production schedule soon and should have a record ready to release sometime next year.

I’m going to take my time and enjoy the process, so we haven’t set ourselves any hard deadlines.  Right now we’re planning on recording a 6-song EP.  We’ve got a shortlist of songs and will get started on pre-production in October with Spicy Tomato Music.

Everett is a really interesting guy with lots of song writing and performance experience stretching back to the mid-1980s with his former band Idyl Tea.  His recent production credits include work with ManRayGunGoldtop, and Alice Kos.  It’s a real honour to have him be a part of the Selkirk Range project.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/39747297@N05/5230479916/in/photolist-8Yczsd-cbcCk3-7jNmHv-dipm3P-5FefTX-sKjX3-5Fixk1-bBUjs2-bCwEoZ-4qLmk2-ccHti1-bUswQr-2Nati-eALvw3-5bjaoE-dULRxt-boZz85-daMjCh-5FivxU-nfWQif-bEU9xB-evy1D8-78WDg-3f6kZz-bQ7zsp-5FefXP-ddus1V-dwHLRn-5FiwF3-3Ao8mS-9NCMZT-5EYCfm-cpXBxm-e48NRC-8h9176-bBUupB-jvie5t-jjWWL7-2BS8QV-2pvf6Z-4ZHLs3-5WnYcr-422k5w-63dWbv-fbyEfd-oJsYJa-bxN9YA-fSNt1b-dURTpS-3AEivQ

Tracking your digital song files with the ISRC

I’ve embarked on a learning journey as I begin preparations for making a record.  Among the things I’m learning is the ISRC (International Standard Recording Code) is the system for royalty collection with digital song files.  The ISRC is a 12-character identifier associated with each unique song, that allows it to be traced back to the owner for royalty payments.

The code consists of a 2-digit country code, registrant code, year of reference, and designation code.  For Selkirk Range the code for the first song on the record will probably look like this:  CAX0V1600001, where “X0V” is my registrant code and identifies me as the independent artist that owns the rights to the song.  “CA” is Canada, and “16” is the year I expect to release the song (2016).  The designation code 00001 might be the first song on the record.

The owner assigns the codes to the songs and includes them with the metadata of the files as well as the master CD.  The owner also provides them to agencies that need them for tracking and paying royalties (e.g., iTunes, CD Baby, etc.).

There is no cost for obtaining an ISRC Registrant Code and it’s quick and painless. As an independent artist you will likely have to do this yourself.  Each country has its own domestic organization that administers the ISCR, and in Canada it is Connect Music Licensing.  You can learn more about Canadian ISRC administration here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/39747297@N05/5230479916/in/photolist-8Yczsd-cbcCk3-7jNmHv-dipm3P-5FefTX-sKjX3-5Fixk1-bBUjs2-bCwEoZ-4qLmk2-ccHti1-bUswQr-2Nati-eALvw3-5bjaoE-dULRxt-boZz85-daMjCh-5FivxU-nfWQif-bEU9xB-evy1D8-78WDg-3f6kZz-bQ7zsp-5FefXP-ddus1V-dwHLRn-5FiwF3-3Ao8mS-9NCMZT-5EYCfm-cpXBxm-e48NRC-8h9176-bBUupB-jvie5t-jjWWL7-2BS8QV-2pvf6Z-4ZHLs3-5WnYcr-422k5w-63dWbv-fbyEfd-oJsYJa-bxN9YA-fSNt1b-dURTpS-3AEivQ

Is it time to make a record?

Slowly but surely I’m starting to take steps toward making a record.  As an independent artist it is a significant investment of time and energy but my aim is to think about it as a creative act while approaching it with a business-like frame of mind.  A platinum selling record isn’t the goal obviously, but a decent return on the investment through modest but steady record sales supported by a smart might be within reach.

Most important, however, is to approach this as a learning opportunity that brings together the creative and business sides of the music industry as it is today (i.e., complicated!), and to use this initiative as a way to connect to other people and make it a rich social experience that contains its own rewards.

Taking that lead, I’ve started doing my homework to figure out the “unknown unknowns” as it were.  Cameron Mizell’s four-part series “Introduction to the Self-released Album” on Musicianwages.com has been a great starting point to gain some awareness of the various things involved in this process.  It’s recommended reading for anyone taking this route as an independent.