Recording a CD - My Journey

The austrian pianist Maria Radutu is very busy these days, preparing to record her upcoming solo CD Insomnia in a couple of days - thank you so much Maria for taking the time to talk to HELLO STAGE and share your experience of recording a CD :)

If someone would have told me before my first CD how much work it would be, besides the strict musical part, I don’t think I would have done it.

I had a label wanting to take over the distribution of a solo album with me, I had just had met the first sound engineer who was able to help me forget my fear in front of microphones and I had an idea of a program I wanted to record.

In my naive opinion, this was everything I needed. After recording it, I was very happy about finishing my debut CD and shortly time after, I got a reality wake-up call. I have found myself working in front of the computer instead of the piano, trying to solve communication problems between the graphic designer and the press company (of course I didn’t understand a word about what they were actually talking about) and answering questions about lamination, some dpi numbers or paper thickness.
I mean really, who would have heard durung thier studies at the Music University anything about 20p BL?

BUT, I am happy that I had to jump into this cold water, because after this experience, recording a CD turned for me out to be the most complex creative process. I never stop asking the question “why?”at every step. Why record this piece? Why place it between the other ones? What do I want and need to say that was not said before? Who am I as an artist and how do I want to reach and touch the audience? What is unique about me and how do I keep my authenticity? By playing concerts, we are used to “feeling” ourselves in the music, but for me, the process of pronouncing answers to all of these questions helped me in finding the lines of my profile as an artist. The result of every concert has to do with a lot more then only the soloist. There is the audience, the organiser, maybe you have to stay in a certain type of repertoire for different reasons, there are always certain steps that the musician takes towards the environment of the concert.

By producing a CD, there is no one and nothing influencing the music and myself. The music doesn’t go towards the audience, the audience forms itself because of the music. All of the other aspects (graphic, photos, marketing and a lot more) are very important parts of the CD as a “product”, but their role is also to create the perfect carpet to carry the music you find inside.

The experience of a live concert will never be replaced by a recording, that is why I would never try to copy the concept of a recital on a CD and I am using this different approach to create something new. In a concert hall, you have a lot of people and a whole celebration; getting tickets, taking an evening free, dressing up, everything is at a chosen time you cannot change. One is part of an atmosphere created in that moment which is fantastic. On a CD, the musician reaches the listener in his very personal environment and I love the thought that it’s about “you and me” only with the music as a bridge.

With my next album, Insomnia, I am getting very intrusive in this context with a program that fits a sleepless night hour. Not as a meditative basis to help the listener to fall asleep, but by touching very different elements of this strange and very intimate atmosphere – impressionistic, bizarre, desperate and towards the end, reconciling and fulfilling.

Follow Maria Radutu on HELLO STAGE and keep up with her upcoming events!
Author: Maria Radutu /edited by Nina HELLO STAGE
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