Recording with Michael Timmins
This week I’m packing my bags. Although this time, I’m not off to photograph wild horses. I’m trading my camera and remote locations for a microphone and the city of Toronto.
An Unconventional Musician
I have always loved to create. Most people know me as a photographer. But like many artists, that passion to create extends beyond the borders of one art form.
I grew up with a talented bunch of musicians. My childhood was always filled with music including kitchen-party Celtic music (my dad is from Cape Breton) and Quebecois folk (shared by my French-Canadian mom and accordion-playing grandmère).
I put on concerts in my living room as a youngster and I took music lessons for piano, guitar, and voice, and in my 20s I fronted the band Drift.
I love to write and play music. It’s always been an outlet for both celebration and sorrow. I consider myself an unconventional singer-songwriter because I haven’t performed for a live audience in years. I am totally shy.
(Photograph by Kelly Lawson)
Why I Love Recording
I love recording because the songs I bring to the recording studio are usually songs that I had wrote a while ago and we’ve really got to know each other. Bringing in a producer is a collaboration on those songs adds a breath of fresh air. I like to keep the bones of the song but a producer will help me build on that and really bring it to life.
I am totally shy and not a fan of playing in front of crowds. I’ve done it many times, but there is something special for me when I can get comfy in a studio and record something really intimate and sacred without the pressure of all eyes on me.
These songs have been in an incubation period for quite some time and I have patiently been waiting to really “see” them for the first time. Whether it is music or photography, I love being able to share it with people and can’t wait to share these new recordings with you.
Why Recording With Michael Timmins is a Dream Come True
Producing my next EP is Michael Timmins of Cowboy Junkies. The band is true Canadian music royalty and I adore their 1987 album ‘The Trinity Session.’ In 1987, the Cowboy Junkies set up a single microphone inside The Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Ontario and in one day recorded what would become The Trinity Session, a landmark album of originals and covers. The album would go on to sell millions of copies worldwide and establish the Cowboy Junkies as one of the most influential bands of the alternative era. Michael also created the soundtrack for the 2016 film “Maud” about Nova Scotia painter Maud Lewis starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins.
Joining us on drums for the recording will be Michael’s brother, Peter Timmins, also of the Cowboy Junkies.
An Inadvertent Tradition: Recording While Pregnant
My first EP ‘Let ‘Em In’ was recorded over several years in three studios with three fantastic producers: Daniel Ledwell, Charles Austin, and Snappy Homefry.
All songs on ‘Let ‘Em In’ were recorded while I was pregnant with Henry and then Hector. Recording is a deeply personal experience. It is tremendously special my sons were with me in the recording studio and I love that the tradition will continue.
My second EP will be released in June! You can expect ambient folk songs that incorporate both traditional and modern elements.
For behind the scenes content from my recording trip, follow me on Instagram!
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