I am excited to announce the immediate availability of an album of ten songs called New Worlds: An Instrumental Journey, written by my friend Rob Barteletti, with sonic embellishments, leads, bass and assorted noodlings by yours truly.
I met Rob in the 80s when, well, he was an English teacher at my high school! We re-connected in Portland when both of us found our respective ways into town. Rob now lives in New Mexico but spent quite a few years in Portland where he wrote and recorded several CDs with local musicians including Nick Peets, Storm Large, Dan Decker and my old Strangers partner Bart Ferguson. Even after he moved, we kept in touch over email.
During our ‘stay home months’ the last year, Rob got on a creative roll and started sending songs one-off to his friends. The styles ranged from jazz to ambient to sambas, blues and everything in between. Some were instrumentals, some had singing. One day, one of them struck me and I wrote to Rob. The ensuing conversation over the next few months could be summarized this way:
Paul: “Hey Rob would you be cool if I laid down a lead on this track?”
Paul (3.5 weeks later): “Hey I am still going to lay that lead down. Sorry!”
Rob: “It’s OK.”
Paul: “Here you go – let me know what you think!”
Rob: “I really like this! Thanks! Here is another song if you want to check it out”
Paul: “This is great! I kind of got on a roll and added bass and acoustic guitar”
Rob: “Great! Hey, I got inspired, here is another song. And here is one I did a few years ago. What might you be able to add to it…?”
--Repeat process for about a dozen more songs across about six months—
Rob: “Hey you know, we have 10 instrumentals done. Want to put out an album?”
Paul: “Wow, hell yes! What should we call it…?”
You get the idea. So what we have is ten of Rob’s songs with my embellishments. Much like my other Strangers partner in crime Allen Bush who recorded an entire album using Apple’s Garage Band software (called Juiced), Rob is a Garage Band power user. I am consistently blown away with what is able to put together using this software. I took his tracks, popped them into Digital Performer, which is my recording software, laid down tracks, sent them to Rob and he edited at will, sometimes asking me for a different take or approach and other times, we’d be done with one go at it. I tried to give him a different palate of colors to work with, and he gave me quite a variety of styles of music to tackle. We both had a blast, and I am really proud of what we put together.
You can find the album on AppleMusic, Amazon Music, Spotify, YouTube, and at my Bandcamp site. I hope you enjoy it – it’s certainly different from anything I’ve ever released to the public. Do let me know what you think!