Episode 2 – Blood, Sweat & Tears

Harp playing

Sample recording sessions are extremely demanding on musicians – both physically and mentally – and, as we’ve discovered, even the best players have their limits. For example, French horn player and Vienna Whistler Marcus Schmidinger once had to abort a recording session at our Silent Stage after several hours of playing high notes made his lips crack and bleed. Ouch. Sorry, Marcus!

Our sampling sessions are now carefully designed to avoid repetitive stress injuries for the musicians, especially when challenging articulations are involved. Sometimes it is not possible, as happened with the Harp 1 sessions. We had an incredible number of glissandos (about 3,600) to capture at the end of the project. Playing these glissandos in various speeds and dynamic levels over and over again was eventually too much for the robust and hardened fingers of professional harp players. To solve the problem, we booked several musicians for the recording sessions. This allowed us to switch players every 15 minutes and each musician was able to recouperate between takes.