Manuscripts, Recordings and Publishing

Each song I send off for potential publication includes both a manuscript and a recording.

Manuscripts take a while to perfect and there are many hurdles a song must clear before this process is complete. First, it goes before the choir and changes are made as we rehearse the song and smooth out the rough edges. Next it goes before my good friends at the Southern California Liturgical Composers Forum, which includes some heavy hitters like Christopher Walker, Carol Browning and Steven Ottomani. We meet every few months and they always have a few changes in mind for my stuff. If I feel the song has "legs" it will go before our congregation at a liturgically appropriate time to give it a bit of  "means testing". Unsolicited responses go a long ways toward letting me know whether or not the song is effective and/or had its intended effect. Considering everything I then make any final "clean-up" decisions necessary to complete the final draft.

The recordings are a bit more painstaking and expensive, and are the primary reason for the slow speed at which things move along. The latest recordings have been performed in the stairwell of the school building. It has lots of space, hard surfaces and a very high ceiling which all conspire to making it a great place to sing. (Not to mention the "built in" risers!) Our morning bass player, Frank Calabretta does us the extremely kind favor of patiently recording multiple takes with every section and soloist as we labor through each part of a given song. When all of the parts are recorded I then take the raw material to my long-time good friend Rich Mouser, a gold record producer in Altadena CA. Rich and I go way back to our teen-age years making music in Colorado Springs. While he gives me the best possible deal in the use of his incredible studio as well as his own unmatched skills, it is still quite expensive and time consuming to conquer the editing and mix process.

When I have both a mix and a manuscript I then move it along to a publisher (World Library and OCP for liturgical works) and then another very long process begins! (Consideration, acceptance on the occasions when I might be so blessed, and then more editing) This could easily take years and hasn't been known for paying off any major bills, so it is truly a labor of love.


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