February 12th – Original Version Vs studio Album
‘New Song’ is the very first song recorded on a multitrack polyphonic synthesizer, which is a remarkable piece of hardware. Prior, to this song being recorded there were no polyphonic synthesisers (at that time the closest we had was an Oberheim SEM). It was instead blocked out on an obscure ARP Odyssey. The recording thus remained unheard of.
A week later, however, the Odyssey was replaced by the iPAQ, and the music studio album February 12th was recorded using this new technology. This is actually a relatively simple task: the engineer will set up an “auto-trace” voice tracking system where each voice is assigned a unique tracking station. In this case each voice would be played through an iPAQ or an iPod connected directly to the computer via an audio interface. The engineer would then add more tracks, each designated to the next instrument. This means that when it came time to insert new songs, all the instruments would be playing in real time.
It is interesting to note February 12th is the anniversary of the birth of an autistic girl, Elena Maltsevsky. Elena was not only a famous composer but also very autistic, so it was heartening to hear her voice being used on such a famous production. This new song is truly a masterpiece and bears close resemblance to Elena’s earlier songs ‘Chase Me’ and ‘Secrets’. Elena had also worked extensively with John Cage in the decades before she was a professional pianist, working on several of his piano compositions. Her contribution to the production of February 12th was undoubtedly important, and to this day the inclusion of Elena’s voice is very moving. I highly recommend this album to anyone who loves soprano voice, choral pieces and cello compositions alike!