“For me it was not as important to create a technically perfect recording as it was to get the original performances and feelings of new songs on tape.Those performances usually carried the essence of the song. That was my method. Let someone else make the perfect record. ” - Neil Young
— Special Deluxe Page 241
Allow me to introduce myself. I’m Mike and this project is called Grey Ballet. For the most part, it is a solo project. What that means is, I play all of the instruments, and I wear all the hats required to produce what you hear. The main idea of this project is to keep all the recordings and content real and unpolished. The above quote from Neil Young was not where I had the idea, but proof of my approach.
I prefer the "perfect imperfections" of a person playing an instrument. I'm old school. Keeping it as close to real as I possibly can,
I'll be as transparent as I can with how I create these works. You'll see my notes on ideas, the instrumentation used and lyrics. This is all in the hopes that a glimpse into how I work ,will provides you with entertainment and/or inspiration. And you get to see the raw aspects of my work. Like "Neil" said, "Let someone else make the perfect record."
Here are a few rules that I like to abide by when composing.
- Perfection is an illusion. It doesn’t exist in nature and especially not in man. So let's stop perfecting music with pitch corrections and the digital masks that hide the humanity and the art in the music.
- Spontaneity is key. Solos are the result of improvisation. I like it best when I don't have a plan and I just go for it.
- It must be interesting both rhythmically and melodically.
- Minimalist instrumentation. Usually not more than four. Sometimes only one.
- The songs are “written” on a one instrument. Sometimes with vocal. Most of my material I can perform alone, without backup.
- Let someone else make the perfect recording (see #1)
I’ve composed a generous amount of material over the past 40+ years. My many years of professional experience performing, study of theory, composition, sound mixing and sound. Experimentation and a strong desire to learn other instruments, “Grey Ballet” is a culmination of all my experience over the years. The techniques in playing and recording I’m always more than happy to share. I’ve been sharing with students for about 40 years now.
Old School. Keeping it real.