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Memories: Behind The Scenes

Behind The Scenes

Memories: Behind The Scenes – One can fail to realize how much actually goes into every detail of a piece. “Memories” is a compilation of my entire life; wrapped up in a silver bow for the holidays. It all started back in 2018, when I found out my grandmother passed away. It was sudden to say the least. I did not have the chance to travel to my hometown to say goodbye. This being because I was in school.

This music was born from a sense of deep frustration and anger, towards a God that I love. Everyone thinks grief is all sunshine and daisies when it comes to losing someone. Well let me tell you, it isn’t. Though the emotions might look different, they still reign true till this day. I took it upon myself to dedicate this piece to my grandma. She had such a massive influence in my life, and always helped me look at the positives. When I was struggling in school, she was always a phone call away; every step of the way.

In 2019, I had the privilege to showcase my work through my senior recital. There were grueling months of preparation. All in all, I had finally done it! I released “The Unknown” near the end of 2018, and have been sitting on “Memories” ever since. Due to jumping straight into work, much of my music sat dormant, and un-recorded. It wasn’t until the latter part of 2020 that I decided to record it and release it to the world.

Recording Memories

It was probably the first time I had ever done a personal project that was all virtual. I would have preferred to meet in person, but I knew with the pandemic that would not be a possibility. I asked my accompanist, Cameron Evans, if he would be willing to record his part. He got back to me with his recording and I believe I literally said “THAT’S IT!” There was no hesitation, no rerecords, it was perfect. It brought me to tears the first time I listened to it, as well as my family.

The next step was on me, to rerecord the piano part. It normally would be already quantized, but I had to re-record it to match Cameron’s magnificent performance. With a little bit of tweaking and moving things around, I got the desired flow that I was looking for. This included REAL rubato, not the fake tempo changes you can input in manually.

Mixing Memories

The next step was to mix it. I don’t think I had ever asked so many people for critique on my mix at once, but I did… Having multitudes of opinions, and finding the middle ground, was probably the hardest part of the process. Thankfully, I was able to get the mix to a standard that met everyone’s expectations.

Mastering Memories

The next step was mastering. I found a guy on instagram a few years back, and have always kept the relationship with him open. Thinking about doing the master on my own, but I soon realized how difficult his job is is.

Lucas or “Luke” Pimentel, is an amazing Riverside-based mixing and mastering engineer. He actually took me under his wing in the process; helping me get the best product possible. He graciously listened to my mixes so there wasn’t a translation issue to distribution. My goal was to make his job as easy as possible.

Surprisingly enough, I got the finished master from him when I was getting my Covid test (haha). My mom and I were sitting in the car, and we both said, “This is it…”

Promoting Memories

Next step was to try and build hype around the idea of “Memories”. My first question was: “When you think about memories, what comes to your mind?” I got several responses that really resonated with me. They were very closely themed to what this song was really about: Family. When I found out that my dad had Covid it was difficult to stay focused. I kept trudging through it, and continued releasing videos, and content for people to enjoy amidst all the turmoil.

It finally came time to begin creating a collage. This as well as giving some insight to the song. The words were: Mom, Everything, More, Onward, Remember, Inspiration, Education, and Solitude. Each had a special place in the years before, as well as up to this point in time.

Pitching Memories

On top of promotion and trying to build some hype around this original piece, I also had to start pitching to playlists. This process bore some fruit, but unfortunately not much from the bigger names (i.e. Spotify). Hopefully in the future they will find the value that my listeners find in this piece! We shall see… It’s been over a year since its original release, getting better and better results every day.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to share my story with the world, and hopefully to be able to change people’s lives for the better. That’s my story. What’s yours?

If you’d like to take a listen to “Memories”, click here.

Thank you for reading, “Memories: Behind The Scenes”!

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