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Brockton James / "A Vision of the Season" (Production Notes):

Release Dates: October 26, 2009 (Digital) / November 23, 2009 (Physical)
Released and marketed by James Specialty Co., P.O. Box 656, Paradise CA, 95967 USA
UPC: 884502243710
Total playing time: 49:18
Genres: World / Easy listening / Instrumental (Christmas/Holiday)

Recorded Summer 2007 to October 18, 2009. Mastering completed October 23, 2009.


1. Angels We Have Heard On High (2:59) Tempo = 105 bpm. • Medieval French carol
Recording completed May 3, 2009; Mix completed September 10, 2009.
I have always loved this melody, but wanted to experiment with a much different arrangement that what is normally presented. The result is a blend of orchestral passages, acoustic guitars and a beat with a "world" flavor! I hope you enjoy this version!

2. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (3:19) Tempo = 80 bpm. • English trad., first pub in 1833
Recording completed September 27, 2009; Mix completed October 21, 2009.
A unique version, blending sax and folk instruments with a "world" edge!

3. Good King Wenceslas (Tempus Adest Floridum) (2:50) Tempo = 100 bpm.• 13th century Swedish, first pub in 1582
Recording completed July 15, 2009, Mix completed September 15, 2009.
This version is a bit whimsical, featuring flutes, recorder, guitars and a "Gypsy" world beat!

4. A New Tradition (2:31) Tempo = bpm. • 2007, Brockton James
Began Summer 2007; Recording completed June, 2009.
My first holiday-inspired instrumental composition. This piece features a full orchestra, and is reminiscent of classical pieces from the "old" traditions! I hope you enjoy it!

5. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (4:25) Tempo = 100 bpm. • 1840, Felix Mendelssohn
Recording completed August 23, 2009; Mix completed October 4, 2009.
Another unique version of a Christmas classic! Again, some folksy instruments with ethnic percussion add up to a very different "world" texture!

6. O Little Town of Bethlehem (St. Lewis version) (2:30) Tempo = 74 bpm. • 1868, Lewis H. Redner
Recording completed June 27, 2009; Mix completed September 6, 2009.
A very simple, peaceful arrangement. I originally intended for this piece to be a sax solo with piano accompaniment. However, working under time constraints, I needed to provide a version for a submission to a music library, so I put down a quick flute part. I really liked the flute and decided to leave it! I still may do this song with a sax at some point! Originally recorded with a piano and guitar accompaniment, the addition of a bass part was suggested by my good friend and collaborator, George Maddaloni of NY. (Thanks Geo!)

7. O Come, All Ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) (2:58) Tempo = 90 bpm. • 1751, attributed to John Francis Wade
Completed October 20, 2009
Essentially two versions in one! Yes, that's me humming at the beginning!

8. Away in a Manger (Flow Gently, Sweet Afton; Mueller) (3:06) Tempo = 85, 90 bpm. • 1838, J.E. Spilman; 1887, James R. Murray
Began November 28, 2008; Recording completed July 8, 2009; Mix completed October 22, 2009.
This arrangement actually featuures the two most commony-known melodies associated with this song--the European "Flow Gently, Sweet Afton" and the common American melody, "Mueller." The second half of this song actually blends the two, in a rather "jazzy" style!

9. Silent Night (Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!) (3:31) Temp = 70 bpm. • 1818, Franz X. Gruber
Recording and mix completed October 18, 2009.
I wanted to experiment with different blends of instrumentation for this song. This is a very different version, featuring East Indian tambura and harmonium, "married" to acoustic guitars, flute and harp. A bit meditative...

10. The First Noël (5:09) Tempo = 85 bpm. • English carol, as early as the 13th century, first pub in 1823
Recording completed September 26, 2009; Mix completed October 8, 2009.
Very different texture blending a "folksy" sound with ethnic percussion. In fact, this song "morphs" between a variety of textures! It was fun to record, and I hope you enjoy it!

11. The Twelve Days of Christmas (4:14) Tempo = 120 bpm. • English-French trad.
Began September, 2008; Recording completed May 9, 2009; Mix completed August 23, 2009.
I wanted to record a version of this song in which each "item" mentioned (in the most common versions) are represented musically! I didn't want to get too whimsical with it, so I think this can be considered a unique, but fun version! This took an immense amount of time to record--I hope you enjoy it!

12. The Bells of December (2:53) Tempo = 120 bpm.• 2009, Brockton James
Began Summer, 2008; Recording completed September 16, 2009; Mix completed October 19, 2009.
Another holiday original. This one was largely an experiment, utilizing orchestral elements, electric guitars, piano, saxophone, bass and drums/persussion. Oh, and bells! Enjoy!

13. O Holy Night (4:44) Tempo = 67, 69, 74 bpm. • 1847, Adolphe C. Adam
Recording completed September 18, 2009; Mix Completed October 22, 2009.
One of my favorite Christmas songs! It is a timeless melody, a very well-composed song! I have wanted to do a version like this for many years. It features an alto saxophone lead with a full orchestra accompaniment. This took a great deal of time to record, but I think you'll enjoy the results!

14. Auld Lang Syne (3:21) Tempo = 70 bpm. • Scottish trad.
Began April 5, 2009; Recording completed August 22, 2009; Mix completed October 15, 2009.
A fitting end to the album. This is a very "folksy" version, with acoustic guitars, mandolin, harmonica, etc. Feel free to sing along!


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Production equipment used on this project:
Computer applications: MOTU Digital Performer, Propellerhead Reason, T-Racks Mastering / Interface: MOTU 728mkII / Console: Mackie 1604VLZ / Control Surfaces: Mackie HUI, Novation Remote Zero / Mics: CAD, Rode, Shure / Monitors: Event Studio Precision, M-Audio Studiophile 40 / Other: ART MP Studio Tube Preamp / Keyboards: Kawai K5000S, M-Audio Ozone / Instruments: Yamaha BB300 Bass; Fender, Epiphone and Washburn Guitars; 1925 Conn Alto Saxophone, Lee Oskar and Hohner Harmonicas, Yamaha Recorder; Amplifiers by Vox and Orange; and a vast collection of percussion instruments--drums, shakers, bells, etc.




 


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