Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Forest For The Trees

The Forest For The Trees was the third Thom Barker album, and it was our first CD. Marty Jones was the engineer at Sound of One Hand studios in Ottawa, where we recorded it between August 1 and September 14, 1995. I forget how many sessions there were, but I remember there were some longish gaps during the recording and between the recording and mixing while Thom scared up the money to pay for it all. I'm guessing there were at least a dozen sessions. It's probably been close to ten years since I actually listened to Forest, but I remember being pretty impressed by the sound quality at the time. Marty was a good engineer, and Sound of One Hand had recently bought a great Neve console. Also, we were recording to 2-inch tape. So, as you'd imagine, the raw sound was kind of like butter melting on hot asphalt in the summer sun (poetic, no?).

Well, I listened to the album yesterday and two things struck me:
  1. In comparison, the quality of Twice the Usual is much better than I've been giving it credit for
  2. In spite of some truly cringe-worthy moments, there is some Gold! on Forest
Listening to the album also brought back a flood of memories from the sessions, inspiring me to do a little Forest-blogging. Thom has given his permission for me to bare the skinny and post the audio. Are you guys in?

Update (2/07/2009): Now that I think of it, I'm pretty sure Sound of One Hand didn't yet have that Neve console.


  1. G'Day Kenneth,

    There is lots that I like in "The Forest", but I'm not altogether sure what you are asking of us in "Are you guys in?" Please elucidate! Maybe I'm just extra clueless this afternoon? Senior moment?


  2. I meant "Who wants to come along for the ride down memory lane?".

    No more than that... though I hope to get the usual sprinkle of comments, too.

  3. Hi Kenneth,

    I still listen to "The Forest" and do like it. And I do remember a lot about when you were putting it together. So yes, I'll take the ride.

    Love, Mom

  4. I'm a little late on the uptake here, Kenneth. Luckily the blog format allows me to catch up with the rest of you on "Memory Lane". I started backwards, listened to the songs and am now reading your comments. You make it all so interesting with the background information.

  5. Louise, I'm just glad you're back. I was afraid I'd lost a third of my readership!

  6. Oh, I was never really away, Kenneth. I just had a link that kept taking me back to a previous posting. I didn't even check the side menu; I just assumed that you were busy with other things.