How To Record An Album In Nepal

How To Record An Album In Nepal

All the songs on my first album “We All Hope For The Same”, which is soon ready, have been written and recorded in our rented room in Kathmandu, Nepal , that’s why in the background your hear kids playing , crazy traffic, people yelling, because they are selling something from there bikes, dogs, crickets, roosters and cows. And sometimes the recording was interrupted, because I had to get a rat or a monkey out of the room.

Our room is right next to a big mechanical water pump that every third day makes a crazy noise for hours, and did I mention that we only had electricity half the time.

But the family upstairs was very nice. They didn’t mind me banging on homemade drums and coconuts, or singing choir in the bathroom late at night. And Kathmandu is a very inspiring place with all it’s strong contrasts in color, sounds, smells and dry and wet. You will know what I mean when you visit.

Like Lena I use what I have and what I can find. I have to. In the room we rented was no furniture but for some reason a ladder, which became my mic holder and vocal box. I made it into an isolated cave, using a canvas, sleeping bags and mats. And I used all kinds of things for creating the sounds and “instruments” I wanted, but I will tell more about that in a future blog post.

Every song on “We All Hope For The Same” is recorded and mixed on my little machine, the Tascam DP-006. It is a multitrack “pocket studio” that runs on batteries, so I can make hits with many sound layers, even when I am in the tent. Compared to a computer with pro recording program it might be limited, but for the creative process that is just great. There are some frames for what it possible and in those I play around. When everything is possible, I don’t know where to start, and I wanna do so much that the result becomes confusing or maybe it doesn’t happen at all. But on this simple machine the next step was always clear.

When you are used to clicking on a screen it is so fun to do everything manually, press buttons and turn real nubs. But it is also very scary because it is so fragile. I can’t go back. If I delete something it is gone. When I put two tracks together, their levels can’t be changed. It’s exiting and I am extra happy when something works.

There are also no effects, so if I want reverb, I must set up my gear in the toilet…

The working flow of creating everyday for three months have been so addictive. Going to bed and having done something you are happy about is wonderful. You decide you wanna do it, and then do it everyday, and quickly you have made something. I can recommend going to a country like Nepal and only do what you love to do. You don’t get disturbed by your everyday life distractions, it is cheap to live and people are super chill.

I am very exited to share the first whole song from the upcoming album. And I am very hungry for feedback, any kind, so let me know what you think – I wanna get better.

Questions are also welcome.

I want to thank Stephan Eberthäuser, who I met volunteering in Greece, for mixing and making it sound better. Out of the blue he offered to help, and that felt very nice. And I also want to thank Rajan Shrestha, a cool musician here from Kathmandu, who borrowed me his bass. And also the artist Kalaish K Shrestha, who let me stay in his flat to record the bass and mix.

Here we go.

The album will soon be up for free download, just follow our Facebook site.

The song is called “In Your Space”, and here are the lyrics.

Yes I know it’s not logical
Trusting the good will of the stream
All around you are weird shadows
But who is pointing the beam

Even that spiky hedge hog
Only showing his teeth
Try to give him a long hug
He is soft underneath

If you pick only what you can eat
You will have room inside you left
In there we can all have a seat
And we will warm up your chest

If we let the kids do their thing
They will make some new trails
Let’s not scare them with boogie man
‘Cause we fear they will fail

You make the space
And decide if it’s okay to drum
The smile on his face
Is the spark that your fire is from

Don’t have to stretch a long way up
There’s also no need to pull
When you care if he’s eating enough
Then you will also be full

Salty waves don’t mind going down
They don’t need to escape
If they only were going up
They would be going straight

You make the space
And decide if it’s okay to drum
The smile on his face
Is the spark that your fire is from

When you are sleeping alone
What’s climbing down in a thin string
That you will never know
Don’t waste you morning thinking

Published by Lena and William Sikker

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