We chatted to her about her recent song ‘Made of Light’ for the project, a collaboration with fellow PSP songwriter Maya McCourt.
1. Have you recorded any collaborations before?
Yes, I am fortunate to have been able to collaborate with many local and not so local musicians … but precisely this one with Maya is my ﬁrst distance collaboration.
Listen to Lizeth’s collaboration, Respiro by
I remember we were talking about that week’s playlist right at the end of PSP phase one. And we were sharing the mutual fascination for each other’s music and some experiences about recording and mixing, and I think it only popped up in the conversation like, ‘We should do a collaboration one day …’ Then the next phase came and as soon as I saw the collaboration station badge, I thought we could take the opportunity.
Yes, we talked about it a little but not structurally, I think we basically focused on how much
freedom each of us would have with our part, and we agreed total freedom and once we put the main ideas together go with the ﬂow of the song. At ﬁrst it was just like ‘I’ll send you some piano tracks, a basic structure, and if the lyrics or maybe a Solo part require changes, we can do it…’ and after I sent my idea to Maya she sent me back three Cello tracks, lyrics, melody and some backing vocals … almost immediately … wow! then I just added more backing vocals.
I think it was mostly through experimentation. I had a couple of chords in my head and once I started recording them and decided to keep it simple and repetitive the entire song came out and I liked the idea of giving space to what could be generated with vocals and cello or maybe some effects. Then I had a conversation with Maya just before uploading the song and she told me that she just had a vague idea for the melody and started singing and recording it, doing some improvisation on the lyrics as well. I was surprised because I had thought of doing something similar and did the same thing with the vocals at the end of the song, so, I think most takes on this one are ‘ﬁrst takes’.
I usually think ﬁrst about the song’s subject and try to imagine about what story I want to tell with my song, whether it’s instrumental or not; and I use that as my creative guide.
This time I didn’t think about it, I just recorded music without thinking about being in control of the end result. I have never done that for a recording. And the process and the result were beautiful!
Logic, Tascam US-144 interface, Akai MPK Mini Midi Controller, M-Audio Nova LDC Microphone.
Deﬁnitely more! Learning to collaborate musically with someone new is an invaluable experience.
Listen to and download ‘Made of Light’ by Lizeth Ruvalcaba and Maya McCourt on Bandcamp: