The Making of "All About Bach"

I love being a musician, and I love exploring the technology that makes recorded sound possible. The creation of this album allowed me to combine my artistic and technical sides in such a fascinating way. Initially, my goal was to quickly record some piano and cello material so that I could spend quality time honing my audio skills through experimentation with different equalizer, compressor and plug-in settings to create the optimal sound. This is why I didn’t want to make my debut album original compositions.

I decided on the Bach theme since I’ve always enjoyed playing and teaching his music. Even though I’m a classically trained pianist and cellist — at times, I have strayed very far from these roots as my music interests have expanded over the years. I was pleasantly surprised to see that my same passion for the classics was still there. I found myself studying musical tables of ornamentation and researching Baroque performance techniques and interpretation. I didn’t know that I would enjoy going down that path as much as I did.

Song #7 (The Adagio from The Toccata) was by far the biggest challenge to record since I played both the piano accompaniment and solo cello part. I experimented with a few ways of making the duet work before I came up with a good plan. The piano part by itself is sparse and doesn’t have much of a shape without knowing what’s going on in the cello line. Since the piano is what I call a precision instrument (no intonation considerations to worry about unlike with stringed instruments), I figured out that it would be best to get the piano track finalized first. I then recorded the cello part on top and mixed the sound levels to try to make both tracks sound more cohesive together.

This project was definitely a labor of love, and I hope that you enjoy the song previews.

Audrey Williams: All About Bach

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