Taking the studio on stage / by petergregson

Yes, another live music rant. Don't look so surprised.

Other than learning some "standard" repertoire for the coming season, my spare time (haha) has been taken up with reworking Terminal for live performance.

It isn't as simple as pressing "play" in iTunes and playing along... I mean, it could be that simple, but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun, nor would it be in the slightest bit creative.
But it throws up a few really interesting problems: the album was written, recorded and produced in the studio - I'll be honest and admit that there wasn't much thought at the time as to how it would work live, when it came to it. 

So, how do you take the studio on stage?

When you hear it, you'll see what I mean: it'll all cello, and even supposing I can look you in the eye and tell you that I played it all, some things are impossible all at once: reverse pizzicato at the same time as live sampling a phrase on top of the melody that is nestled on top of the bass drone? Yeah. Not happening.

So, Milton and I are working through it, dissecting the key components and discovering what makes each track quintessentially itself. We're using samples as little as possible, but inevitably it has to happen from time to time, so finding the must natural and direct ways to implement them is key.

I have 3 live performances of Terminal in April: London, New York and San Francisco. As a result of all the work that's going on now, each show will be different, and I strongly believe that is better for both the audience and me. I'll post the videos of each event as and when they appear...

It's now only 2 weeks to go until release, and I'm really looking forward to hearing what you all think of the album - it feels like such a lifetime ago that I was sitting in The Production Room at Real World, drinking my own body weight in tea and coffee and pulling 18 hour days... but it was only 5 months ago!

Funnily enough, I think I've probably gained as much from reworking what was, effectively, a studio album, for the stage as I did in writing and producing it. 
I have absolutely no desire to make my next record in a different way; I like that there is a fixed recorded version, and I like that the live versions will be different each time. Surely that's how much should be? I'm tired of hearing record-perfect performances... 
I want there to be liberties taken on stage, and I don't want the audience to know what to expect; otherwise, why not just sit and listen to the CD really really loud?