🎸🔊The Long Shadows’ Studio Preparation - Part 1/5: Sef
Oct 25, 2022
I hope you’re doing well…! We’re already kicking into the last days of October, and I don’t know if it’s the same for you, but I really like it when we’re getting closer to Halloween! I am actually sitting in a nice café downtown this Saturday morning and while listening to this outstanding new single from Soundwalk Collective called Eternity (Jim Jarmusch Remix), I’m looking at how amazing it is to see how this city is filled with such a grandiose and grand style Halloween vibe, almost as if I was part of a Stephen King book! :) The very bright sun and clear blue sky don’t really fit the actual vibe, the entire scenery is still quite enchanted-looking with all those red and yellow colored leaves in the foreground of such a perfect blue canvas! A great start to today!
I met Sef a few years prior to joining Your Favorite Enemies (the band we were all in before being with Alex Henry Foster and The Long Shadows), and to this day, he still surprises me, intrigues me, amazes me, and – of course – troubles me a little, even if we always had a fascinating relationship! He’s been a friend of Alex even before I was, and has been a founding member of every musical project Alex gave birth to, always contributing with his unique signature. Sef truly is like a mad sounds and noises scientist, always intrigued and thirsty about never-heard-before hullabaloo!
Between you and I, I always thought Sef’s mother had been kidnapped by some outer space creature for a little while and came back pregnant. I’m also very doubtful about Sef’s passion for new sonic horizons as maybe they are signals sent to some out-there life waiting for the right time to come back for him!
Seriously, Sef has been a main actor and contributor to Alex’s sonic journeys ever since they first met. He plays guitar, Moog modular system, kamancheh, recently added violin to this already impressive list, and keyboards of all kinds and sizes are more and more part of his own musical creations. He released two albums under his name and he opened up for Alex almost every evening during our last summer tour! Sef is also an ambassador for Orange Amps, Boss FX, Chase Bliss pedals, and a few more!
It’s a true delight for me to share his answer to my question: “How do you get ready before heading to the studio knowing you’ll be working on a new album with Alex?”
First of all, Alex always takes time apart to meditate, to muse about a specific idea or concept, something precious to his heart, before exposing the soul and heart of a project. He will then share his thoughts and how he envisions the project with the five of us. It always comes with specific artists/bands, albums, and songs, to translate the artistic approach of the upcoming project.
I have the privilege to work in the secondary studio in our HQ in Drummondville. This is where I record all the different sketches and musical ideas, learn new instruments, and do a lot of sound explorations (without killing the ears of nobody!). I always have some notes close, either from a conversation, a text message, or an email from Alex regarding the project. Since Windows in the Sky, I envision the different projects more like the soundtrack to a story; I will have images in my head that are fed through words Alex shared with us. What I love about that is the fact that the original vision is in constant motion.
Once Alex shared this story with us, through what he’s living and experiencing in his daily life, new ideas come, sometimes to implement something already shared. He will send me new songs he discovered to be inspired and get closer to the heart of what he wants to commune through the project. It helps me challenge what would come to me naturally when I compose music, dig deeper, or simply go in a new direction. I send Alex the different sketches and musical ideas I create, and whenever I get too excited about something, I record a little excerpt on my phone and send it to him before going to the end of the idea!
Thank you so much for reading this entire letter! I’ll have 4 more like this one for you!
Important hint - Make sure you check out next week’s letter, as there will be an amazing and unexpected surprise for you in there! Little hint: it starts with a V!
I wish you a stunning week in the meantime!!!
Your Friend and Host,