August 2015 we started recording Silver Painted Radiance, the album then released in February 2016. Only now almost 10 months later I’ve gather enough mood and energy to talk about the album. This album is different in so many ways, well yes of course, Quiet Down was released in 2009, I’ve grew since then, went through many things.
The full band format.
I used to perform by myself back then because I didn’t have a band or session players, yet, I didn’t know many people from the music ‘hood’. I used to perform alone, go to venues alone, carry and setup all my gear by myself. But as things progressed I managed to invite a session player or two with me on stage. Before I know it, I was performing full band with a drummer, bass player and a drummer.
I do enjoy performing solo, but playing with a band has a certain vibe, and later on I want to bring this vibe into an album. I wanted to do a full band album on my 3rd album, How To Stop Time, but after calculating the cost, it was just too expensive (too hire all the players, studios, engineer etc) so I backed off. But I managed to get a semi-band-format sound on How To Stop Time because some good friends (Om Adoy and Om Bratz from Bonita and the HUSband) were willing to help with a very minimum fee, the best I could afford at the time.
Fast forward 2 years later (after How To Stop Time) I finally managed to safe (a lot of) money to produce Silver Painted Radiance, (damn it was an expensive album, and all that cash were my own, LOL). I recorded the album with my session players that I usually have on stage; Jonathan Palempung (keys), Kristian Dharma (bass) and Jessi Mates (drums). So full band format recording was a go.
No bedroom recordings, hello pro recording studio.
I’ve spent time recording previous albums alone in my bedroom. As edgy and hipster as it may sound, it was also very exhausting. I have to work as everything; the songwriter, the lyricist, the sound engineer, the studio engineer, the studio crew. I have to wait till late at night where everyone’s asleep, close all door shut and windows so that any sound from outside would get in. Oh, the air condition noise wasn’t good either, so I had to turn it off, it was both studio and a sauna.
This time I finally got a chance to record an album in a proper studio (the album was recorded at DSS studio), it was stylish and very pro all around, yeay.
So did i like recording at a pro studio? errm….not really, apparently. First factor was i didn’t like the studio booking time. This was a pro studio that every musician want to use, this was also a rehearsal studio. We were recording about 3 days, and had to wait for 2 weeks to do our next session because someone else already book the studio, did our next session and had to wait again for a week, pffftt. The studio’s shift factor wasn’t fun for me too. On our first bookings we only hire the studio until 6pm. I remember recording my (unfinished) guitar part and constantly looking at the clock on the wall behind me, our shift was almost finished, crazy!
And then there were the people’s availability factor. Remember i work with a number of people. These people are pro musicians and engineers with other various projects too. So gathering them all at one time was not always easy.
Pro recording again for the next album? Thanks but no thanks, i’ve done it. I’m going back to my bedroom, or other people’s ‘bedroom’ studio that i can use or borrow, nothing big.
The happier more positive songs.
Silver Painted Radiance contains happier more positive songs. No more ‘galau’ broken relationship songs. There were few life struggles i was going through when i was writing songs for this album, you know, adult stuff. But instead of ended up with sad songs, the theme of the album was to have a positive outlook; yes life is hard, it is a struggle, it is for everyone, but we have no other way but forward and keep moving. In a way, this positive vibe became an advice for myself, a pat on my own back.
You know that saying that goes “always look for the silver lining”? “behind every cloud there is a silver lining”? ease after hardship? this is where i got the idea for the album name – Silver Painted Radiance.
I also did lots of strumming, because i was writing positive happy songs, the strumming were relevant, it gives energy to the songs.
What do i think about Silver Painted Radiance
The good : I’ve done what i want. I’ve recorded a full-band-format album in a pro and proper studio. I’ve worked the industry pros including Indra Q that mix and mastered the album. I have a professional sounded album. I’ve managed to move one step forward on this music journey. The album won AMI awards for best folk production. I’ve tried something new, something different. I did what need to be done.
The not so good : There are audience that miss the ‘old’ Adhitia Sofyan; the calm and quiet one. This album is a bit ‘loud’ for some people. And for some reason the songs are just fail to make good connection with the audience, well, at least that’s how i feel.
On the next post i will write about each songs on the album and their meanings. Right now i’m already writing songs for the next album.
Finished with the album and still keep on thinking.