Last week I wrote a blogpost "Coincidences with a Purpose?" about events leading up to my trio's recording in the town of Seyðisfjörður (population under 800). I always enjoy traveling with a band and especially to the small towns in Iceland. There is a certain sense of calm in these towns, a charm to the old houses and narrow streets and not to mention the beauty of the surrounding mountains and fjords.
Our flight was a bit on the early side or at 7:30 am. I sat next to a handsome young man and apparently decided (unknowingly) to befriend him so I fell asleep and snuggled up against his shoulder the whole flight. They really need to put in head barriers for people like me. He avoided eye contact once I woke up.
After the smooth flight to Egilsstadir we drove over the mountain to Seydisfjordur. I am telling you, if you've never been, you must go. I had never been to Seydisfjordur and the view coming down the mountain into the fjord is gorgeous. I had been yawning all morning and finally stopped after indulging in some caffeinated velvety goodness at Hotel Aldan.
While the guys went to pick up the drum hardware I played around on the Steinway grand piano at the beautiful Blue Church where we were to give a concert that night and record the following day. I was totally into the sound and barely noticed the truck loads of tourist that poured in to see the church. Maybe it worked as a promotional stunt 'cause we had quite a nice crowd at the evening's concert. The guys weren't lying when they told me the sound in the church was amazing. It really was and it felt great to play there.
Our sound engineer Kjartan Kjartansson is a special guy. He usually does sound for movies so he thinks differently than most engineers I've worked with, taking into account where the sound is echoing from and how it travels in the room. He also is a dedicated espresso lover so on top of bringing all his gear to record us he also brought his espresso machine and coffee grinder. What better sound to wake up to up than the sizzle of milk frothing? We were all staying together in an apartment (one big happy family) so I had planned on cooking Huevos Rancheros for everybody. The town's only store didn't have navy beans (which I normally use) so I had to make do with lentils instead and now I think I like them better. I couldn't find a can opener so I used a cork screw to break into the can of tomato paste. Fortunately we found one almost ripe avocado to make guacamole and it all turned out really nice. When the next grocery store is on another side of a mountain you learn to make do with what you have.
We went back to the church to record without an audience. The vibe was very different of course. We didn't listen back to anything and since our engineer is still out there in the east fjords of Iceland with the recording we will have to wait 'til September to find out how we did. I think that letting some time pass before listening back is always a good idea. I look forward to listening back with objective ears in a few weeks. My only regret is that we didn't take the time to experience the view from the edge of the mountain. It is apparently breathtaking. Next time.