Sweet is the Sound

from Cello Noodles, Vol. I by Betsy Tinney

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Kris Burch
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Kris Burch I "saw" a woman in a white, about knee-length dress, dancing on a stage that was dark everywhere but where she danced. Then, I saw hints of foliage and daylight.


This is a duo improvisation between Betsy Tinney (me, cello) and S.J. Tucker (guitar & vocals). This piece flowed out of us spontaneously, without any preceding discussion or planning. (Even Sooj's vocals/lyrics were improvised - she says the words just popped into her mind while we were playing.)

Trivia for this piece:

· The recording was made in my home studio shortly after Thanksgiving. No turkeys were harmed in the making of this piece.

· I'm playing my old wooden cello, Godiva, and Sooj is playing her little green carbon-fiber guitar, Dragonfly.

· This piece was recorded in a single take, except for Sooj's vocals. (She hadn't been planning to sing, so we hadn't set up a vocal mic. When we listened to the initial recording, we were unsurprised to find that her improvised vocals were far too quiet, only barely picked up by the guitar mic. So, we set up a proper vocal mic, and Sooj went back and recorded the vocal track.)

· The spooky cello stuff under the vocals was achieved via a bowing technique called "ponticello," in which the bow is drawn across the strings more lightly than usual, and much closer to the bridge. As a result, the string doesn't resonate fully, and makes a sound with more harmonics and less "belly" than usual.

· During mixing, I added a lot of reverb to the ponticello section, but that's the only "effect" I used; most of what you hear in that section is just my bow interacting with the string.


from Cello Noodles, Vol. I, released April 9, 2015
Cello: Betsy Tinney
Guitar & vocals: S.J. Tucker


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Betsy Tinney Seattle, Washington

NEW ALBUM on December 4!

Winter Greens: Carols for the Season includes all my previously released cello carols (remixed & mastered), plus a few new ones.

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