Last nights recording went mostly pretty well. The couple of things that did not go well were entirely of my doing but the recording itself went off without a hitch.
The Culture Container, as established by its founder, owner and general manager, Franz Rodeck, is a purpose-built live recording set up. It is essentially a small but very comfortable venue/theatre space which is set up to record whomever performs there. You book the venue, pay an incredibly reasonable fee and receive a quality live recording and video. Franz is friendly and open and takes a lot of pride in making the experience as satisfactory as possible. Basically, if you are in Berlin and looking to record a live album, a promo video or just a record of your current show, the Culture Container should be on top of your list of options.
For my part, I did two silly things:
The first was that I got a blister on the tip of the middle finger of my left hand when trying to move the braai we were grilling on at Tempelhof yesterday afternoon. Dumb.Ass.Thing.To.Do. I had to walk around the block a couple times with my finger in an ice-cream before I could stop berating myself. In the end it turned out that the calluses I have from guitar playing saved the day and the blister ended up being just out of the way of any real trouble but it was still a really unnecessary stress.
The second thing was that I totally forgot that when you are recording anything, even if it is just at home, the stress and worry about making mistakes is on a different level. I make mistakes just about every time I play live but it has become quite easy to either move on from them mentally (because usually they are insignificant and I am really the only one who will notice) or (if the mistakes are a little more severe) have a total internal freakout while trying to keep a straight face about it all and then just get on with the show. Last night, however, every time I made a little mistake I would automatically start thinking about how that would sound on the recording which would distract me even more and lead to another mistake which would lead to more stress and disheartenment. So that was quite annoying. If I could just have thought about it before and got myself into a better headspace I think I would have enjoyed the show more.
As it is, by general accounts the show went really well. Everyone had a good time (I could even see some feet tapping and shuffling during the show which cheered me up quite a bit!) and the bits of the recording that Franz played me afterwards sounded great. It’s just the funny experience of having a tough time even though things are coming out fine. I will go collect the recording on Wednesday and then put it all together when I get back to Joburg.
And so, this marks the official end of this tour. It has been a really great experience and I have learned a ton and gained a lot of confidence. I now have a week left in Berlin which will be taken up by hanging out in the summer heat and doing nice summery things (and going to see Patti Smith tomorrow!!) before heading back to Joburg for an anticipated three months of working on new martial and figuring out what to do next!