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Vienna Teng
Composer , Musician , Singer
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the days grow shorter

We’re in the endgame for the album now. Everything’s been recorded and sung, and most of the choices are behind us. These days my work involves hovering at a respectful distance while the engineer turns knobs, listening for hours so I can give a few seconds of input: turn the horns down here, more of the room mics on the piano on this song, I can’t hear the lyrics at the end of this line. Tonight’s the last night of mix recalls—final small adjustments before this thing goes off to mastering.

I’ve been getting plenty of sleep, ea...Read more

about 11 years ago 0 likes  1 comments  0 shares

postcard from the studio, day \sum_{n=0}^\infty 2^{-n}

We’ve been in the studio for about three days straight—I didn’t step outside for any of the 20 hours I was awake yesterday. Not advocating this as a lifestyle. You can take the kids out of Silicon Valley…Around 5:30 a.m. this morning we finished recording St. Stephen’s Cross, a song that I wrote last fall but never played live. I remember working on it at the Grand Opera House in Wilmington, Delaware, sitting at the piano onstage between soundcheck and showtime, noticing that small pink balloon of pleasu...Read more

over 11 years ago 0 likes  2 comments  0 shares

postcard from the studio, day 27

A friend told me about a book he once owned: one-page summaries of different jobs, including three intelligent questions you could ask someone in that line of work. The questions are surprisingly useful, he said, especially in small-talk situations. No bluffing required, no need to draw tenuous connections to your own experience. Just a bit of informed curiosity to set a good conversation in motion.One question you could ask any working musician is “Do you prefer working in the studio or playing live?” I think all musicians h...Read more

over 11 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

postcard from the studio, day 15

No, I can count; yes, it has been over a month since we started. It’s a fits-and-starts recording process. Lots of location scouting, practicing, phone calls and emails in between. Not to mention trips to the bank and crossing fingers that my deposits clear in time.It’s been a fantastic week: keyboards and one glorious day with a chamber string orchestra, which was preceded by several all-nighters of composing (Alex) and transcribing/editing (me). More thoughts on this whole delirious process when I’m not falling asleep in mi...Read more

over 11 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

postcard from the studio, day 1

Greetings from a business park in San Clemente, one of the unlikelier places to find a recording studio. I’ve been getting my tacos de pescado fix every time we break for a meal. There are two small windows in the live room; from the piano bench I can see blue sky, edges of palm fronds, rays of endless sun.We tracked drums, bass and keys for three songs today, and we’re now totally exhausted. These are not easy songs to play. Sometimes it’s obvious from the start that something’s going to be tricky (e.g. “Stray Italian Greyh...Read more

over 11 years ago 0 likes  2 comments  0 shares

a few post-Earth Day thoughts

Backstage in Montclair, New Jersey. Stephanie White is rehearsing with Robbie LaFalce in the other room—what a voice.I took the train this afternoon: the J out of Brooklyn, then the F up to 34th Street, walked one block west to Penn Station, then hopped on NJ Transit’s Montclair-Boonton Line. From Walnut Street station it was a little less than a mile to the Unitarian church here, past lawns and rows of trees in bloom, through the wide-sidewalked downtown, my suitcase wheels playing a drumbeat across the tiled brick. It’s pro...Read more

over 11 years ago 0 likes  1 comments  0 shares

here, I’ll send you elsewhere

Things are brewing nicely around here. The leaves of album #4 have dropped into the water. It’s ambitious, this record, on pretty much every front; at times I already feel I’m in over my head but in that exhilarating way, like falling in love with someone way out of your league.More on all that later. For now, if it would please you to check out the following: Read more

over 11 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

hello Monday

Working on Sid Arthur this afternoon and getting stuck. Setting meditation sessions to music is tricky business. Rehearsals for a reading begin tomorrow, so I’m hoping this traffic jam clears up soon.Meanwhile, I’ve stumbled upon this:>There are thousands of different definitions of religion. But I like to think of three main ways of understanding it. The first way—and I think almost all of us are religious in this sense—is to define religion as concern about something of ultimate importance. This was Tillich’s broad definition: Religion is ...Read more

almost 12 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

a video for Gravity (or, “reasons why I love a life in music”)

Yes, it’s true—I’m finally going to have a video for an album trackFat Monster Films picked the song several months ago, developed the concept and shot half the footage before approaching me about being in it. A bit of a gamble, but it was a brilliant move; as soon as I saw their 30-second rough edit, I knew I had to be involved. They warned me that they were a small operation, so the shoot wouldn’t be a swanky affair, not mu...Read more

almost 12 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

Huckleberry Hill

I write to you, way past my bedtime, from here. It’s truly amazing—chaotic yet orderly, functionally frivolous. The man who created it gave us a comprehensive tour of the interior when we arrived, and promises an odyssey into the several acres of outdoor marvels when it’s light out. More about what on earth I’m doing here [...]

almost 12 years ago 0 likes  0 comment  0 shares

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That's me in the middle of the Venn Diagram. http://viennateng.com/

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Location (City, Country)
Detroit
Member Since
April 30, 2007