Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on May 5th 2010 2:00PM by Steve Baltin
"[It was] quite a traumatic time for me because that was the end of the Tal and Vinnie band and the end of music as I knew it because I hadn't anybody to go into the studio with, didn't have a clue who to turn to with a view to making a record," he tells Spinner, referring to the departure of former band members Tal Wilkenfeld and Vinnie Colaiuta. Then his manager suggested producer Trevor Horn (Belle and Sebastian, Art of Noise, Seal, Genesis). "I thought, 'Well, he's produced some amazing results,'" Beck says. "Then from there it went to Steve Lipson, who did most of the studio work. The nuts and bolts of it was done by Steve Lipson."
Beck, whose reputation for perfectionism is legendary, found the producers eventually came on board to his way of thinking. "I think Trevor and Steve thought they probably would be having a rough time with me. But gradually we got to know one another over the weeks and my insanity became attractive to them," he says, laughing.
With the two of them on board, Beck was able to accomplish a goal he had wanted to accomplish since 1974's landmark 'Blow by Blow.' "As far as putting a full orchestra on, that was probably the one thing I hadn't really fulfilled since [working with] George Martin, but then his was just scoring. This album is much more dependent on the orchestra," Beck says of the orchestral arrangements on the new album. "Everything was just a gamble. One week I was with nothing, the next minute I had a new manager and a whole new challenge."
Those orchestral pieces on songs like 'Elegy for Dunkirk,' which features vocals by opera singer Olivia Safe, the beautiful 'Corpus Christi Carol' and 'Nessa Dorma' have led to a lot of emotional responses during his current tour. "To look at some of those women and see them crying at the end, but a good cry, it's amazing what can be done," he says.
The women in the audience aren't the only ones moved to tears by the record. "I played 'Elegy for Dunkirk' just for pleasure because of the way Olivia Safe sings in the middle, and it just managed to flush out these tears that were lurking," he says with a chuckle. "So, yeah, I got quite a kick out of that."