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  • one pass2:16

Why the Work Tapes?

In 2006, I began sussing through many of the demos I'd laid down that year and prior and comparing to the work tapes of those same songs. The thing I kept noticing was that the work tapes; the "in-the-raw" versions were so much more compelling and transparent. There was a "real" quality that was very hard to recapture even when just making demos much less full-on productions. I saw an opportunity to capture something rare and at the same time break a 12 song mold that was plaguing the industry. I built a switch that would instantly turn on a make shift studio, but one that would capture and maintain the room and keep that unpolished quality alive. Imagine a square of 400 year old painted bead-board. That was the room. I readied a music stand for notes and kept a mic keyed and over the course of the next few months, I started looking for opportunities to perfect that "raw idea phase" and that "real" quality without looking to polish or clean up, but at the same time, at least get through the new song entirely without rehearsal, when oftentimes even work tapes are over-rehearsed. What happened then was astounding to my ear. Just when a song was beginning to formulate and call itself a song I would run in and instead of rehearsing it death for an eventual recording, I'd just flip that switch, begin to play, improvise even, turn pages and just let it all happen. These work tape volumes were the outcome. There are hundreds of songs in this catalogue. And in the coming months I will begin to release and roll out those additional, unpolished work tapes. I hope you see and understand the validity and value of this endeavor and perhaps enjoy these songs in a new way: laid down, even while in process. The studio can be taxing yes, but looking back: It's not recording process that taxes an artist. It's the willingness to wrestle with the angels.

Joshua Payne 2©17

"I made one pass at the newest tunes.. they were coming in waves. And in the time I spent losing I sang to and into the void. When height your longing redirects your words and weeping into song, the spirit of those moments are the realist they will ever be, so In some sense the switch becomes the brush and the microphone the canvas."