Those of you who’ve frequented my blog over the years probably remember my student Connor, the 10-year-old AC/DC fanatic who writes hard rock songs about American history and his guinea pig, Spikey. I’m happy to announce that after two years of work, his EP “Too Small” is now available for sale at CreateSpace.com. You can also buy it at Amazon.com, but less of the money will go to Connor.
Making this album with Connor was such a blast. I looked at the project as an opportunity to motivate Connor to polish his songwriting and performance skills, and one skill we focused on was singing into the mic as if he were in front of a cheering crowd. It’s a huge challenge for an inexperienced recording artist to muster enough energy for a compelling vocal performance in the peaceful quiet of a small studio. If you listen to the album, I think you’ll agree that Connor “got it.”
Mixing with Connor was fascinating. He has a great ear for post-production. I always give students final say when we’re making artistic decisions, but in Connor’s case this usually resulted in a better-sounding recording. He was good at balancing the volume of the different instruments to create a nice blend, and was adventurous experimenting with guitar effects. For example, he created the helicopter-like sound in the breakdown of “Slavery” by cranking all the knobs on my BOSS Flanger pedal. I winced when I first heard the effect, but Connor insisted that was the sound he wanted. Now I love that part.
Connor’s definitely excited to make real money from his music, but I’ve been impressed with his mature handling of mom’s suggestion to donate some of the proceeds to Children’s Hospital. Connor had severe allergies and barely survived his birth, and he really seems to understand the value of giving back to the hospital that saved his life.
I hope you enjoy the music. Hold on to your hairnet!
Playtime: 15 minutes
1. Too Small For a Giant
2. What Are You Doing For Halloween, Spikey?
5. Civil War
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Children’s Hospital in Seattle.
Video of Connor
Wild Thing – Filmed when Connor was six.
Death Nightmare – 2009 Coffee Shop Jam