Now I Know Why
"...the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act out their dream with open eyes, to make it possible." - T.E. Lawrence It's 8am on Wednesday May 2nd. As a watery sun inches above West London, seventeen artists are making their various ways to Chiswick's Metropolis Studios. For trumpeter Giles Fowler, it's a special day for two reasons. His wife is due to give birth to their first child. And he is about to appear on the album, 'Now I Know Why'. For Angus Murray, songwriter and band leader, it's an equally big day. 'Now I Know Why' represents the last 10 years of his life. Over the next three days his dreams, and those of his band, will be compressed into a single hour-long recording. 10am. Sound engineers Adrian and Lee are cool. Angus sits at the late Freddie Mercury's Fazioli grand piano, and together the musicians generate an atomic atmosphere in the studio. By the end of day one, five tracks are down, with six to go. Midday on day two. The band is tight, and the usual river of banter is flowing between the trumpet and trombone sections, reminding Angus of the back row on the school bus (a distant memory). Howard Cottle steps up to nail his tenor solo on 'Bye Bye Blackbird'. Then comes 'Mack The Knife', The Big Band's rendition of a favourite song. By 5pm all the backing tracks are in the can. Friday is vocal day. And night. Adrian lowers the lights in the recording booth, and Angus steps up to sing through the classic Neumann U47 microphone, and straight onto the Focusrite desk - one of only a dozen on the planet. Another three days of mixing and mastering, and the tale is told. 10 years. 17 artists. 11 tracks. 50 minutes. One album. And Giles Fowler's wife? The baby waited until after the last track had been laid down. Now you know why.