By Dr. Herndon

Photos By Leland Sklar & Lennie Herndon

Musicians can be performers and entertainers, or they can be private players and singers that mostly work privately on their own or with friends. They can spend their musical time interpreting music written by others or they can be writers and creators of their own music.

photo of Dr Herndon, Jackson Browne, and his good friend Jon Gilutin (Linda Rondstadt’s musical director and grammy winning songwriter)

For example, I don’t consider myself an entertainer. I used to try to do that but never really enjoyed that part of being a musician. I remember being in front of several thousand people and telling a joke that no one laughed at. Man, that was a strange experience! At the time it was not fun but now it is funny. I used to tell my kids that things that are weird now would someday be funny.

I do, however, consider myself a recording artist. I spend most of my musical time working in a recording studio writing songs and working with my friends or by myself. In a recording environment, there are several gigs going on: engineering, producing, and making the music. Often, in a private studio, the musician is also the engineer.  And engineering is almost as much fun as playing the instruments and singing.

But what is an “Audio Painting”? Consider the visual artist creating a painting. That artist works with colors to create an overall piece that conveys the idea the artist has in mind. The medium of permanency is the paints and the canvas.

Like the visual artist, the recording artist uses the recording medium as their canvas and musical notes from a number of different instruments as their colors. The medium of permanency for a musician is the created recording.

This finished recording is an “Audio Painting.” When you listen to a recording of a song, consider the effort that it takes to plan out all the parts leaving room for parts to stand out rather than be lost in a cacophony of noise.

It is interesting and descriptive to view recorded music as an Audio Painting!