For close to thirteen years I lived in a wonderful old house on Augusta Avenue in Toronto’s Kensington Market. Many of these songs were written there, and the inside cover photograph was shot in the backyard. When faced with the prospect of moving to a new location, I thought it would be nice to commemorate my beloved pad with this CD.
Over the years I’ve explored different styles of music, but always return to writing songs on an acoustic guitar. Although I often perform solo, Augusta is the first release that documents this bare bones approach. There were no punch in’s, edits, or auto-tune, and most of the ambience is from the room itself.
Glenn Gould Studio is a remarkable modern recording facility designed as a live concert hall. Microphones are placed throughout the room to capture different balances of the natural reverb. In the final mix of this material only a smidgeon of digital delay was utilized as an irresistable sonic detail on one tune.
The project was initiated by producer/engineer Ron Skinner, who invited me to do a live solo taping for the CBC show Bandwith. There was no audience present, which honestly explains why there isn’t wild applause after each track.
Three of these songs were included on the broadcast, but none have been available on disc before. Some however, have been around for quite some time and are favorites to play at gigs.
I was truly honored to record at a room with such incredible audio standards, and I’d sincerely like to thank Ron, Bill Stunt, and CBC Radio for the wonderful opportunity. Thanks to Al Beardsell for building me an inspiring new guitar that made it’s recording debut here (Wind In The Sails uses the same guitar but was prepared with a piece of paper woven between the strings). Thanks also to Meryn Cadell for telling me that 315 Augusta was available way back in the fall of 91.
Kurt Swinghammer, April 2004
released January 1, 2004
All music and lyrics written by Kurt Swinghammer
Produced by Ron Skinner
Kurt Swinghammer - vocals and acoustic guitar
Recorded live at the CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto
by Ron Skinner
Mastered by Ron Skinner at Heading North
Cover art by Kurt Swinghammer
Photo by Graham Powell
Cover assembly by Dan Bryk
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