Tag Archives: recording

Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year. As a child, growing up in New England, I was always singing in the church choir, concert choir at school, caroling, performing in Christmas Pageants and plays. So many wonderful memories and experiences with my family and friends and just doing my active part in my hometown.

I have often been asked about recording some Christmas music, and this year (2012) the time was finally right for me to make an offering to the Christmas catalogue!

I chose to pull together this arrangement from some of my favorite spiritual Christmas carols. As much as I enjoy the fun of all of the secular traditions, imagery, shopping and gift giving it felt right to make this first one reflect a bit more of my own humble and personal sentiments for “The Reason for The Season”. (I was raised Catholic. What can I say?)

My arrangement begins with the traditional 15th century melody “Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel” and the 19th century choral harmonization by Thomas Helmore straight out of the hymnal all played by a choir of guitars.

From there the song develops like a guided dream through my own Christmas meditation. I imagine a gothic cathedral, candle light vigil, midnight mass…
But more, I imagine what it must have been like at the First Christmas: humble, meager, difficult, dangerous, hopeful.

I meditated quite heavily on the words as I worked:

“O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.”

I sincerely hope that my emotional intention comes across through this, my reinterpretation of one of my favorite Christmas melodies (one that is so widely beloved!) and humbly represents what this Holiday means for me, as it means so much to so many.

One final personal note: my first guitar was a Christmas gift from my father, so it seems fitting that my first Christmas single is very “guitar-oriented”. Of course all of my early music education and experiences at church did lead me to become a student of Classical Symphonic Composition of which I couldn’t resist indulging in places!

I hope you enjoy this song as much as I did putting it together!

Download the single here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/mikemartin2

Available on iTunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/oh-come-oh-come-emmanuel-single/id585929590

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

God Bless,
Mike Martin


Mike’s Notes – Video Blog – Answering email about getting amp sounds while recording.

Hey Guys,

I’ve been getting some email asking questions about different things I do/use when performing and recording. One particular reoccuring question has been about what kind of advice I would give about dialing in an amp to get great tone.

Well, it just so happens that my good friends at Orange Amplification had lent me an OR15 head for some recording I was working on while finishing up the Agent Cooper album. It’s an amazing amp! And also a very straight-forward single channel, no B.S. EL84 tube monster weighing in at a mighty 15 watts. Which makes it perfect for recording with and demonstrating how I like to work with gain structure to acheive different tones.

This video is the result. The amp was recorded into a Pro Tools session through a Glenwood 2×12 cabinet loaded with Celestion Vintage 30’s and no effects or EQ added in post. Bone dry. So you get exactly the sound I’m hearing in my studio (depending on what you are lstening to the video on, of course!)

Keep sending in your e-mails and I look forward to answering more of them in another video blog.

And check out Orange’s amazing line of amplifiers here:
http://orangeamps.com

Email Mike your questions at:
mike@mikemartin.net

Cheers!
Mike

(Spoiler Alert: you may hear an excerpt of new Agent Cooper music as well as something that might be on my next solo album. Both coming soon!)


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