Ariel Strasser / Blog

May/June 2013

I’m back! With lots of updates! Life is good. It sure feels like summer in Boston – especially today. We are melting. But I am so happy to be out of the cold for a while ☺.

The album is officially done – still in “pre-released” format – but it’s done! The next weeks/months are dedicated to its official release. This means itunes, hard copies, party time (hopefully in Boston AND Minneapolis), and all the other fun things that go along with bringing the music to you all. I’m in planning mode!

Also, the past two months I’ve had the pleasure of opening for the incredible, talented, dapper, and all around wonderful Chris Trapper. I opened for him in Rochester and Buffalo, NY (my first time to upstate), both of which were fabulous, unforgettable experiences. I feel really lucky to have had the chance to do it, and I’m itching for more. If there’s one thing that has become even clearer to me over the past couple months, it’s how much I love what I’m doing. I love it a lot. And that’s really cool.

WEBSITE. My website is completely redone! Go check it out. It’s shiny and new, and hopefully easy to navigate. More goodies will be added soon. www.arielstrasser.com

That’s all for now. Sheryl Crow says, “Every day is a winding road – I get a little bit closer”, I say “We all live in a crooked line”. Either way, we’ll get there!

Thanks for your support and for reading my silly words ☺.

- Ari

Mixing, etc.

Well, well, well. Here we have arrived in 2013. (Yes, I realize this didn’t make it to you until February, but I’m still in shock, so there it is). And 13 is lucky, right? Why shouldn’t it be? Anyway, I’m feeling good about 2013, because I’m releasing my first full-length album and I happen to be feeling completely inspired and excited. So here’s your business update:

Monday, January 28th was a day filled with mixing - Unfortunately not brownie mix, or cookie batter, but finding the perfect balance on the levels on our recent recordings (why do I say such stupid things? ☺). I am so happy with the sound we are finding and think we are going to put out a great set of songs for you all to enjoy!

Also, since my last days in the studio (way back in August), another voice has been added to the record! The wonderful and talented Chris Trapper (The Push Stars) lends his voice to three of the ten tracks. Can’t wait to share them!

At this point we are polishing tracks (to be mastered soon!), but also finishing up some album art - Lucky to have Chris Becker on board helping out with the designs. One Chris (Trapper), two Chris (Becker), red Fish, blue fish! (Seriously, why do I say such stupid things?) Everything’s coming out really nicely ☺. The thing is, there’s a lot going on at once. I’m trying to keep up! I will drop you a line as often as I can to keep you all informed. Stay with me!

- Ari/Ariel/Shmariel/Saucy Strassy/anything you affectionately like to call me

P.S. Did I mention Boston was hit with a crazy awesome snow storm named after a cute fish? I have since shamelessly played in the snow twice. More to come. Blogging and playing in the snow. More of both.

More Studio! - August 2012

Back in the Studio! First of all – whoa. Let’s just count the days spent in the studio so far: 1 – 2 – 3 – and a half! Three and a half days. Threes and a half days, and all of the recording aspects of the record are … (drumroll please) … DONE! Of course, this doesn’t mean it’s all done. But we are seriously getting there! I’m a little shaky just thinking about how close everything is … like it’s hard for me to type this. But I’m excited! So “whoa” is the appropriate word.

It all started with a late-night drive to the city from Boston with the wonderful and Talented Max Judelson (Bass) and Nate Tucker (Drums/Percussion). After several hours of car DJ-ing and lots of silliness, we arrived in the city ready to rest up for the following day. That next day was spent recording all the drum, percussion, and bass tracks. (Another large feat similar to the marathon we had in the beginning recording all things piano and voice.) But it felt good! Ze boys were super prepared and things went very smoothly. Of course, we were completely exhausted, but it was well worth it. The next day was reserved for Dan and I to work on some edits and other production elements.

And that’s just what we did! Some of the day was spent recording vocal harmonies, but we quickly realized that a couple of them were more suited to a male voice. We’re still working on finding the right male voice … but we have some cool ideas ☺. (I’ll share as soon as we figure that out). Then, we moved on to some editing and lots of other fun things. For one of the tracks we recorded a melodica part. “What’s a melodica?”. It’s this super cool instrument … but you’ll have to wait and buy the album to hear what it sounds like! ☺. (I know, I know, you’ll just look it up on the internet … but you should still buy the album!). Overall, it was a really cool day. The songs are coming to life. They are starting to sound like I’ve imagined them, and it’s one of the coolest things to watch happen. It takes time, and it’s not easy, but there’s nothing quite as rewarding. I can’t wait to share it with you all!

Thanks for reading. I’ll keep you posted. Next steps are mixing and mastering. Meanwhile, I’m working on some album artwork ideas and a running order for the cd. We’re almost there! Yippee! Stay tuned!

With Love,

Your wacky and super excited singer-songwriter friend - Ari

The Studio! - June 2012

With my next two days in the studio scheduled (August 16 and 17), I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing about my first days in the studio back in early June. I am really looking forward to jumping back on the train and getting back into gear. With my work schedule this summer and the schedules of my dear friends and fellow musicians (the drummer/percussionist and bassist that you will soon hear ☺) we weren’t able to find any mutual availability to make it back to the studio until mid August. My point is, I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about my first two days in the studio, and I thought I’d share my thoughts and experiences with you all. So without further ado …

My First days in the studio! I spent two full days in New York traveling to and from Hoboken to work with the wonderful Dan McLoughlin. Can’t say enough about him. Easy going, creative, patient, talented … the list goes on. We spent the first day doing “pre-production” – discussing which songs to record, ideas about arrangements, orchestrations, and all sorts of other production ideas. We decided to spend the next day recording the piano and vocal tracks for as many songs as possible. We had ten songs on the list. The next day, to our surprise, we were able to get through all ten. I left that day with an unfinished version of my first full-length cd! If it was even possible to be more fired up and excited than I was in early May … I was. It was a pretty incredible experience to have two days completely dedicated to music that I had been waiting to share. It’s hard so describe what I was feeling, but it was pretty amazing.

So my homework until our next time in studio was to make those ten unfinished songs my whole life – to listen to them over and over again, figure out what exactly would make each of them unique and individual, and decide what to do with each of them to finish them! I thought this would be easy. After all, I wrote the songs, so wouldn’t I know their fate? I have way too many ideas. But seeing as my next days in the studio are sneaking up on me, I better figure it out. I know I will, but it is absolutely not the simple task that I expected. Wish me luck, and I’ll keep you posted about our next session.

Also, did I mention how incredible my family is? They are. I wouldn’t be up to all this monkey business without them. They’ve done anything and everything they can to help and make sure that I do this. "Thank you" is not enough, but it seems to be all I can manage over the interwebs. But hopefully one day I’ll have something to show for it. For now, hard work and lots of fun are in order.

Here’s to difficult (but fun) tasks, new beginnings and support from some of the best people on the planet - Cheers!

Graduation Month - May 2012

What a whirlwind the past couple months have been! So many exciting things have happened and I want to bring you all up to speed. I just graduated from The Boston Conservatory with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater and an emphasis in Songwriting (woo!). I actually can’t believe that phase of my life is over, but am so excited and looking forward to all the new and wonderful things to come. Let’s take it back to early May …

Just before graduation, all the Musical Theater majors have a performance called Senior Showcase. For those of you not familiar with what that is, it’s basically a short audition package that each of us present to an audience full of industry professionals in hopes of making positive connections and hopefully sustained relationships with agencies, managers, casting companies, etc. One performance happens in Boston, and the other in New York City. It’s pretty thrilling if nothing else just to be performing on a New York stage. It was a pretty great conclusion to my four years of school.

The day after the show, I was also lucky enough to meet the wonderful Cindy Da Silva. Cindy is an artist manager/developer who specializes in working with singer-songwriters. My step-dad and I had been communicating with her by telephone, but I hadn’t met her person yet. After talking with her, I was super inspired to kick my singer-songwriter butt into gear … perhaps even more so than my musical theater butt … hard as it was to admit. So I decided to do just that! As I sat chatting with Cindy about goals, etc, she called her friend and producer - Dan McLoughlin of Garden Street Music and The Vault recording studio - and set us up to meet the following day! I traveled to his studio in Hoboken, NJ and we met. We got along very well, and decided to work together the following month. Soon after our meeting, we were able to schedule our first days in the studio.

I couldn’t believe the past few days! So many things had happened so fast and I was so excited. During my years at the Boston Conservatory, I had thought a lot about the day I’d graduate, but couldn’t clearly imagine what it would actually be like. But it was here! I graduated! I’m alive, and the world has not ended! Far from it. I’m thrilled, terrified, fired up, nervous … too many things. And it’s only the beginning.


In an attempt to finally share what I've been up to ... here I am! I recorded four songs this summer at Droptone Studio in Excelsior, MN. I will keep posting videos and new songs as I have them. Thanks for listening!