Recording of “?” began in the summer of 2020 during the pandemic.
The process began with the composition and recording of “Won’t You Say My Name?” about the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin, which was very much in the news.
The choice of album title was either a dereliction of effort or a masterful stroke of insight. What is more important to me is that it is presented as an entire album which takes the listener on a sonic and rhythmic journey. Although each song can stand on its own merits, “?” is best approached in its totality.
With the occasional and invaluable help and feedback from Nathan Lewis Williams who provided bass or piano on several songs, the project proved to be a personal challenge as I researched, composed and constructed MIDI parts for an accordion, a brass section, etc..
After one year, my preliminary ‘guide’ mixes were ready for the final mixing and mastering by Grammy-nominated sound engineer, Ben Findlay, who has done a fantastic job faithfully reproducing the sonic texture which swirls inside my head.
Recorded in Shepton Mallet, England by Brian Cooling
All instrumentation and MIDI-programming by Brian Cooling
(except Nathan Lewis Williams – some bass and some piano;
Keith Barclay – bass on “I’ll Be There”)
Produced by Brian Cooling
Mixed and mastered by Ben Findlay (benfindlay.com)
All music, lyrics and arrangement by Brian Cooling
Cover art by Brian Cooling
© Brian Cooling Stuart 2022