As the first non-soundtrack album post-"Indiscreet Where You Live" (which was a stripped-down as anything I've ever done) I wanted to do a full album. A big full album. Thanks to the equipment influx from the film budget of "Bübiwulf!", I now had a Zoom digital 16-track recorder, a vocal harmonizer, and an extra pickup added to my bass that captured only the high set of strings, and I wanted to put it all to full use.
I did that already with the songs on "Bübiwulf!" of course, but those songs were done under high-pressure deadlines, so I didn't really get to take some time and experiment with them. I did with "Ever So Transient," however.
Starting with about 8 songs recorded as demos—a set I called the "Gemini Demos" which I'll release here sooner or later—the only song to make it on EST was "Gemini Days."
As a change to my standard 2-vH guitar + 1 regular bass arrangement, I used a single-string bass with an octave effect instead of the regular bass for extra low-end presence, just hitting whole notes. Except on "Some Alternative," where long-time friend and bassist Syd O'Nimm played a regular bass. (Syd also played bass on the songs on "Bübiwulf!" fyi.)
I started recording the album in mid 2007 with "Gemini Days," "Never See You Again" and "When We Were Pigs." It was an hectic time. I was struggling to get the film edited and premiered, and keep my nutty teenage son from destroying himself and the world around him on a weekly basis.
Then in February 2008, my son and got unexpectedly evicted (as reported in "Goodbye See You") by my the woman I'd been living with for the last 7 years. That caught me flat-footed and it took some months of struggling to rebuild my life independently. As a result, I didn't get back to recording this album until April of 2008, finishing the recording by July or so.
I was concerned with mixing the album, since I'd seriously begun to doubt my abilities in that regard. (Only natural, since I knew nothing about the science of it.) I thought for once I would pay somebody good to mix and master the album, cost be damned. Pat Kearns, a producer of note in the Northwest was the lucky victim, as I'd met him the year before, through mutual friends. (His wife is my hairdresser, too.)
I brought my 16 track into his studio and we uploaded everything onto his system. He looked at the sound wave representations on my files—little thin scratchy lines—and he said, "See those lines? Those are called 'transient' waves. A lot of acoustic instruments have those kind of lines...Not a lot of bass, which has the fat lines."
And from that observation, I cobbled together the album title.
By November 2008 we had the album mixed and mastered and I looked to release it in early 2009. Mid-January Cris De La Fuente shot the cover photos at a park in Tualatin, Oregon. The ramp I'm walking down is a boat ramp that I cleverly (?) Photoshopped into a kind of UFO descending photo.
I've been told it's a rather depressing album. I suppose it may be. It's not from a very happy time for me. It's kind of a survival album. Tough times, and a determination to survive. There's some humor, but it's admittedly gallows humor. I'm very proud of it.
released March 21, 2009
All songs by vonHummer. All everything played/sang by vonHummer EXCEPTING the bass on "Some Alternative" by Syd O'Nimm. Cover by vonHummer. Photos by Cris De La Fuente.