Black Hole BBQ took about 4 years to make. I had originally planned for it to come out late 2018. The recording process has taken a bit longer than expected, but with a full time job, a 5 year old and a 2 year old (and a very understanding wife) it’s been harder to find time. Weekends, late in the evenings, or before everyone gets up are the times when I can squeeze some work in.
Drum recording started in March 2017 with my friend Tripp Dudley. He is a touring musician so we didn’t have much time to rehearse - but he was in between tours for a week in March, 2017, so we went to the studio on a Friday evening and a full Saturday and managed to get 9 songs in. The opening and closing tracks are both over 10 minutes (and feature some complex sections) but we managed to get it all done. Most of Friday evening we spent setting up the sound we wanted - and even tracked a few tunes. After that I spent a month selecting all my favorite takes from the drum recording and sent the tracks out to the Bass player and started recording guitars in the summer of 2017.
Most tunes have 2 clean guitar tracks, 2 heavy guitars, and a lead guitar. On some of them I decided to double the lead as well or play additional melody lines. I used my Fender DeVille and my VOX going into a 1X12 box. I also used some modeling amps for some of the sections.
Tripp Dudley came back for Tabla and percussion recording in October and Eric Allen finished his Cello parts by the end of October 2017. My good friend Ian O’Brien (whose artist name is Fastus) created the modular synth parts on the album. He was very much part of listening to the tracks from the beginning and helped shape it along the way. The final musical pieces has gone through multiple layers of addition and subtraction.
The bass was recorded by Chris Kelly at his studio, Studio Del Diablo. Finally, the flute was done by my friend Katie Thode in November 2017. We had roughly 5-6 hours to finish 5 pieces. All recording was done at my work at Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema where I manage the studios and post production facility. It was a bit hectic because I was engineering and producing at the same time, but am really happy how everything sounds. Before we recorded I made sure that I heard it as close to the finished “demo” as possible. Obviously there is no comparison between a real instrument and most MIDI / Virtual instruments out there - so after a year of hearing a fake cello or flute it was great to hear it with the real deal.
Mixing was done last November (2018) by Rocky Gallo at Virtue and Vice studios in Brooklyn. We ended up mixing over two days - right during the NY Marathon. Mastering finished up late March 2019 by Mike Kalajian at Rogue Planet Mastering in Hudson, New York.
Musically this is really about exploration and experiments with musical themes and styles.
released October 11, 2019
Album Title: Black Hole BBQ
1.) Black Hole BBQ - Shelagh's Quest (12:43)
2.) March of Mysceria (04:43)
3.) Sukhothai - Dawn of Happiness (08:17)
4.) Exotic Matter (07:15)
5.) Infinity Plus One (04:57)
6.) Polar Vortex (06:15)
7.) For Jules (05:39)
8.) Telus Mater (13:50)
(c) Pontus H.W. Gunve 2019
Pontus H.W. Gunve - all guitars and additional keyboards/synths
Chris Kelly - Bass (Track 1,2,5,6,8)
Dan Kramer - Bass (Track 3,4,7)
Eric Allen - Cello
Katie Thode - Flute
Ian O’Brien - Modular Synth (Track 1,3,4,6,7)
Tripp Dudley - Drums, Tabla, other Percussive instruments
Mixed by : Rocky Gallo @ Virtue and Vice Studios
Mastered by: Mike Kalajian @ Rogue Planet Mastering
Album Cover Design : Maayan Gutterman
Special Thanks to : My Wife (Ramona) for listening to this stuff day in and day out for the last 4 years and to my two sons (Felix and Jules) for inspiration. Feirstein Graduate school of Cinema Students, Staff and Faculty - Jay Kim, Angela Piva, Jonathan Zalben, Dustin Chang, Leah Shaw, Yuting Cheng, Maayan Gutterman, Ali Vil and all who made this possible. Thanks to Ian O’Brien for listening and giving amazing feedback. Also special thanks to Mr Tripp Dudley for working out the kinks in the riffs.