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Two Musicians Overcoming Distance To Create An Album, One Voice



Jazz guitarist Ray Legnini shares how he and keyboard player Eric Montgomery used technology to collaborate on an album project, One Voice.

Ray Legnini: A little more than a year ago I started writing with a keyboard player friend, Eric Montgomery. We’ve been friends since both of us worked for a major keyboard manufacturer, me as the senior sound designer and Eric as a product specialist. 

We’ve been contributing to each other’s musical efforts on and off for years. But with a lot more time on our hands due to the pandemic, we started down a path that led us to become more interactive with the music we were creating. It turns out we had results where the sum of the parts became bigger and better than either of us might have created individually—one of those ones plus one equals three situations. So we built on that concept, with both of us writing, arranging, and sharing the production efforts on the music as we wrote it. We titled the first album release One Voice as a reference to what happens when we work together.
In our workflow, we regularly work on a tune by sharing DAW and audio files using Dropbox. We both work in Apple’s Logic Pro which makes the arranging, editing, and fine-tuning process much easier. We go back and forth a few times as the tune takes shape until it feels right. 

Although we write mostly original music, we decided to do a cover of a well-known Wes Montgomery song at Eric’s suggestion. It’s our own version of ‘Road Song’ with a cool, radio-oriented, updated vibe. We draw from all of our musical influences—jazz, rock, blues, R&B, soul, etc.—when we write. No jazz snobbery here; who says jazz can’t be fun? We’ll use anything that makes a song work—loops, sequences, sound effects, unusual guitars like lap steel, baritone, or sitar-guitar; anything goes.

We have started releasing our music to the world and for that task we chose CDBaby. They make the release process relatively simple and can get the music out to most of the major streaming and online music sites like Apple Music quickly. 

As for the music, everything you hear is played by Eric and myself. For those interested in the guitar-specific stuff, I’m playing a 1970s blonde Gibson L-5, strung with D’Addario 0.012 for the melody and solo parts. 

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