For over two years I’ve been hoping there’d be a way to hear the works of David McCooey beyond the confines of the few tracks he’s posted on soundcloud.com. Finally, he’s released an album of his poetry soundtracks, as he refers to them, a mixture of music, sound design, and poetry: Outside Broadcast.
And now I’m a pretty happy guy.
So many of us producing this sort of poetry and music thing are not musicians or recording engineers and the results tend to be pretty ragged. The poetry might be excellent. The performance or reading of the poetry, however you want to think of it, might also be fine. The choices of sounds and how they’re pieced together might be interesting and moving. In general, the idea of what we’re trying to do might be brilliant. But unless we’re collaborating with musicians and engineers the results can be hard on the ear.
Not so on McCooey’s recordings. I’ve accused him of being too professional sounding. Thankfully he took that as a compliment. Everything fits together here. The poems are excellent and his reading voice is very pleasing, capturing the emotion driving the words with a quietly subdued passion. The music and sound design are beautifully crafted and well played. The recording, mixing, and mastering are all clear with everything perfectly balanced and placed. In other words, this sounds like a professionally made record.
Am I complaining? Though I tend to like things a little rougher around the edges, with a least a touch of punkish incompetence, no, I’m not complaining. Nor do I complain about Steeley Dan records. The tastefulness and sophistication are a little beyond my rural roots; so, for me, the task is to enjoy without feeling threatened by a superior talent.
Since I’m having trouble with the soundcloud player and this recording showing up, here’s the link directly to Darkness Speaks: http://soundcloud.com/david-mccooey/darkness-speaks-mastered