Wojciech Bator - The Nightingale

Wojciech Bator standing with guitar

02/15/2021. 5:00 p.m. Although I already have a few debuts and other releases as an artist behind me, this time I will sign the publisher myself. Oddly enough, there is no stress, no nerves, no even anxiety. There is pride and joy. And anticipation, of course!

Let's go back to the beginning. COVID hit us in 2020. It complicated a lot of things, including performances with the band, festivals, submissions etc. It took some time in my music world. First, I dealt with soundtracks for a radio, then it sprouted in my head that it is worth starting to release my music to the world also as Wojciech Bator. After all, there are countless ideas.

The Nightingale was composed on one November afternoon. A little over an hour and everything was clumped together. I started out with the intro theme, the first thought was to make a happy song that edified people affected by the pandemic. I figured a little Slash theme could do the job here. The 7/8 riff is already a classic in progressive music. Jokes in the style of 7/8 is love, 7/8 is life quite clearly indicate that this time signature has become a standard. Well, let's tie it with the 9 chords and the cycle, we have a verse. The chorus was the most surprising. I was arranging everything for it from the machine, but I didn't really know what to play in the current 1:40 :) First this melody appeared, then I got a feeling. Cool feeling, create something coherent on the fly. Very often my ideas consist of really 2-3 great themes and I have to put it off until later, because nothing sticks to it. Here it was different - 3 motives at once, another one came after a few sips of tea. Encouraged by the pace, I pressed and resolved the chorus, returning to the theme from the beginning. At that point it struck me that although the piece will have varying time signatures, the structure will be very simple. Intro - verse - bridge - chorus - solution (repeat taking the bridge out and extending the chorus) - outro. Ready. Satisfied, I recorded the whole thing, not yet fully aware that the most difficult thing is yet to start.

I wanted to do everything myself and started programming the drums. By the way, I recommend using the free Steven Slate Drums plugin, it's really very good to start with. At one point I had the basis and the whole sketch, and by a strange coincidence, Paweł Kardis - my friend and former drummer of the Artyfiction band - spoke up. From word to word, he obeyed, liked it and offered his help. I agreed, there were also bass, keyboards and production (mix + mastering) to be done. Paweł made drums, his colleague Axel Ostrowski helped him record them and prepared their mix, and I took care of recording keyboards, bass synthesizers and started to go into production. In the meantime, I got drums, smoothed things out crooked and it started in earnest.

Mixing and mastering is a difficult piece of bread. You need a lot of knowledge, experience, good, often expensive plugins, software, but also very good hearing and awareness of how I want the song to sound. It may seem easy, but there are dozens of paths, thousands of nuances, and everything must be served as one easily digestible dish. Entering the mixes, I knew only as much as I had worked out myself so far and as much as Perła taught me during the recording of both Artyfiction albums. Knowing in theory and doing something in practice are two different things and it took a considerable amount of time. After all, I don't regret a second or a single recording that had to go to the trash, because each one pushed me forward. The final effect is good and I am happy about it. Today (less than two weeks after the premiere: D) I would have given a bit more bass synthesizer and generally tweaked the lows a bit as a whole, but after working hard on the track I needed a break and by the end I lost my objectivity in judgment. You learn all the time and this is another lesson - it is worth taking breaks and allowing the piece to be seen. It is also worth prototyping right away and giving it time. Above all, however, it is worth giving yourself time. The brain will rest, the work will go fast. Although I've done my best here, I know very well that I have a huge amount of things to learn and that I just barely stepped on a long way of music production.

Rafał Paluszek took care of the trailer, graphic materials and film. I recommend it as always, good job for a good price, great help. Having a ready product, it was necessary to take care of the promotion. All groups about progressive in social media, Twitter, Facebook, Insta, guitarists and musicians forums, even the Fractal Audio Forum, submissions to reviewers, newspapers, websites, bloggers ... After all, you probably ask if it was worth it? Sounds like a lot of work? The answer to both questions is "YES". In the first week, 5000 views on YouTube, dozens of subscribers, all on a fledgling channel with only a few videos. For me, it is a huge success, proof that by putting in enough work, you can appear online. My main advice to you is to always believe in yourself and in what you are doing. This, plus the enormous support of my fiancée Madzia, were two wheels that kept this machine moving :)

Let me know leave you with The Nightingale

© Wojciech Bator