We've been blessed with many a four-track masterpiece recently,
but Lee Gene Ardent has raised the bar by taking it down
a notch. Recorded on a single track tape recorder, and
then pieced together in Sound Edit 16, Ardent's sub-lo-fi
approach removes all barriers between his message and your
We spoke to him about his recording methods, and the
subjects of his song writing.
FW: Tell me how your seventh record, "Ocean
Leaves and Tobacco Water", was made.
LGA: I play everything into a tape recorder, it
has this little microphone inside, and then play it into
my computer to edit the layers together.
FW: Is the way you record related at all to your
LGA: Oh yes, it is.
FW: How so? Tell me.
LGA: I feel like all of those devices, the sliders
and cables and equipment, are all barriers between me and
the listener. Your mind is really just a filter, like when
the creek flows over the dam, you get everything rushing
FW: Yet you use a computer to mix the final songs,
and even add digital effects.
LGA: That's right. I'm not anti-technology at all.
Computers and telephones are just more things to use, like
tape recorders. I think the more sediment that's left on
my music by simple things the better.
FW: The songs on "Ocean Leaves and Tobacco Water"
are sincere and honest. Are they all based on friendships?
LGA: Yes, I really love my friends. For instance,
the song that you are going to have on your magazine, "Jimmy's
Flute" is for my friend Jimmy Berman. It's a dedication
of sorts, but I tried not to make the song too specifically
about Jimmy. It' s meant to be applied to everyone that
listens to it. It's personal, but it can be personalized
by you all. I hope you like it as much as Jimmy.
BACK to MIGHTY MUSIC SPECIAL