WHAT ‘DREAMS IN COLOUR’ MEANS TO ME
by Scott Ord
‘Dreams in Colour’ is the debut album from my good friend Eric Taylor. While there is no doubt that this project holds huge personal significance to Eric, and its release marks GCE’s first full-length release - two noteworthy milestones to be sure - that is not what I am writing about today. This is a more selfish post, as this album is really important to me as well.
Prior to starting GCE, I hustled as a freelance engineer and producer in Los Angeles, often working as an assistant to world-class producers for major label artists. The pay was never good, but I took those opportunities to learn as much as I could.
Since starting GCE, that has been my angle: finding the best artists and applying everything I have learned towards managing and developing their careers.
Some people don’t know this, but Eric actually approached me about working together. I had just launched GCE, and he sent me a nice email with ‘Caught Me’ attached. As soon as I heard the song I knew we had to work together.
But now the pressure was on. GCE had just launched and we had a small roster of artists who were all slowly chipping away at projects. But here was Eric with one song completed and 5 songs demoed, ready to go. Soon after that he was awarded a $10,000 grant from a Saskatoon radio station, so now things were more real than ever.
Making an album is more difficult than it sounds, and I was in an unfamiliar position. I wasn’t engineering or producing, I wasn’t cleaning the studio or taking lunch orders – I was in charge, and in a very hands-off roll.
This more ‘executive’ roll meant that it was up to me to assemble a team of people who could take Eric’s demos and create an album. While my job boils down to basic project management, it’s also important to keep in mind that we are dealing with art. Combining an artist, their songs, and a producer aren’t like Lego pieces – it’s an intricate relationship and a very important decision.
The first thing I did was introduce Eric to my friend Derek Benjamin. They chatted on the phone a few times and really hit it off. We had all gone to the same college, although not at the same time, so there was an immediate sense of camaraderie.
After Derek came on board things came together quickly. Studios got booked, flights got booked, and after a long weekend in Saskatoon Derek returned to Winnipeg with an album. A little while later Eric flew to Winnipeg to put the finishing touches on the project, which included a few orchestral parts from members of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.
We enlisted two people from our old circle in Vancouver to finish the album. Mixing and mastering was handled by Shawn Cole and Brock McFarlane, two of the kindest and smartest people I know. Their additions to the album really rounded things out nicely.
Turns out, any trepidations I had going into the project were unfounded. When you have a talented artist, good songs, and a strong team, you just need to sit back and be a witness to the greatness going on around you.
I want to thank Eric for taking a chance on me and GCE. I didn’t have a track record as a manager or an executive, we didn’t have a product we could lure him in with. We both just took a chance and jumped into the deep end together, and I couldn’t be more proud of the result.
(1) Let the art dictate the process. (2) Trust your instincts and execute with confidence.