As a life/work team Lisa and Dwight Forseth, known around here as TheFurnaceroom, have been uploading quality tracks inspired by a long tradition of singing around campfires, in farm house living rooms and at church. An underpinning of Celtic traditions fused with contemporary styles has this duo is in the best place from which to deliver warm and inviting work that is both soulful and fun. Pull up a log, sing along while we ask them a little about their process and experiences.
What is your earliest memory of music?
Dwight’s earliest memory of music is playing in the old farm house living room, his mom on accordion, older brother with guitar, and him trying to play a banjo ukelele with a big felt pick. For myself it was hearing the hymns at church and singing around the campfire.
" My older brother bought a record player and I fell in love with Elton John’s music "
Could you tell us a bit about the lessons, instruments, people and experiences that have brought you to this point in your musical history?
Both of us started music in school band – traditional instruments - I learned the flute, and Dwight the french horn. The rest was all self-taught. Dwight’s older brother also got him playing bass and they formed a duo and jammed with friends at the little country church up the road. My older brother bought a record player and I fell in love with Elton John’s music and hacked my way to learning the piano. We also were in a folk trio with my brother, a phenomenal guitar player and songwriter, and were introduced to celtic music – my first tin whistles were a valentines day present from Dwight, the sound and tone of this wee instrument got me hooked. We still have a long way to go – just still exploring music, sounds, recording, song-writing, what to say, why to say it, and how to express it creatively. Dwight has been a huge part of keeping me involved in music as I’ve suffered all my life from stage fright – his constant encouragement keeps me playing live and in the studio.
Would you share a few of the must-have tools you use in your production, the purpose they serve and some tips on how you feel you get the most out of those tools?
Dwight uses mulit-band compression consistently in mastering. Specifically WaveArts Power Suite. He likes the ability to solo each bandwidth; add them together and adjust levels; then add different compression rates on different sections. Still learning how to create a good clean, energetic mix!
"Learn how to sing and learn the instrument of choice so things sound great with just a vocal and one instrument"
What technique, tool or process in music seems like cheating to you?
For me it’s quantizing and automated arpeggios. For Dwight it’s the midi sounds that have such good tones already, rather than trying to achieve the same through live instruments.
If you had one piece of advice to give younger musicians what would it be?
Dwight says there’s nothing like playing live and being able to hold your own – feeling the energy of the band and the audience. Learn how to sing and learn the instrument of choice so things sound great with just a vocal and one instrument. I think experimenting and staying curious is huge – learn to listen well and always keep learning.
Pretend your life savings is on fire on the front lawn. You go to get the garden hose from the backyard and there is someone (anyone) standing there who will disappear if you leave their sight. For who and why are you now broke?
Dwight says “my wife Lisa, she is my encouragement and the one always in my corner.” Money and things are a distraction from meaningful relationships. I would, of course, lose it all for our three kids.