A few weeks ago Matt Fordham suggested that I check out the Daniel Lanois documentary, “Here Is What Is“. I added the movie to my Netflix queue and last night I finally had the opportunity to watch it.
It’s a wonderfully crafted film which provides great insight into Lanois’ distinct style of producing, writing and performing music. There are some great scenes where Lanois discusses the creative process with his longtime collaborator, Brian Eno, as well as some amazing footage of Brian Blade and Garth Hudson laying down tracks in the studio.
The highlight of the movie (for me) was watching Lanois sit at the console and “perform” a mix of one of his songs. I say perform because he treats the mixing board as an instrument. Lanois slides the faders with the same sensitivity and musicality that he uses when playing the pedal steel and guitar. It’s truly an inspiring moment in the film and it definitely made an impression on my approach to mixing.
If you’re in the mood to be inspired and want to get inside the mind of one of the greatest producers in the world, then I highly recommend you go out and buy/rent/download this movie.