The Start of a New Album (Reality Becomes a Dream)

It was late September, 2015. I had that exhilarating feeling I get when I’m ready to begin writing new music. Then, it happened. After running up a long flight of stairs, I felt a twinge in the back of one of my legs. No problem, I thought. But the next morning I dropped to the floor in horrendous pain. After four hours of waiting for the pain to pass, I had my wife call for an ambulance. At the hospital, I was given some tests, pain killers and sent home. I thought that was the end of it. I didn’t realize it would take 18 months of physio and exercises to enjoy being active again.

I learned that I had a hamstring injury. I used a cane to walk for the first few days. Playing guitar would be 2 ½ months away. I found hope in an unwanted, four-octave keyboard that I took home from school when I retired from teaching. I was able to sit at this keyboard for brief stretches. Thus began my new album, “The Tropical Dream”. I ended up writing nine pieces on this keyboard and three others on guitar when I could play again. It was a new and exciting change for me!

I worked throughout the rest of the fall and the winter. I frequently looked out the window at the falling snow and felt a sense of despair, but also a deep joy about the music I was creating. Eventually I began dreaming about escaping to a tropical paradise. I knew that this was a common wish for many people who live in a cold climate. I gradually discovered that I was loosely outlining a vacation, with my instrumental compositions guiding the journey. The destination was not important, but it had to be somewhere warm. Each piece became a little vignette. I began describing the music as “tropical”. I fused musical genres from the Caribbean through to South America with my own musical “voice”.

Typically, I would write all of the arrangements and create demos at home, including my guitar parts. Later in the process, I would redo them all in a studio. However, due to my situation, I decided to use most of the guitar parts I was recording as the final parts for my album. They had a sense of urgency to them that I didn’t believe I could recapture. I just wasn’t sure if the method would work. I would be building a layer cake with my parts being the first layer. Unorthodox, for sure.

By late spring, I thought I had a solid album. I spent the summer tweaking things a bit more. The rest of the work involved project planning, organizing recording sessions and overseeing performances. Despite many hurdles and delays, it came together very nicely. As of this writing, it is mostly in the mixing stage.

I’m certain that many of you who live through cold winter seasons, chase "The Tropical Dream". What you will hear is mine. I hope, in some ways, you can make it yours too.

Happy Landings.



May 24, 2017 @07:15 am I can't wait for the new album to come out! Chris Reis






Come on in, the water's fine!


August 15, 2017

I swear I'm going to sign off on the master this week and say it's done. The same for the artwork. Really. I am. You believe me, don't you?

August 6, 2017

Nearing completion of the album master and getting artwork in place for my new release. Patience, my friends. Be sure to read other album blog posts at my BLOG link above!

July 1,

Happy Canada Day!
150 years young!

June 19,

Great to have Brian Asselin in today to close out the album's performances with some tasty tenor sax!

16, 2017

I'm so happy to finally have some lovely Paraguayan harp on one of the tunes for my new album. Thank you to Martha Mazzoleni!

May 18, 2017

Nearing the end stage of mixing and mastering will be soon after. Also busy preparing artwork for my album. More details to follow soon!

April 11, 2017

After some delays, today I began editing and mixing my new album with Philip Shaw Bova. We've got a great start on things!

March 21, 2017

Had a fun promo, photo shoot today with Alan Dean and Andrea Cochrane of Alan Dean Photography. Hard to believe it was the second day of spring!

February 23, 2017

One tune on my project needed an acoustic lead and rhythm part.
Today was the day to get that done!

February 16, 2017

I added some extra guitar parts today. Except for one tune which requires Latin harp, most of the tracking is done and we'll soon be starting to mix some of the tunes. I can't wait!

January 27, 2017

Ottawa’s trumpet man, Nick Dyson, put his stellar playing on three tunes, adding some nice tropical vibes.

January 20, 2017

Local and hugely versatile drummer, Jeff Asselin, was in today and laid down perfect parts for two tunes. Professional, well prepared and a pleasure to work with. Jeff’s the man!

13, 2017

We had a great session today featuring a talented, young cellist named Raphael Weinroth-Browne. He played beautifully on a piece from my project that’s meant to convey a walk through the jungle. With January’s bitter weather, a jungle sounds pretty good right now!


22, 2016

Today we had the final session of 2016 with local piano player and trombone man, Mark Ferguson. He added some great playing to five tunes on my project. What a talented and nice person to work with!

December 15, 2016

Rob Milicevic, the drummer for the cool band, Kobo Town, came in last night for our quickest session so far. He did an excellent job on two pieces; one calypso and one reggae-ish tune.

December 10,

Norm Glaude laid down some beautiful acoustic and electric bass parts on two bossas from my new project.

December 3, 2016

We have completed the percussion parts for eight pieces. René F. played a nice variety of instruments; udu, timbales, caxixi, guiro, claves, cha-cha bell, maracas, woodblocks and even a pair of sandpaper blocks that my wife reminded me we owned. I can’t believe that I wrote so many percussion parts!

November 19,

Today marks the start of tracking for my new, full-length “Tropical” album, just ahead of our first major snowstorm. We’re recording at Gallery Studios here in Ottawa with Dean Watson. For our first session, “Congaman” René Fortier laid down some great conga and bongo parts. We’re hoping to have our following percussion session late next week. A great start!

iTunes Store

Terry Gomes