Q: What was involved in creating the NEXUS label and doing your first CD?
A: The idea for creating our own ‘NEXUS’ CD label emerged when Ray Dillard and I were on a long drive in a rental truck transporting NEXUS instruments between concerts in Queensland, Australia in 1988. In that year personal computers were just beginning to catch on in the marketplace and compact discs were a very new technology for distributing music. We were just brainstorming in the truck to pass the time. Ray, with his wealth of knowledge about how percussion instruments should be recorded to get the best sound, was enthusiastic about getting started on our own label. As a result of our talks in Australia, when I got home I began to do some research on production costs. When I looked at my financial resources, I realized the production of a CD or two was affordable.
The idea of creating a small independent CD label was relatively adventurous in 1988, because most of the existing production was being done by the big labels – SONY, Philips, etc. Ray and I proposed to NEXUS that we self-produce our first NEXUS CD and that it have the title, ”The Best of NEXUS.” We would simply select tracks from several of our existing LP vinyl albums and make a compilation. After all, NEXUS was already in its 17th year as an ensemble, and we already had a fair amount of experience in creating LP records, both self-produced and outside-entity produced. The selected tracks could be assembled without the need for NEXUS to have any additional recording sessions. NEXUS unanimously accepted the proposal and the process began:
* obtaining recording rights for each specific track
* obtaining original analog tape reels for transfer to digital files
* mixing and balancing each individual track
* assembling and balancing the tracks and creating a digital master CD
* writing text and getting everyone’s approval for the insert materials
* selecting the cover art; we chose a painting humorously titled, “The Bust of NEXUS” by Joanne Tod, a leading Canadian artist
* getting all of the insert material into acceptable formats for printing
* getting the CD face text and format written and approved by NEXUS
* finding a manufacturing facility and placing our first manufacturing order
* marketing, advertising and self-distributing the CDs
The CD, “The Best of NEXUS” was released in 1989 and copies are still in distribution and available.