She tunes and sits ready to play as I carefully place the sensitive mics where they should be to capture her. Less than an inch makes a big difference (like in the shoulder position of a dancer). We get her headphone mix of the other instruments so she likes it; then start recording.
When she's warmed-up, we pause recording to sit together and listen to what we're getting as a way of zeroing-in.
Here is the nails part:
Oana will often say to me after a moment of hearing what the recording of the guitar sounds like, "Give me a minute to do my nails." She'll pull out her packet of graduated papers with which she finely adjusts her nail edges. She is looking for just the right touch attack for each string she will play with each finger.
She works her way through the different grades of paper in her particular order sculpting her way to achieving the perfect state for each nail.
(No one listening to her would have thought there was anything to be improved; but Oana knows sound like you wouldn't believe and how to get the best).
When she picks up her guitar again, a full, rich sound charges out from her instrument - sounding cleaner and stronger and making your ears perk up. It's kind of magical when you hear the transformation.
A subtle, intricate, simple thing making a big difference.
Of course she plays every day ... her nails are always in perfect shape. And yet - a little update caress from her special filing papers, and so much more is all-of-a-sudden there.
Makes one ponder the adjustments we can make in different ways to really get into the tango zone with another person. Something else calling for acute attention to subtle details for optimum execution.