We live in a paradoxical age: believe nothing unless you have seen it, yet trust outside experts more than the leaders of one’s own community. All my life I have heard the quote “nobody is a hero in their home town” only to discover it’s a paraphrase of a verse from the Gospel of Luke, where Jesus says “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in their own hometown.” Doubtless Plato complained about the same problem hundreds of years earlier. I believe this is due to our tendency to confuse the familiar with the ordinary. Since moving to Chapel Hill and becoming familiar with many of the great people in the region, I have come to appreciate just how extraordinary so many of them are. Including those with a musical inclination.
That is not to say that we don’t appreciate talent from other states or countries. As a board member of Carolina Performing Arts, I’m rightfully proud of the world-class roster of international talents that perform at Memorial Hall each academic year. But the greatness that comes from afar does not preclude the possibility of greatness living amongst us as well. The INDY week article is a great case in point. Yes, it may seem like bragging to use my own studio as an example of a world-class music and post-production facility in our community, but it’s true. Equally true, and perhaps more important because of the network effect, is that the local community is able to come together and celebrate that fact. Today, artists both local and global are willing to give us the nod over more established facilities in Nashville, New York, Los Angeles, and even London, which is now leading to greater opportunities for all in our growing community. That is wonderful!
We are so happy that the film “Dear Governor Cuomo” won the top prize for its treatment of climate change at the Wild and Scenic® Film Festival, we put out a press release:
UPDATED 5/15/2013 — We have been visited by Greenland!
WordPress has a new stats widget which tells me not only how many visitors are coming to the website on a daily basis, and what they are reading, but also where they are coming from. This is a relatively new feature, and one which as yet does not allow me to automatically share these interesting statistics. But I have been reading them with increasing interest, not least because I am not used to seeing flags from so many countries. Here’s a list of the flags and hits we have received on a per-country basis in less than 18 months:
When an artist makes a recording at a studio, there is always a coincidence–two things happening at the same time and place. One is the interpretation and the performance of the artist, the other is the creative capture of that ephemeral performance so that it can be replicated and experienced across time and space, perhaps by people not yet even alive when the recording was made. But the coincidences we shared with pianist Frederic Chiu this past week went far beyond that.
This is just a very brief posting to share some photos of Jimmy Herring’s visit to Manifold Recording and his performance at The Miraverse. Here’s Jimmy pulling some great sounds out of his Telecaster:
Some fast fingerwork on his favorite new toy:
Jimmy listening to tracks of the session in the Control Room:
Before you know it, all the band’s gear is loaded into the garage…
…and onto the bus, headed for Colorado in the morning.
North Carolina is a great place to grow. Our family moved here when the growing company I started in Silicon Valley back in 1989 was bought by a faster-growing company here in North Carolina, Red Hat. North Carolina is home to a great community of innovators, and today we are proud to stand with many of them as we unveil what has truly been a community effort.
When I read The Omnivore’s Dilemma in 2006, I realized that the question “what should we eat for dinner?” had life-changing implications. We are what we eat. But as a society, we also decide what we grow, how we grow it, how it comes to market, and at what price. In 1903, commercial seed houses offered 288 varieties of beets; by 1983 the choice is down to 17. From 544 types of cabbage, we’re down to 28. From 307 types of sweet corn, we’re down to 12. Our dinner-time choices are a function of many choices made before we were even born. The Omnivore’s Dilemma teaches that when the question “what can we do?” becomes too limiting, the question of what should we do becomes all the more urgent. And not just when it comes to food.
He set his mind to work on unknown arts and thereby changes the laws of nature – Ovid, Metamorphoses
Welcome, and thank you for coming to the grand opening of Manifold Recording and The Miraverse! Some years ago Amy posted a little quote on my side of the mirror we share in our bathroom that reads “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished; that will be the beginning.“ After five years of planning and construction, we have realized a dream, a dream that is now so real you can see it, you can touch it, you can enter it. You are welcome to do so-once we cut the ribbon.
Today we want to share with you an even bigger dream, the one that begins today. This dream cannot be built with concrete and steel, but it can be realized the old-fashioned way: with magic.
“Manifold must be one of the finest music-dedicated studios built in the world in the last decade. ” — Alex Oana, Manifold Recording: Inside the Miraverse
Manifold Recording is honored to have been nominated for a TEC Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the Studio Design Project category. We congratulate and thank Wes Lachot Design, and especially Wes Lachot, who succeeded brilliantly in helping to realize this ambitious project. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and then the 10,000 pictures I have taken of this project during its four years of construction suggest just how much could be said about what he conceived, drew, detailed, and then argued for in its implementation. But there is much more to this creative achievement than meets the eye, or the ear for that matter.
“we wanted to reboot the music industry by reinventing the role of the recording studio”
When I first sat down with Wes, he asked the question that every studio designer must ask: what do you want to do? I told him that we wanted to reboot the music industry by reinventing the role of the recording studio. We agreed that we would need to honor the laws of physics (especially acoustics), but in all other ways we would seek to be the change we wanted to see in the world. We would be a model for acoustic and technological excellence, but we would also be a model of transparency and collaboration. We would be an ideal environment for musical performance, but we would also be a model for entrepreneurial innovation and economic sustainability. We would honor the great teachings of organic architecture and sacred geometry by becoming the best example of those teachings we could be. All of this was discussed before Wes put pencil to paper and began drawing the lines that ultimately became footings, walls, structures, buildings, and operating commercial facilities. In accepting this commission, Wes accepted the whole of the project, and he delivered brilliantly, even when certain aspects seemed to be in irreconcilable conflict. Such is the nature of an outstanding creative achievement.
The Chapel Hill News reports on a project we managed to squeeze in at the end of the summer: the Community Chorus Project. These kids worked hard, and it was great to be a part of documenting their efforts just in time for their new school year. As the news article reports, we’re not the only ones pleased by the results. R.E.M. manager Bertis Downs promoted the video on the R.E.M. news page, and mention on R.E.M.’s Facebook page received over 1,000 likes. Downs told the Chapel Hill news “It’s very professionally done. It’s a great arrangement, it has a really good feel, nice energy, and I like the way the choral director interacts with the chorus. The kids did a great job.”
Indeed! Here’s a link to the video, which you can watch in HD if you have the bandwidth to do so:
In 2009 we put up a website with virtual images of both interior and exterior views of the studio. We have now replaced all the virtual images of the Main Studio with real-life photographs. Soon we will be doing the same for the Annex. Enjoy!