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.
December 16, 2012
November 30, 2012
At the Dōjō where I train, the black belts begin every class by saying “Shiken Haramitsu Daikoumyo,” reminding themselves that “every moment is an opportunity for enlightenment.” I have been training for a year, making good progress, and if I keep it up, I might earn my black belt in 3-4 more years. There’s a lot to learn and a lot know, and these Black Belts, who know so much more than I do, are constantly prepared to learn even more.
Earlier this month we hosted Béla Fleck and Brooklyn Rider, high-degree black belts of their respective instruments for sure, and I was struck by not only how much they knew, but how prepared they were–every moment–to receive new enlightenment. Shiken Haramitsu Daikoumyo!!
January 30, 2011
Some things take longer than others. A little more than two years ago I advertised that the studio would be using Variac transformers instead of more modern technologies. This was not a “retro at all costs” decision (though Variacs can be used to provide a really, really great dimming system), but due to the the fact that the pre-eminent lighting control company refused to sell us the very reasonable and very standard system that virtually every other studio employs, and instead would only quote us a package that cost 200% more than it should have. Their absolute unreasonableness caused us to design them out of the main studio, albeit at an extraordinary expense of time. Our proven ability to design around them led to a very easy negotiation the next time around when it came to outfitting the Annex. Go figure. But now, the variable transformers that we procured in 2008 are finally now being installed:
The design is ultra-green (in my book), as follows…
January 20, 2011
I think we all look for auspicious signs around the time of the New Year–signs of good fortune to come, signs of disasters to avoid, signs of hope. Indeed, there are many rituals from many cultures intended to tilt the cosmic game in one’s own favor. For the start of 2011, I did nothing more profound nor bizarre than to turn my radio dial to 91.5 WUNC as I drove down to Pittsboro to check on the latest progress of my construction project. Suddenly I found myself listening in on a conversation with John McLaughlin about spirituality in music. Having seen John and his band play in Raleigh just a few months ago at the Lincoln Theater, hearing him talk about A Love Supreme was like music to my ears. And I’m still jazzing strong about his latest release, To The One, which was nominated for a Grammy award last year, and which totally deserves to win it this year. (more…)
September 26, 2010
At long last the acoustic cloud in the Music Room has been completed! With 60 panels totaling very nearly 900 sq ft (nearly 1800 sq ft of active acoustic performance since both sides are used), it is a thing of beauty to behold:
But if you look more deeply, many more layers of beauty await…
January 31, 2010
It was over a year ago when Ben Loftis told me “I think you’re going to need a box from Colin Broad”. I vaguely remember looking up the name, seeing the boxes, and thinking “OK…when I’m a little closer to building out the studio I’ll have to see what’s current and what I need.” Well, we’re starting to gear up our equipment lists, rack elevations, and wiring lists, and so it seemed like a good time to reach out to Colin and see whether his latest products suited my project.
In a word: perfectly!
April 12, 2009
While I have been fairly diligent about maintaining my construction blog, I have neglected to blog about much else since January, which could mislead the reader into believing either that nothing else of interest is happening, or, worse, that nothing else has been interesting me, both of which are false. But this past week, two creative works—one a book and the other a CD—were so interesting that I was compelled to respond to both in manifold ways.
Now, for the blog, how to begin?
December 17, 2008
Ben Folds may claim “You Don’t Know Me”, but actually the truth is he doesn’t…know me…yet.
And yet, it’s like he does.
October 24, 2008
We’re getting down to the last nitty-gritty details before pouring the slab. One of those details is the precise question of how we’re going to build the rear of the control room, which will incorporate a symmetric 4-step QRD built from RPG blocks. We’ve had a general idea ever since Wes Lachot first drew that page of the plans more than a year ago, but now we need to know the exact answers, down to the sixteenth of an inch. So we went to the field to see how our theories comported with reality…
October 5, 2008
Last month at the Ars Electronica 2008 conference and festival, I had a chance to discuss with a number of very smart folks both my physical studio project, Manifold Recording, and my approach to creating a new recording environment/context, the Miraverse. In the course of those discussions, a number of people mentioned Jazzin the Black Forest, a Book/DVD combination that documents the amazing history of the German MPS label.
The letters MPS stand for “Most Perfect Sound”, and as John Kelman writes…