Sound familiar? A recording experience opens in Nashville

While looking at how Parlor Productions are put together, I came across a link for a creative workshop for event planners:

The event involves Hit Songwriters from Nashville who gather together in small groups with the attendees, and write a short song or jingle about the company. Then the separate groups come back together in the studio, and surrounded by lots of laughter, record their individual masterpieces.

The highlight of the evening comes at the end, when the hit songwriters do a performance of their biggest hits in the intimate setting of the studio.

What a great opportunity for people to see how their own create works draw, consciously or unconsciously, from the culture that surrounds them.  And what a great opportunity for professionals to raise their game through this collaborative experience.
I wish Parlor Productions and their clients much success!

Philly Through My Ear

The things I learn by talking with just a few people who know a lot!

I just learned about Philly Through My Ear, a creative, collaborative effort to bring together great jazz musicians, honor them, pay them, record what is still <em>great</em> music, and then give them a lottery ticket in the form of a CD that they are free to sell whereever and hoever they wish. Why, that sounds just like the fair share model I’m trying to promote in The Miraverse!

According to the wealth survey of the Wall Street Journal, there are now more than 10,000,000 millionaires in the world and 3.2 million living in the US alone. Why are they spending so much on mere stuff that’s polluting the environment and not much on transcendent experiences that can be made in carbon-neutral ways? I don’t know, but I do know that Will Smith Sr. (father of Will Smith Jr.) has his priorities in order, and his generosity expands far beyond just the support of his favorite living artists: it actually enriches the arts.

So a shout out to Will Smith Sr., and an invitation to those who are trying to decide how they might allocate their assets between things (that need space) and experiences (which can be carried always). And a prayer that my favorite living artists will have the creative and legal freedoms to create more musical descendents to fill us all their their genius.

Audio Clips of Rough Mixes

How cool is this?  A bunch of recording engineers sharing their works in progress so that they can learn and improve their craft.  (And maybe show off a little, too.)  This is one example of an organic version of what I hope to do when permission to share is granted.  As I explain in the thread:

While the Manifold Recording will certainly cater to high-end folks that want to lock it out and keep all the mixes and masters to themselves (until they release commercially), I’m also hoping that there are artists, engineers, and co-producers who are as interested in really developing not just an understanding of equipment and techniques, but creating works that are interesting and rewarding to others who try their hands at mixing and production. I detail that somewhat here the PROGRAMS section of the Manifold Recording website.

One particular technical challenge I have to address is the best way to tag all the data so that equipment chains can be easily annotated in the recording process and can be easily searched in a large (100TB) online archive.  As you can see from the thread, there are no standards as to the level of detail or the integrity of the data of these community-led efforts.  One idea is to use RFID to tag basically every piece of gear that can move (plus those that cannot) and then scan the chain from source to console and then attach each signal chain’s scan data to the respective track.  This will ensure that every device is scanned according to its canonical identifier.

Will this catch on?  I certainly hope so!

Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild

The Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild is a multi-discipline, minority directed, center for arts and learning that employs the visual and performing arts to foster a sense of accomplishment and hope in the urban community.  Pittsboro is not exactly an urban community, but the needs of youth and the role of the performing arts to develop and nurture an authentic, powerful voice is every bit as important in North Carolina as it is in downtown Pittsburgh.  And I do hope that if the Guild fancies a visit to North Carolina, or if there is a new Guild that forms closer to Pittsboro, I hope there might be an opportunity to share the dream and to give these young performers some studio experience, too.

I am ABBA and so can you!

Amy sent me a link to this latest ABBA shrine, a 70,000 sq ft museum, stage and recording studio ready to inform and entertain ABBA’s greatest fans. Not that the band didn’t do a great job releasing the definitive concert/tour DVD in 2004. Platinum-level tickets cost only €190 (and given the ABBA style, I cannot imagine settling for less).  I look forward to seeing what it costs to step into the recording studio and cut one’s own track with the most fabulous four, and I am delighted that ABBA are willing to open their music up this this form of enjoyment.  Mamma Mia!

And yes, I hope that those who want to see ABBA in this context will also want to see other favorite musicians making music and having fun in other studio contexts.

Nutcracker Nation

‘Tis the season, and like so many cities in America, the Nutcracker is playing to full houses here in Raleigh. I used to hate it when my parents would take me to the ballet, usually because my mother or somebody she knew was playing in the symphony and she was unwilling to leave me at home to watch something better on TV. But over the years my appreciation for music developed, and though my 10 year old self would never ever have believed it, I now enjoy listening to classical music and I find the ballet to be one of the most stimulating musical experiences to be found anywhere. What happened?

Continue reading “Nutcracker Nation”

Gary Powell on collaboration

Gary Powell hits the nail on this head with his post Sharing your creative process.  How many times have we been told, or sold, on the idea that creativity comes only from within?  Or that creativity is like some kind of artistic virginity, something that can never be restored to its purest and most wonderful state if co-mingled with the works of others.  I don’t defend those who try to create by committee.  And if a movie gives title credit to “Head of Story”, I’d rather know in advance so I can avoid it.  But in my experience, knowing how people work helps me work better with them, and helps them work better with me.

A particularly excellent example of this is the collaboration story of Elephant’s Dream.  In the DVD extras, the artists and producers talk about what it was like when the project began: everybody trying to do everything so as not to show any particular weaknesses.  But as things cracked under enormous time and creative pressure, the collaborators became more honest with each other, and suddenly they all discovered how to best fit together.  The courage to share helps create new levels of creativity and productivity.

I honor those who are willing to give a little (at some personal cost) to gain a lot more, for all of us.