As told last month, Richard Weiss received a commission to create a full-length ballet based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, and composer J Mark Scearce was commissioned to write the score. Both the ballet (produced and performed by Carolina Ballet) and the music (performed by the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle) were enthusiastically received and reviewed both at Memorial Hall in Raleigh and at DPAC in Durham earlier this month. While the text may have been a tragedy, the performances were an absolute triumph!
In between the Raleigh and the Durham shows, Manifold Recording became the venue for a very special recording session. Here is a video that gives a glimpse into that recording session:
Autumn Nicholas, an award-winning singer-song writer from Fayetteville North Carolina, is recording her first studio album at Manifold Recording!
We spent the first week of February recording scratch tracks. Each week thereafter we added layers, recording drums and percussion, bass, piano, organ, guitars, and finally lead vocals. We will mix and master the final product in March. We are also excited to be working on some video productions stemming from these sessions.
Just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, AbstractLogix is now selling the latest release from the rock/funk fusion group My 3 Sons. Titled Who’s We?, the album was recorded and mixed at Manifold Recording this summer by Ian Schreier. Recorded live with minimal overdubs to capture the dynamics and tone of a high-energy My 3 Sons performance, it exemplifies the magic that can happen when a great band comes together in a great space to play great music.
There are some other new releases coming out around the corner, but this one’s available now. Check it out!
This past weekend, Manifold Recording hosted four ensembles of the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute from UNC School of the Arts (UNCSA): the Giannini String Quartet, the Liminal Phase wind quintet, the Chrysalis Brass Quintet, and an ad hoc piano/violin duet. The goal of the session was to give these developing musicians an opportunity to hear themselves in a new way–recorded in a studio setting. Of course musicians must be able to hear themselves, and of course they must be able to hear other members of their ensemble. But beyond that, how much do they take for granted that what sounds good inside the circle will translate beyond it. This session gave them the opportunity to experience this for themselves.
Sarah Shook came to Manifold Recording by way of an Intern from Italy, Mario Bianchi, but the story of Sidelong, Sarah’s first full-length album, has a longer history. And one that makes this album release that much sweeter.
A recent feature in INDY Week tells the backstory of a Sarah’s journey, from growing up in a fundamentalist Christian household in Rochester NY to the devilish ways that led first to her musical emancipation, her break from religion, and ultimately the embrace of herself as a unique and uniquely driven person. Regardless of how dangerous that may be. And without any apologies.
Sarah first came to Manifold Recording to make an EP with her band, Sarah Shook and The Devil. It was a fast and wild ride, but one that told us that there was some real magic, too. Ian Schreier took it upon himself to use his 20+ years in the business to convince Sarah to come back and make a real record, with him as producer. The fact that her band had just dissolved wasn’t an excuse to sidetrack the project.
Once Sarah had recruited a new band that could both play together and work together, Ian was ready take the reins as Producer.
Yesterday we very very happy to host singers from several congregations of La Luz del Mundo of North Carolina. These singers came from across the state to make the first professional recording of some of their a cappella hymns. Here is the full choir in the studio:
Last year, John Heitzenrater and the band Hindugrass came to Manifold Recording to track their new album. John used crowd-funding to help defray the costs of the tracking session, and to use his home studio to edit and mix the resulting tracks. The theory was that by going “all in” on the quality of the recorded material, he would wouldn’t need all the firepower of a high-end studio to produce a good result. But as good as the tracks were, he began to realize that his artistic vision for the album was way more complicated than just selecting the right takes, putting the faders at zero, and letting the songs mix themselves. He began to inquire about mixing dates toward the end of the year, and we agreed to do a joint project. We would mix the album, but he would let us produce video of the process. We are proud to present the first fruits of that collaboration:
I have been talking for some time about the virtues of kickstarter funding for music recording projects. The indie album Move by Matt Phillips and the Philharmonic could not have been made without kickstarter funding. But the more I learn about the world of music kickstarters, the more I see there is to learn.
The Set Chopin Free project reached its $75,000 goal scarcely two weeks into its seven week funding schedule. It is already more than $5,000 above its funding goal, and could well surpass $100,000 by the time its funding window closes. And the Open Well-Tempered Clavier project (launched by Robert Douglass) has already reached 50% of its $30,000 fundraising goal from more than 450 supporters in its first 5 days! That kind of strong start virtually guarantees funding success, and leaves us only to wonder whether it will achieve 160% (like Open Goldberg Variations), 200% (like Fractal Journeys and the Twelve Tones of Bach), 350% (like the Well-Tempered Clavier Tour), 600% (like Musopen’s Set Music Free) or more than 1100% (like Amanda Palmer did in her amazing 2012 record). The possibilities are quite wide open. But real questions remain: how did this happen? what does it mean?
A press release today invites the press itself to consider some more pointed questions:
If both Open Goldberg and Musopen succeed with their Kickstarter campaigns, collectively raising over $100,000 for new recordings of standard repertoire, it is probably worth asking “Who is holding classical music in shackles?” and “Why do so many people feel it is so important to set Bach and Chopin free?” Continue reading “Success Stories”
AbstractLogix has released NOW, the new album recorded by Alex Machacek and Gary Husband at Manifold Recording. It is an album you may well want to check out NOW!
It is always exciting to think about what might happen when two of your favorite artists decide to team up and produce a new collaboration. But it can also be a disappointment when the result sounds a bit like a tug-of-war between two visions, or a competition between the two artists. NOW not only avoids the these pitfalls, but it soars above them with rare and wonderful transcendence. Indeed, it may do for Piano and Electric Guitar what Crystal Silence did for Piano and Vibraphone.
Alex Machacek and Gary Husband spent several days with us recording a new album for their label, AbstractLogix. Gary has just finished touring the East Coast with John McLaughlin, and Alex flew in from Los Angeles. Both had been writing, practicing, and sharing notes about the music they would be recording, but this was the first time they had a chance to play it together. It was exciting to witness the music literally being realized through the process of recording!
Our recording setup anticipated Alex playing both electric and acoustic guitar. In the photo you see him practicing with Gary, so the amp is not isolated, and neither is Alex. For the recording, Alex played through a Carr Rambler amplifier isolated in Booth B, but he’s practicing with Gary through a Carr Mercury amplifier. He really enjoyed playing through both. During the recording session, Alex moved into the hexagonal room we made from gobos. When he was getting set up, I asked him “what’s your favorite color?” and when he told me “something warm, maybe orange”, I illuminated it with a really orange light. He liked the effect, and that’s how we kept it during the remainder of the session. (See below for some color out-takes.)
For the acoustic guitar, Alex auditioned two of our studio guitars: a Breedlove and an Alvarez Yari. Alex picked the Yari because its tone and action fit were a perfect fit for the tone he envisioned and for the way he plays.
Gary played our Yamaha CF-9. We set up three pairs of microphones to capture several perspectives of the piano’s sound. Over the hammers we had a pair of Schoeps CMC6 mics. Over the harp we had our DPA 3521 compact cardiod pair. Slightly higher and slightly farther away we had a pair of Coles 4038 ribbon microphones which you can see on the large boom stand. Ian then set about to get the piano to play Gary’s favorite colors, which tended to be a bit darker than our piano plays naturally. However, after some back-and-forth, we found that we could get the desired color with a touch of EQ. With that, we were ready to record.