Wayne Krantz returns to The Miraverse

Wayne Krantz first visited The Miraverse February 15th, 2015 after receiving the All Clear from Jimmy Herring and others.  That night we recorded Wayne playing with long-time collaborator Keith Carlock on drums and Grammy-winning legend Anthony Jackson on bass.  And we have the video to prove it:

It was an incredible evening, listening to a mix of older songs as well as several new selections from his just-released album Good Piranha / Bad Piranha.  These new songs were an exploration of what might happen if Wayne used some well-known hooks as the kindling for his virtuoso pyrotechnics.  Songs like MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” and Ice Cube’s “Check Yo Self” never sounded so progressive!

So here’s the exciting news about Wayne’s return to The Miraverse on October 19, 2016:

Continue reading “Wayne Krantz returns to The Miraverse”

Wayne Krantz coming to the Miraverse, Feb 15 2015

Wayne Krantz playing his James Tyler guitar
Wayne Krantz, Premier Guitar

Guitar virtuoso and teacher Wayne Krantz and his trio are coming to the Miraverse February 15, 2015, and we are so excited!  I first learned about Wayne from the AbstractLogix catalog.  My love of the music created by John McLaughlin, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Herring, and others of that sort predicted I would like Wayne’s music.  Not because he imitates them–he most certainly doesn’t!  But because he is as boldly original as they are, bringing together an exciting mix of classic and alien, funky and beautiful, harmonic and angular.  I bought the self-titled album Krantz Carlock Lefebvre and it spent weeks in the player as I listened to it over and over and over again.

When Wayne released a book (An Improviser’s OS), I found myself falling down a rabbit hole of nearly infinite complexity.  And infinitely beautiful.  And that’s how I learned that in addition to being a creative composer and master player, he is also a teacher.

So it is fitting, then, for him to come to the Miraverse both to play, and to teach…and you can attend his lessons and/or performances by clicking here.

Still reading?  Then here’s some more motivation to come…

Continue reading “Wayne Krantz coming to the Miraverse, Feb 15 2015”

Get ready for NOW

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!

Alex Machacek and Gary Husband in the Control Room of Manifold Recording

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.

Continue reading “Get ready for NOW”

Alex Machacek and Gary Husband at Manifold Recording

AlexAndGary1Alex 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.

Continue reading “Alex Machacek and Gary Husband at Manifold Recording”

Trying new things

GaryHusband
Gary Husband rehearsing at Manifold Recording

This week we have been given a gift.  Two of the most talented members of the Jazz fusion community are making a record at Manifold Recording.  And they are trying something new: the co-production model of The Miraverse.  If you are within 40 miles of Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, or Pittsboro, you might want to consider becoming a co-producer on Friday, or at least having dinner with these artists and hearing what Alex Machacek and Gary Husband have been creating.

A lot has changed in the recording industry since John McLaughlin started recording with Miles Davis, but a few things have stayed the same: the laws of physics that govern acoustics have not changed, and the challenge of making a great record–from the technical practice to the acoustics to the critical decisions during tracking and mixing–remain challenges no matter how much technology one has available.  The co-production model is a new approach geared toward helping artists produce their art at the highest level, using both the most advanced technologies available and the most organic acoustic spaces in which to give their music life, and to do so in an economically sustainable way.

One major task of making a great recording is the recording process itself.  This process has its own magic, its own mystery, its own moments of enlightenment to offer.  And it is a process that is usually hidden from view, inaccessible to all except those directly connected to the process.  But what about those who love not only the music itself, but the process of producing the music?  In the world of local food, chefs are teaming up with farmers, bringing the restaurant to the field so that diners can experience food in a more complete and holistic way that just what is served on the plate.  Other artists are inviting people into their studios to witness the process of creation.  Why not do the same for the recording arts?

We are thrilled that Gary and Alex are trying new things.  And we hope that you might try something new as well and support the work of these artists in a new way.  It is quite something special to hear our 9′ concert grand piano in the Music Room.  It will be quite something special to hear Alex playing through our locally-made Carr amplifiers.  And if you decide to make a day of it and spend time not only hearing them play live, but participating in the recording process.

Leonardo DaVinci once said “Art lives from constraints and dies from freedom.”  Which means that art is defined by the choices made by the artist.  By seeing those choices being made, by understanding how those choices can be discerned in a recording, you might just find that you have a whole new appreciation for your existing library of recordings as you hear nuances (choices!) you’d never heard before.

Tickets for those who wish to attend are being handled by AbstractLogix here.

BREAKING NEWS: There is now an option to join only the post-dinner concert.  Contact AbstractLogix to check on availability of these $99 tickets.  We hope to see you Friday, either for the whole day, for dinner, or for the wrap-up performance.  Thank you for helping these artists produce the next milestones in Jazz recording.

A spiritual beginning to 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. Continue reading “A spiritual beginning to 2011”

Jazz Music and Open Source Software

Who knew that Open Standards maven Andrew Updegrove was a jazz fan?  He riffs:

Jazz, of course, is open source all the way — it’s the ultimate freedom machine. Once you’ve grasped the melody line and basic chord structure of any song, you’re on your own, encouraged to take the author’s initial inspiration anywhere you wish. A jazz musician isn’t judged by the faithfulness of his rendition but by what he codes at the musical keys.

Even the legal underpinnings of jazz are different, at least in the trenches. No one who is really serious about jazz goes out and buys, say, an Oscar Peterson, Miles Davis or Mahavishnu John McLaughlin song book, setting down note for note what the great musician played. How could you? They played it different every time.

You can read more of this wonderful entry here.  Me?  I need to go practice more songs from The Real Book.