Summer Into Fall

Greetings from Upper Michigan! Its been a very busy late summer/early fall, with lots of travel and interesting projects happening, all of which I’m very excited to be involved with. I’ve been enjoying the stylistic variety of projects and the balance this past few months between studio recording and mixing, live sound and live multi-track recording. Here are some of the details:


8.13:: Trio Subtonic Live Video Shoot

Portland jazz band Trio Subtonic came into Type Foundry for a one-day video shoot/live recording of the song “Night Runners” from their new record. I did the tracking all live in the big room at the studio. The piano was re-recorded later, and mixing and mastering were done by Scott Bergstrom at 25th St. Recording down in Oakland. The videographer was Portland local Scott Ballard. It turned out really beautifully.


8.13:: Type Foundry 15th Anniversary!!

typefoundry_cup_logo copy


On August 31st we had a big party at Type Foundry to commemorate 15 years as a studio. I haven’t been involved that entire time, but have been there for 13 years of it. Its unbelievable that its been that long….it feels like it went by so fast. I feel so proud and lucky to be part of such a great, comfortable, creative space with such a great group of partners, and reviewing the scope of records that have come to fruition there over the years is overwhelming. I never could have imagined when I joined as a partner what it would turn into. Here’s to more years and 100’s and 100’s more records!


9.13:: Matthew Dear @ Hopscotch Festival & Laneway Festival


photo from Spin

photo from Brooklyn Vegan

photo from Brooklyn Vegan

The Matthew Dear crew had two one-off festival shows in September. The first was in Raleigh, North Carolina at Hopscotch Festival. The following week we were in Detroit, headlining the Ghostly stage for the first U.S. incarnation of Australia’s Laneway Festival. When I wasn’t working at Laneway, I was able to catch a scathing set by post-punk band-of-the-hour Savages, and the tail end of a stunningly beautiful Sigur Rós set.


9.13:: Blue Cranes Live Set

My friends, Portland jazz group Blue Cranes, had the pleasure of opening for Ben Goldberg‘s Unfold Ordinary Mind, featuring guitar virtuoso Nels Cline, at Mississippi Studios later in September. I mixed live sound for both bands, and did a live multi-track recording of Blue Cranes’ set. This is the second set I’ve recorded of them playing there, the first happening back in April. Hopefully this one, the first one, or some combination of both sets will be mixed and available for download at some point. Their live show is always so dynamic, and always such a joy to watch.


9.13:: Peter Broderick and Oliveray @ Decibel Festival


photo from A Strangely Isolated Place

Peter had me up to Seattle to mix his show at Decibel Festival. He played a wonderful solo set with guitar, violin, voice and live looping followed by a playful improvised set with German pianist Nils Frahm, which they do from time to time under the moniker Oliveray. Headlining the show was my friend Volker, aka Hauschka, a master of making the treated piano sound like electronic music.

The following two nights, I was the house engineer at Mississippi Studios for two consecutive, beautiful Erased Tapes artist concerts: a Friday Peter Broderick/Hauschka show and Saturday Nils Frahm/Ólafur Arnalds show. It was truly an inspiring run of concerts, in part because I appreciate the music all of these people are making, and in part because I really like them all.


8.13-10.13:: Phone Call

Portland band Phone Call, made up of 2/3 of former electro/disco band Strength has been coming into Type Foundry over the last few months to lay down vocal tracks, a couple songs at a time. Hopefully, the record will be mixed and finished in the next few months.


10.13:: A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff

I’ve recently started working on mixing a recording of this project. Composed by Alicia Jo Rabins, a poet, composer, performer and Torah scholar based in Portland, OR and Brooklyn, NY, A Kaddish for Bernie Maddoff is described as: “An experimental rock opera about the spiritual implications of the current financial crisis, examining the figure of Bernard Madoff (and the system he represents) through the lens of rabbinic Jewish texts about financial ethics, the meaning of wealth, and the inevitability of cycles.” We did an initial rough mix recently, and plan on really digging into the mixing in early November. It will be interesting partially because we’ll be mixing it both for release and also for use as a backing track for performance.


10.13:: Møtrik

The Møtrik record I recorded back in June is done and awaiting reproduction. It was mixed by Giles Reeves at Adam Selzer’s Mix Foundry. Below are some sneak previews of the first two songs from the album.


10.13:: Ben Darwish’s The Lonely Night

I just finished up a five-show run doing the live sound and live multi-track recording for The Lonely Night, a RACC grant-funded multimedia musical performance composed and performed by Portland cross-genre keyboardist Ben Darwish. The performance, done at Ethos’ Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, incorporated video, lighting design (expertly executed by Jonathan Wright) and a bit of acting in addition to Ben’s harmony-laden R&B. There’s a great review of the show from Portland Monthly here. I was happy to spend a week on this project with a great group of talented, lovely people.

To supplement the IFCC’s theater sound system for music, I brought in a bunch of my own mics, as well as a Midas Venice F32 console, subs, a bit of outboard gear from my friend Joe Zavaglia’s company, State of Sound. The Midas board made for super easy multi-track recording to Pro Tools with a single firewire cable into my laptop.




10.13:: Terminal Orchestra Tracking

…and now I’m in Michigan to track a record with my good friend Jesse DeCaire. Jesse heads up a sublime instrumental ensemble called the Terminal Orchestra. We’ll be setting up a mobile studio for a few days in the old church at Algomah Acres Honey Farm, a “micro-meadery” located deep in the rural western Upper Peninsula, to track their new record, themed around the novel The Watership Down. The band is a six-piece – drums, bass, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, cello and violin. Their last record, released on Phratry Records and themed around the seasons, was great, and this one also promises to be. Below is a TEDxMarquette live video of one of the songs from the upcoming record.


10.13:: Beacon Sound Retreat @ The Sou’Wester/Peter Broderick & Gabriel Saloman split release

beacon sound sou'wester

After Michigan I’ll be heading to the Washington coast where I’ll be helping my good friend Andrew, of Beacon Sound record store/label, host a weekend musical getaway at the mighty Sou’Wester. I’ll be helping out with sound and recording duties. The lineup is great, and it should be an amazing weekend of good people, good food and good music at one of my favorite places on the NW coast. If you haven’t been there, I highly recommend it….a really really special place.

Immediately following this mini-festival, Peter and Gabriel will come record with me over at Type Foundry. This will be the beginning of a collaboration that will eventually become the first Beacon Sound vinyl release. There is a Kickstarter campaign going to raise money for the recording and production of the release here.