Live Shows: Recording and Collaboration

Originally posted July 23, 2013

This week I've been mixing a project for my friend and fellow musician Kate Morrison.  We played a few shows last month that were really special occasions: jazz nights featuring a great band of Kate (vocals),Gary Hemenway (piano), Daniel Cox (drums), myself(bass), and Pink Martini's Gavin Bondy (trumpet).  The shows came together in a beautiful way, and the band chemistry was remarkable, particularly since we had never played as a group before the day of the first show.  

Coffee Ring Studios was tasked with recording the two shows, one at the Gesa Powerhouse Theatre in Walla Walla, Washington and a second at the Vert Auditorium in Pendleton, Oregon.  Tasked with manning the live front of house sound as well as monitoring the recording was Brian Griffith (a fantastic drummer himself), who did a wonderful work with a complex and challenging job.  Together we had devised a plan to deploy a fully-redundant recording system for the one-take-only live shows, as well as creating a PA system that would give this great group of musicians their best representation for the audiences.  We're a unique recording studio in that we have the ability to be fully mobile, allowing for recordings of many events in virtually any space, capturing the best of a one-time event.  I find these on-location recording projects to be among my favorite – the challenge of setting up in unusual circumstances, the "get it right the first time" pressure of the live show, and the creative work of capturing the ambiance and feel of live shows all combine to make for a very rewarding piece of work.  

These shows were a real testament to collaboration in music.  None of what we did on these shows, from playing to recording, could be done without our partners in crime, and I think the shows came out great (take a listen here and let me know what you think).  I hope you'll consider collaborating together here at the studio.