Studios as Sacred Spaces
Updated: Aug 3, 2021
Speaking on the importance of the studio being a sacred space and all that entails.
Recently I did an interview where I sat down and talked with music producer Joe Chiccarelli at his "hideout" at world renown studio Sunset Sound studios in the Hollywood hills. He said the exact same thing I heard when meeting the owners of MAPS studios in Fullerton, CA- Studios are sacred spaces.
As a music producer or studio owner, you know the importance of creating a space that is safe for art to flourish. This is why studios spend time and effort into cultivating a "vibe" or feeling - to support an atmosphere that is conducive to feeling safe in a place where you are meant to take risks. The crushing feeling of not wanting to look like a fool will always impact your recordings negatively.
Some of my best work comes out when I'm just trying something for fun. Often I'll hear in the talk-back "Woah, do that again!" when I take a chance and do something that could turn out completely foolish. These chances I take because I'm confident in my abilities for one, but more importantly I know that my partners in the control room are not laughing at me for trying something new. Every good musician knows when someone tries something new, to give it a good chance before moving on.
Even some "mistakes" can end up making that little magic in the song which gives the performance a whole new dimension. These "happy little accidents" would be glossed over and forgotten in a judgmental or rigid setting but every musician worth his weight in salt or gold knows the magic can hide in the mistakes.
It is for these reasons a studio and/or producer has the added job of being the curator of the set and setting. Art dies in shame, self-doubt, judgement and insecurity. Art thrives in confidence, inclusivity, exploration and "play".
A good friend once reminded me that all of life should have some elements of play in it. Art and music is doubly so.
Randall is a session vocalist, songwriter and music producer with over 15 years in the industry.
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