“From the Mouths of Enlightened Musicians”

The musical world according to a young visionary.

When I set out to put together my weekly radio show with three female musicians I had no idea how it would fly. Well, it flew just fine thank you. The final segment was pKiaya2lanned to be an interview/review of a double-release by the band, Silver and Moonlight. However, and as a great surprise to me, the interview segment blossomed into an exhaustive analysis of music making, improvisation, the inner workings of band live and composition, and a look into the mind of a gifted and artistic young lady…I would dare say a modern, artistic renaissance woman.

 

A little background:

Kiaya Abernathy is a vocalist, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, spectacular visual artist, and a very creative photographer. If that isn’t enough, she’s strong-willed, perceptive, and enlightened. That would all be understandable if she were in her forties, but if you take off a decade aKiayand a have you are closer to the truth.
Kiaya is dedicated to bringing to the masses art in all of its expression. In this interview, she speaks for all of us who struggle to bring forth creative and meaningful music into a world where sameness and commercial gain eclipse meaning and foresight.

 

 

As you listen to Kiaya speak about her band, her father, her ideas, and her hopes for the future, think of the way things could be. The way music would change if her worldview were a reality. If music were set free from the chains of what has to be.

Listen here:

The Interview

 

Check out the 31 song double album release by Silver and Moonlight:

Stars Shining Bright and Loon Call are here:

The Bands Website

silverandmoonlight.jpg

 

My radio show, The Studio Rocks with Mark Campayno, can be heard every weekend here:

JBRNewSlideThe Studio Rocks w/Mark Campayno

 

 

 

 

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Your First Recording Session: Are you Prepared?

A Short Primer On Your Band’s First Recording Session

So you and your band have worked hard. You’ve saved enough money to book time at a recording studio. All the merch sales, donations, and gigs have paid off. Well, almost. You are now entering a whole new level of band life and there is much riding on your time in front of live mics in an environment that may be brand new to you.
The capturing of the music in real time will be the ultimate barometer of your sound and furthermore,  will define who you are as a unit.  I’m not taking
IMG_5668 away from the fun and learning that goes on during live recording sessions, however there is much to consider as you prepare for this experience.

In order to have the session go smoothly with few snags, here are some things to consider before your studio date arrives. Go into the session with an open mind. Be flexible and open to the advice of the sound engineer and to each other. The mere act of recording can expose parts of your music that could use tweaking.  Riffs that worked during your “garage sessions” sometimes do not translate well on recordings leaving you with quick decisions to make.

To minimize such issues, ask yourself this question: Does the band have all parts worked out with no trouble spots?  Does each member have a working knowledge of each other’s parts? In other words, do they know how all the pieces fit together?  Is everyone capable of playing or singing what they are required to play or sing? Sometimes technical issues are masked during band rehearsals due to volume, less that idea sound in your space, and underdeveloped “hearing”.IMG_8280

Prior to the session it may be wise to rehearse the song parts one, two, or three at a time. Have the drummer and bass play. Then add keys or rhythm guitar. After that, add vocals and harmonies. Be prepared to start your songs from different sections. If anyone in the band cannot play from any section instantly then the music is NOT memorized and precious time will be wasted and the costs will increase.

Finally, the issue of equipment comes up. Does everyone have decent equipment to record with. More often than not, you will use what the engineer suggests. Don’t be offended if your 6 Line (lol) amps sound doesn’t cut it in the studio. Are your guitar players using too much gain and distortion during rehearsal? Have you thought about cutting it down to about 3/4 of what they are used to (at least for the rhythm parts)? It’s shocking how much that will clean up your sound.

IMG_0396Remember to provide your engineer with a detailed list of your songs and the structure. If not, the clock will tick as you try in vain to describe how each song goes. That is a gigantic time waster. Provide also each member’s role on the songs. Who sings harmonies, who plays tambourine, when does that elusive cowbell part come in?

A few hours spent on firming up all these details can save you hundreds of dollars and can clean up your session in a big way!

-Mark