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Mix Regional News: Bay Area


Steve Horowitz and the Guerrilla Composers Ensemble recently assembled at Trilogy in San Francisco to record “The Ribbon of Extremes,” a new work by Horowitz inspired by the 1932 painting of the same name by the Surrealist painter Yves Tanguy. The recording features a massive drum section and complex interaction of piano, cello, violin, clarinet and flute. Horowitz is a creator of odd but accessible sounds and a diverse and prolific musician, perhaps best known for his original score to the award-winning film Super Size Me and 16 imaginative albums.

Other notable Trilogy projects include Joan Jeanrenaud, former Kronos Quartet cellist, who was at Trilogy producing a new album of classical and contemporary compositions performed by soon-to-be-married cellists Meta Weiss and David Requiro. Jeanrenaud gave cello lessons to Weiss from ages 13 to 15, and she is now completing her doctorate degree from Juilliard.  Trilogy’s Justin Lieberman engineered the project…Prominent Bay Area producer/composer/percussionist PC Muñoz was at Trilogy for live band sessions with pop/R&B vocalist and recording artist Chase Martin for his upcoming full-length album. Muñoz and Martin worked with Michael Urbano, drums; Mike Blankenship, piano; Marc Weibel, guitar; Marc Levine, bass; and Trilogy recording engineer Willie Samuels.

In other Trilogy news, studio manager Cindy McSherry has announced Track Attic, the studio’s new music licensing and production division headed by Adrianna Murillo. Every track is precleared for licensing in any size project. Track Attic provides clients with custom music produced in a wide variety of genres for virtually any type of film, TV or commercial project.


San Francisco-based Different Fur Studios opened Studio B, designed by Blank Design Group. Studio B was a new build out, upstairs on the second floor of the Mission district studio. The room was previously the office of Polyvinyl Records and Mr. Roboto Presents. Studio B will have a focus on mixing and production. According to studio owner Patrick Brown, aside from the vocal booth/iso, the room has a Pro Tools/Ableton rig with 32 I/O, Waves Mercury, UAD-2 DSP Accelerator Octo with all plug-ins, Native Instruments Komplete Suite, and four racks of outboard compressors/EQs/effects/preamps, including Bricasti M7 reverb and TC Electronic 2290 delay.

In other studio news, the following projects have taken place: The Pacific Boys Choir came by with arranger Minna Choi to record parts for How To Dress Well’s contribution to David Byrne’s Contemporary Color project…Converse Rubber Tracks was back in May for its eighth pop-up in Studio A, with engineer Sean Paulson…Third Eye Blind was back for two days, finishing up its new album, with Paulson engineering…Curious Quail tracked and mixed a new song with engineer Paulson…CocoRosie worked for two days with engineer Paulson, employing the studio’s Studer A827 2-inch machine…Beat Connection wrapped up mixing its new record with engineer/studio owner Patrick Brown…Thao & The Get Down Stay Down wrapped up a new record with engineer Beau Sorenson and guest Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs. Grace Coleman assisted on the project.


Studio Circle Recordings in San Mateo, Calif. recently remodeled its facility. “We connected live room Studio A and Studio B by knocking down a shared wall and adding two sliding-glass doors,” says Jermaine Hamilton, studio manager/engineer. According to Hamilton, all rooms and control rooms are now wired together. Studio Circle also upgraded the its acoustical treatment with GIK broadband acoustical panels and ATS QRD diffusers. Additionally, the studio has contracted with A-1 Solar to install 19 solar panels over the summer. “We will be the first ‘green studio’ in the Bay Area to have solar power,” Hamilton says.

Studio Circle has also recently played host to a variety of artists, including English singer/songwriter/musician Ed Sheeran, who stopped by last December to re-record vocals for the remix of “Bloodstream” with Rudemental (produced by Rick Rubin). Engineer Hamilton cut his vocals with a U 87 and Vintech 573 pre-amp going into Pro Tools HD…Grammy-winner Carl Glanville stopped in to mix U2’s song “A Song for Someone,” a live version that was recorded at San Jose’s SAP Center for NBC’s Red Nose Day special. Hamilton assisted on the project.


Megasonic Sound in Oakland, Calif., has announced the addition of Michael Cogan as engineer. According to Jeremy Goody, Megasonic Sound owner/engineer, Cogan brings “a wealth of knowledge—and some amazing vintage microphones—from his extensive time running the Bay Records facility in Berkeley.”

Cogan has been busy on recent sessions at Megasonic, including recording the Thompson Family Band—Eric and Suzy Thompson and their daughter Alegra, with Paul Knight on bass and produced by Jody Stecher. Cogan also recorded an album for the Fog City Stompers, a seven-piece traditional jazz band. “It’s really great to see Mike back in action!” Goody says.

Meanwhile, Goody recently recorded two projects for producer/guitarist Henry Kaiser. The first was Megasonic Chapel, an album of an improvised quintet organized by Kaiser, consisting of Tania Chen (piano),
Danielle DeGruttola (cello),
Kaiser (guitar)
Soo-Yeon Lyuh (haegum [korean fiddle]), and
William Winant (percussion). The second was A Tribute to Mark E. Miller, which arose from the recent passing of the drummer. It features contributions from John Zorn, Bill Laswell, Michael Beinhorn and Fred Frith, among a host of other musicians who played with Miller. Tracks recorded at Megasonic by Miller just before his passing were used as the basis for new compositions recorded in studios around the globe and assembled and mixed back in Oakland.

The studio also recently hosted prog-rock band Hedersleben for its third album—a double concept LP entitled The Fall of Chronopolis, engineered by Goody. Weeks before that session, most of the band were at the studio recording with Nik Turner from the legendary band Hawkwind for his latest release.

Megasonic just finished basics on the final track for San Francisco flautist/composer Dr. John Calloway. Mixing begins in July.