New York, NY (January 23, 2006)–On December 17, 2005 the Museum of Sound Recording (MOSR) brought its “Session Night” back to life. The first of a series of such monthly events, the live recording session was held in a coffeehouse setting in space donated by The Culture Center and was open to the public. The next Session Night is February 25, 2006, and the last Saturday of each following month.
Session Night was one of the pilot programs of MOSR back in 1996-1997 when the Museum was housed in a loft on Douglass Street in Brooklyn. That year, MOSR held a total of 64 such live recording sessions open to the public, utilizing vintage gear in support of emerging artists.
On the evening of the performance, guests witnessed the proceedings of a recording session. Producer John Smajda explained the process of tracking and overdubs to the guests. There were nearly a dozen engineers, mostly students and graduates of the Institute of Audio Research in Manhattan, working toward creating the best recordings possible. Chief engineer Alex Sterling led the engineering team including Robert Barrett, Herby Norman, Alex Pareja, Edgar Perez, Mike Prochillo and Anthony Pallazole. Performances included a rap session by Kemyst (Brett Ferry), spoken word by Chris LaRose, a sitar raga by Dan Gaydos with improvised dance accompaniment by Smokifantastic (Bobbi Williams) and Monica Gaydos, and live music by Zalmo (former Atlantic Records mastering engineer Zal Schreiber) and Mickey Lane.
The December 17th event was the maiden voyage of the Museum in its new performance location, with longtime staffers present, as well as a great infusion of enthusiastic new talent and new volunteers. The atmosphere was casual and experimental, with refreshments for guests to enjoy during the performance, prepared and served by Rebecca Aaron and Raiona Gaydos. Guests were invited into the recording studio to see engineers at work recording the event. Notable mics used included Mikrofontechnik Gefell RFT M71’s, Altec 210 “Lipstick”, Sony C48s, EV 668, among standards like Sennheiser 441s, Shure SM 57s and Audio Technica AT 4033s. The session was recorded in the adjacent control room to Logic Audio, but a cadre of analog gear will be coming out of storage for the upcoming sessions.
According to MOSR co-founder Dan Gaydos, with these artifacts, the Museum preserves the history of recording technologies and methods. How can serious engineers know how to record like the 60s without 60s equipment and how can we know where we’re going unless we have full knowledge of where we’ve been? In the upcoming Session Nights, Museum staff will be recording on multiple formats to compare, research and find the best recording methods to suit the performance.
MOSR has persevered since 1995 in its vision for one day opening a facility that will include 16 to 20 period studios all decked out with operating authentic period equipment, much of which has already been donated and is maintained in operational condition by the Museum. MOSR hopes to include exhibits on acoustics, recording and communication technologies, encourage new research in recording, and house many creative and interactive ways of learning about sound and recording.
The MOSR founders, Dan Gaydos and Bernard Fox, have pre-planned three complete facilities in the NYC area, coming to about 125,000 square feet, and have designed many other scaled-down versions as well. The concepts and the collections of amassed period equipment that have been donated to the Museum from a hundred or so donors need a proper home. The Museum is eager to hear from anyone that would be interested in sponsoring, funding, and supporting the Museum’s efforts and progress so that they can continue to offer programs such as Session Night, and one day have a permanent home.
The Culture Center