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Too Many Zooz at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco

Leo P’s Sax Featured on Beyonce’s “Daddy Lessons”

Pictured during Too Many Zooz sessions is drummer/percussionist King of Sludge.

San Francisco, June 2016 – Bizarre “Brass House” group Too Many Zooz have recorded new songs at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy. While in town from NYC, they performed with local musicians, who joined them in the studio. “This was a super fun session and the guys are insanely talented and creative,” remarked Trilogy recording engineer Willie Samuels.

Too Many Zooz was recently featured on Beyonce’s new “Lemonade” album, following her discovery of their viral videos. They can be heard on both “Formation” and “Daddy Lessons.”

The three-piece Too Many Zooz got their start in the subways of NYC. Matt Doe on trumpet, Leo P on the sax, and The King of Sludge on bass drum and percussion. Videos of their performances frequently get millions of views.

Watch Zooz perform in the NYC Union Station subway:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMe6Y8GDVEI

“Too Many Zooz wasn’t really intended to be a band,” explains co-founder Matt Doe. “We were just trying to have fun, and make some money to eat, buy a 6-pack, and pay our rent. I saw it as an opportunity, a really easy way to play music for money and do what I love as my job.”

After starting their first full-length album at Platinum Sound in NYC, they ventured to SF. “We had a show out there at the Independent,” says Matt Doe. “and decided to book some time at Trilogy because there were some artists that we were meeting out there and it was easier to record with them out West.”

Engineer Willie Samuels explains, “The sessions at Trilogy were really a continuation of what they had been doing in New York, so I stuck with the same mic’s and set up that they had been used to. One of the big challenges is that due to their time in the subway, they are used to playing in close proximity to each other, as well as dancing around quite a bit. Leo’s dance moves are incredible, and he keeps it moving while recording. So there is a fair amount of difficulty with bleed and keeping the guys ‘on mic’, but Matt is amazing at ‘working’ the proximity of the Shure SM7b.

Additional microphones include a Neumann M269c on sax, Shure SM91 taped to the bass drum shell inside, Neumann TLM170 on bass drum outside, Shure Beta52 on ankle bells and foot stomps, AKG C414 on blocks and bells, and a Neumann KM84 on drum overhead.

Samuels continues, “I also had a pair of Neumann M269c’s set up in the center of the room in a Mid-Side pattern that I used for ambience of the whole group as well as our miscellaneous overdub mics for random percussion and such. I could very easily use just the ‘mid’ mic if we wanted mono or the whole setup if we wanted a stereo picture.”

“He did good, man,” says trumpeter Doe. “Willie’s a really good engineer, easy to work with and hardworking. The studio’s great. To be honest, in any studio that you pay good money at you expect to have the right microphones for the right rooms, but not every studio has a luxury apartment ten feet from where you record. That for me was so huge. That was amazing.”

Listen to the new single “Warriors” by Too Many Zooz:

Written and produced by Too Many Zooz; co-produced by Ivan Jackson, recorded at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco, CA, engineered by Willie Samuels and Serge Tsai; mixed by Serge Tsai at Platinum Sound recording studios; mastered by Chris Gehringer at Sterling Sound.

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Jazz Prodigy Matt Wong at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco

Trilogy_MWong_1

San Francisco, April 2016 – San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy recently hosted sessions with 17-year old jazz virtuoso Matt Wong. A pianist/composer/arranger and San Francisco native, he developed an appreciation for jazz and blues at an early age and began playing piano at age six.

Wong began composing and performing his own material for small ensembles at age 11 and gained early recognition at the world-renowned Blue Note jazz club in New York City. In 2014, he received an ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award, given to jazz composers under the age of 30.

Trilogy engineer Justin Lieberman commented, “I’ve worked with Matt before and am familiar with his great ability to work through an arrangement with musicians. Based on those previous experiences, I knew that it was important to give the players maximum communication and that line of sight was critical for Matt to be able to adjust the performance and make sure it was feeling good musically.”

Accompanying him on piano were top players from the Bay Area: Tommy Folen, bass; Jeff Marrs, drums; Max Miller-Loran, trumpet; Thomas Occhiuto, sax; and Paul Hanson, bassoon. Lieberman added, “They are really an awesome group of musicians. In situations like this I try to do as much pre setup as possible, so that when the musicians get in the room they can get straight to hammering it out.”

In both 2014 and 2015, Wong won both the Gerald Wilson Award at the Monterey Jazz Festival and the Herb Pomeroy Jazz Composition and Arranging Award for big band composition at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival. In 2015, he was a winner in three categories of Downbeat magazine’s 38th Annual Student Music Awards, including Jazz Instrumental Soloist.

Lieberman explained the recording set-up, “For Matt, I put B&K omnidirectional microphones on the piano hammers and a Neumann 149 at the foot,” Lieberman continues. “ I used a large diaphragm Neumann M269 on two of the horns and a Royer 121 ribbon mic on the trumpet. For drums I had a Wunder CM7 on kick, a Shure 57 and a Sennheiser 441 on snare, with AKG 452’s overhead. Bass was a Neumann 269 at the bottom and a Royer 121 where the neck meets the body.”

Wong commented on the sessions at Trilogy, “Working at Trilogy was a blast for me. I went in to record and document some of my new compositions. It was really a treat and a great opportunity to get to work with some of my favorite musicians in such a great studio.  Justin made the entire process of recording really easy, smooth and seamless, and allowed me to focus on the music and working with the musicians. I really like how the tracks came out and I definitely look forward to working there again.”

In 2015 at the Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival, presented by Jazz at Lincoln Center, Wong won the student composition and arranging contest. He was introduced by Wynton Marsalis and conducted the performance of his piece by the Jazz At Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. He currently attends the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. http://www.toojazzy.com

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Cellos Rule at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco are (L-R) cellists Meta Weiss, Joan Jeanrenaud and David Requiro. Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco are (L-R) cellists Meta Weiss, Joan Jeanrenaud and David Requiro. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, December 2015 – Studio Trilogy recently hosted multiple recording sessions with three world-renowned cellists.  Former Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud has just wrapped up her new album, “Visual Music,” as well as producing the debut album of the duo of Meta Weiss and David Requiro.

Jeanrenaud’s album was co-produced with her longtime collaborator PC Muñoz, who also co-produced her previous albums, “Strange Toys” and “Pop-Pop.” The new album is comprised of 17 pieces composed and performed by Jeanrenaud to accompany dance, art works and other visual presentations over the past five years. Percussionist Muñoz also performs on the new album, which was engineered by Trilogy’s Justin Lieberman.

“PC Muñoz and I work together frequently with Justin,” Jeanrenaud commented. Over all these years, Justin and I have established a special rapport, a working relationship that is really good to have, and I value it so much. It’s so great to have an engineer who really becomes a collaborator as the work unfolds in the studio.”

Joan Jeanrenaud plays a Deconet cello made in the mid-1700s.  A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she played with the Kronos Quartet from 1978 until 1999, when, after a sabbatical, she left to pursue a solo career and collaborations with other artists. “Visual Music” will be mastered by Bernie Grundman for early 2016 release on the Deconet Records label.

In addition to completing hew new album, Jeanrenaud was also at Trilogy producing a new album of classical and contemporary compositions performed by esteemed cellists Meta Weiss and David Requiro. Trilogy’s Justin Lieberman engineered this project as well.

“I know Meta because I gave her cello lessons from age 13-15,” recalls Jeanrenaud.  “Since then she has gone on to do some great things and is almost finished with her doctorate degree from Julliard.  She has known David Requiro for many years and the two are getting married next year. Judging from the way they play together, it seems to be a match made in heaven.” The duo regularly performs together at prestigious festivals and concerts.

The new album from Weiss and Requiro includes: J. S. Bach “Chaconne” (from the violin Partita in D minor arranged for two cellos); Niccolo Paganini ‘Variations on One String on a theme by Rossini’ (arranged for two cellos); Giovanni Sollima “The Shooting,” “Il Pino,” “Il Tasso,” and “Le Sequoia”; Jean-Paul Borremanne “A Due Celli,” and Joan Jeanrenaud “Oulipo.”

San Francisco native Meta Weiss made her international debut at the age of seven in Utrecht, Holland at the International String Convention. An acclaimed soloist, chamber musician, and artist, she performs music spanning all periods from classical to jazz. Her performances have taken her to venues throughout the US and internationally, including Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, The Kimmel Center, Royal Albert Hall, and Teatro Britanico (Peru). Weiss performs on a Gioffredo Cappa cello, c. 1690, generously provided for her by an anonymous supporter

David Requiro has emerged as one of today’s most promising young cellists. He has soloed with the Tokyo Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and other orchestras across the U.S. Requiro is currently Artist in Residence at the University of Puget Sound where he is professor of cello and director of the chamber music program.

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Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel at Studio Trilogy

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco is the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel. Trilogy engineer Willie Samuels is on the far left; bandleader/drummer Brian Andres is third from the right.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco is the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel. Trilogy engineer Willie Samuels is on the far left; bandleader/drummer Brian Andres is third from the right.

San Francisco, CA, November 2015 — San Francisco’s popular Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel, led by drummer Brian Andres, has completed their third album, “This Could Be That,” with the majority of sessions recorded at Studio Trilogy with engineer Willie Samuels.

The album is the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel’s third recording, scheduled for a January 15th, 2016 release. A continuation of the hard hitting, modern Latin Jazz sound they’ve become known for, it features special guests Alex Acuna, Venissa Santi, John Santos, Louie Romero, Michael Spiro, Calixto Oviedo, Jesus Florido and Brian’s father, Mike Andres.

Listen to a song preview:

https://soundcloud.com/brian-andres-4/esto-puede-ser-eso-this-could-be-that

“Studio Trilogy was recommended to me by producer Greg Landau,” explains bandleader Brian Andres. “He felt that I would benefit from more ‘air’ in this new album and thought recording live as much as possible would be best, as would having the right room sound.  Thankfully, Studio Trilogy met all of those needs.  From the initial communication with studio manager Cindy McSherry, to the actual lay out of the studio and its amenities, to the exceptional engineering by Willie Samuels and his crew, the experience was awesome.”

The San Francisco Bay Area is renowned as an historic hotbed for Latin Jazz artists. From Cal Tjader to Armando Peraza, John Santos to Wayne Wallace, the Latin jazz tradition has thrived in the Bay Area, and it is from this tradition that The Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel emerged. Lead by drummer Brian Andres, the group was formed to contribute its own mark to that storied history.

Featuring Grammy Award-winning musicians, as well as popular music educators, the ACJC repertoire consists of original compositions as well as dynamic original arrangements of classics from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the United States.  The group presents both dance and concert performances, as well as educational presentations such as lectures, workshops and instruction focused on the musical instrumentation, composition and arranging of the rich Afro-Cuban genre.

Released in 2007, the ACJC’s first album, “Drummer’s Speak,” established the solid reputation of the group. In 2013, the ACJC released its second recording, “San Francisco.”  Focusing on the composing, arranging and performing talent of the SF Bay Area Latin Jazz scene, the recording debuted on the CMJ Jazz Top 40 at number 39. Eventually climbing to number 23, it was met with critical acclaim while staying on the CDBaby Best Selling list for 4 months.

More info: http://www.brianandres.com/afro-cuban-jazz-cartel

 

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Mission Girls Record “We Are the Women” at Studio Trilogy

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco is the “We Are The Women…” production team. Far left is Trilogy engineer/co-manager Willie Samuels. Far right standing is Future Youth Records founder/executive director Jason Wall.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco is the “We Are The Women…” production team. Far left is Trilogy engineer/co-manager Willie Samuels. Far right standing is Future Youth Records founder/executive director Jason Wall.

San Francisco, CA, November 2015 — Non-profit organizations Future Youth Records (“FYR”) and Mission Girls Services have debuted a new song recorded at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco. “We Are The Women…” was created through the Future Youth Records’ V.I.N.Y.L. (Voice for Inspiring & Nurturing Youth Leadership) Program, a program that provides at-risk youth the opportunity to create broadcast quality media alongside high profile music industry professionals with positive, impactful messages.

Four girls, ages 10 to 19, from Mission Girls Services began work during Women’s History Month in March alongside professional musicians Matt “Doctor” Fink (Prince & The Revolution), Adam “A-Plus” Carter (The Hieroglyphics), Eva Gardner (Pink, Cher) and Thia Megia (American Idol) inside of Studio Trilogy, a state of the art recording facility in San Francisco’s SOMA District.

Under the direction of FYR’s Founder/Executive Director, Jason Wall, and co-producer/engineer Willie Samuels, “We Are The Women” was written and recorded by the girls over four days. It features strong lyrics and an anthemic chorus composed by the young women to counteract the growing problem of female degradation in much of today’s music media.

“Music represents a very powerful influence over young people and their development into adulthood. It influences behavior, style and an overall identification within a social culture,” said Jason Wall, Future Youth Record’s Founder. “To great devastation, popular music has not only lost much of its artistic integrity, but worse, it has sunk to depths so low it has become unconscionable. Simply put, abuse is not art. These young ladies represent the future of music where it will be used to inspire, inform and celebrate, not to perpetuate the harm of others.”

Watch the video and isten to “We Are The Women…”
http://youtu.be/ptxRrYvNAUw

Future Youth Records is a Bay Area based 501(c)(3) organization. Its mission is to establish a powerful national nonprofit record label that works with at-risk youth to create broadcast quality recordings with positive messages which are socially conscious, inspiring, and impactful. For more information please visit http://www.futureyouthrecords.org

Mission Girls Services is a subsidiary of Mission Neighborhood Centers – a San Francisco based 501(c)(3) organization that delivers culturally sensitive, multi-generational, community-based services focused on low-income families and develops and promotes leadership skills that empower families to build strong, healthy and vibrant neighborhoods. Mission Girls Services is a gender specific program that provides skill building programming in academic support, career exposure, leadership building, health education, and cultural diversity. For more information visit: http//:www.mncsf.org

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Guerilla Composers Ensemble at Studio Trilogy in SF

Pictured at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Noah Killeen, Trilogy assistant engineer; Edward Hong, drums and percussion; Bridget Pasker, cello; Zach Miley, recording engineer; Steve Horowitz, composer/producer; Jonathan Szin, clarinet; Britton Day, piano; Abigail Shiman, violin; Christy Kim, flute, Nick Benavides, conductor and director.  Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Noah Killeen, Trilogy assistant engineer; Edward Hong, drums and percussion; Bridget Pasker, cello; Zach Miley, recording engineer; Steve Horowitz, composer/producer; Jonathan Szin, clarinet; Britton Day, piano; Abigail Shiman, violin; Christy Kim, flute, Nick Benavides, conductor and director. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, CA, August 2015 – Steve Horowitz and the Guerrilla Composers Ensemble assembled at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco to record “The Ribbon of Extremes,” an instrumental work by Horowitz, inspired by the 1932 painting of the same name by the Surrealist painter Yves Tanguy.

Horowitz explained the origins of his composition and how it was recorded at Trilogy, “The Ribbon of Extremes is a surrealist masterpiece. Imaginary figures and unreal objects unfold in space and time inside a puffy cloud of musical nightmares. In fact, a lot of the figures in the painting look like strange creatures playing instruments. That was the original inspiration — what would they sound like?”

On the subject of recording, he continued, “Studio Trilogy is the perfect setting for this group and this instrumentation. Lot’s of great microphones, comfortable rooms, high-end analog consoles and a world-class piano. Studio manager Cindy McSherry and the entire staff are amazing — they make you feel completely at home and are on top of the details, so you can concentrate on the music.”

Horowitz is a creator of odd but accessible sounds and a diverse and prolific musician, perhaps best known for his original score for the award-winning film “Super Size Me” and 18 highly imaginative albums.

”The Ribbon of Extremes” features a large percussion set up, played expertly by percussionist Eddie Hong and features complex interactions of piano, cello, violin, clarinet, and flute. “Eddie is playing everything from the drum set to vibes on this recording and the trap set part is not easy; it is a very intricate feature and needs to blend with the rest of the ensemble at all times,” Horowitz explains. “This takes absolute timing and incredible focus. Eddie plays with a lot of control — think Franks Zappa’s ‘Black Page’ played on Mars. We also had the great privilege of working with recording engineer Zach Miley on this project. Zach has huge ears and really helped to define and shape the final mixes.”

”The Ribbon of Extremes” is set for release September 4, with the CD set to be available shortly thereafter. Visit: http://www.thecodeinternational.com

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Studio Trilogy Hosts Bay Area “Kentucky Derby Race for a Cure”

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in the lounge and live room are attendees at the “Kentucky Derby Race for a Cure” fundraiser.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy in the lounge and live room are attendees at the “Kentucky Derby Race for a Cure” fundraiser.

San Francisco, CA, May 2015 – Studio Trilogy in San Francisco recently donated studio space and sponsored the “Kentucky Derby Race for a Cure” fundraiser. Attendees packed the studio and watched the televised Kentucky Derby, known as the “The Fastest Two Minutes in Sports.” Event organizer John Clamme is one of 20 men and women in the Bay Area competing to be named “Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Man & Woman of the Year.”

Each year, in communities across the country, passionate candidates engage in an exciting competition to earn the title by raising funds for LLS blood cancer research. The candidates compete in honor of children who are local blood cancer survivors, the Boy & Girl of the Year.

Every dollar counts as one vote and the titles are awarded to the man and woman with the most votes at the end of ten weeks. The top local fundraisers in the country win the national titles. To date, these dedicated leaders have helped LLS invest more than $1 billion in research to advance breakthrough therapies that are saving lives today and helping us all achieve the LLS goal of a world without blood cancers. http://www.mwoy.org/

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Joan Jeanrenaud Records at Studio Trilogy for ODC Dance Company

Pictured in session at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) ODC co-founder/choreographer KT Nelson, cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud, and chief recording engineer Justin Lieberman.

Pictured in session at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) ODC co-founder/choreographer KT Nelson, cellist/composer Joan Jeanrenaud, and chief recording engineer Justin Lieberman.

San Francisco, CA, April 2015 — Grammy-nominated cellist and composer Joan Jeanrenaud has recorded new music for San Francisco’s ODC dance company.
Jeanrenaud has been working on the music for nine months with KT Nelson, co-founder of the venerable 35-year old San Francisco dance company. She was joined by longtime collaborator and keyboardist/percussionist PC Muñoz and chief recording engineer Justin Lieberman at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy.

“It’s so great to have an engineer who really becomes a collaborator,” Jeanrenaud commented. “Justin is such a big part of the process — just the way he is, his attitude. In this case, that proved to be very helpful because he is so enthusiastic, even when it meant working on something over and over again as the work unfolds in the studio.”

ODC choreographer KT Nelson was inspired to create the new work, “Dead Reckoning,” by a trip to Death Valley.” Jeanrenaud explained, “KT was deeply moved by the bleak landscape and the feeling of being a lone individual in such huge, vast surroundings. Her descriptions of the experience and the choreography deeply influenced the music I composed and performed.”

Joan Jeanrenaud plays a Deconet cello made in the mid-1700s. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, she played with the Kronos Quartet from 1978 until 1999, when, after a sabbatical, she left to pursue a solo career and collaborations with other artists. Her first solo album, “Metamorphosis,” was described by Greg Cahill in Strings as “visceral, hypnotic… compelling.

“PC Muñoz and I worked together with Justin on the CD ‘Strange Toys’,” recalled Jeanrenaud, “and then we went on to do the CD ‘Pop Pop.’ Over all these years, Justin and I have established a special rapport, a working relationship that is really great to have, and I value it so much.”

Jeanrenaud is planning to include the new “Dead Reckoning” music in a CD compilation of her music for dance recorded over the years for a variety of dance companies. Learn more at: http://www.jjcello.com

Founded in 1971, ODC (Oberlin Dance Collective, named after its place of origin, Oberlin College in Ohio) relocated to San Francisco in 1976.  In 1979, ODC was the first modern dance company in America to build its own home facility, from which it now operates the dance company, a school, a theater, a gallery, and a health clinic for dancers. ODC was elected Best Dance Company by the San Francisco Bay Guardian’s 2014 Best of The Bay Readers’ Pick. http://www.odcdance.org/

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Tom Graf Cuts “Smokin’” Jazz Album at Studio Trilogy

Pictured during sessions at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Ray Obeido, producer; Billy Johnson, drums; David K. Matthews, piano, arrangements; Marc van Wageningen, bass; Tom Graf, composer; and Justin Lieberman, recording engineer.  Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured during sessions at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Ray Obeido, producer; Billy Johnson, drums; David K. Matthews, piano, arrangements; Marc van Wageningen, bass; Tom Graf, composer; and Justin Lieberman, recording engineer. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, CA, January 2015 – Popular jazz composer Tom Graf has completed his new album “Smokin’” at Studio Trilogy in the heart of San Francisco.  Graf steps out on his own after writing for groups such as Con Funk Shun and Angela Bofill, catchy radio commercials, and music for the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack.  The album was produced by jazz guitarist Ray Obeido, who has worked with Herbie Hancock, Pete Escovedo, and Sheila E, as well as releasing five successful albums on the Wyndham Hill Label.

Graf’s new album is garnering steady national and international airplay.  “This album was a real joy to record at Trilogy,” remarked Graf.  “My solo career started out as a vanity project of jazz tunes that I had written over many years and decided to record.  They were coming out so well that the musicians were saying ‘Hey, you need to release this.’  I said OK, and then started getting great airplay on the jazz stations.”

Graf elaborates on the new album: “David K. Mathews, currently with Santana, arranged the compositions with help from, and overall production by, Ray Obeido.  This is the way smooth jazz used to sound when played by the likes of Freddy Hubbard, Milt Jackson, and Wes Montgomery. The musicians on my album expanded the compositions, added a sense of groove and delivered beautiful improvisations to create music with all of the verve and integrity I imagined from the very beginning.”

Trilogy chief engineer Justin Lieberman commented on the sessions, “I always love working with Ray Obiedo and Tom’s project was no exception.  He assembles the best musicians around and it makes my job super easy.  All of these musicians are so good at controlling and catering their tone for what they are playing that I just follow their lead.”

“We really enjoyed working at Trilogy,” added Graf.  “The vibe is very cool, the facilities are impeccable, and the people are bright and really take care of you. They also have a really fine grand piano.”

Learn more about Tom Graf and “Smokin’”:  http://www.tomgraf.com/

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Glenn Mack’s “Brujo” Film Scores at Studio Trilogy

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are PC Muñoz and Jean Jeanrenaud recording a Vivaldi variation for “Brujo.”

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are PC Muñoz and Joan Jeanrenaud recording a Vivaldi variation for “Brujo.”

San Francisco, CA, November 2014 – Director Glenn Mack’s feature directorial debut, “Brujo,” is currently in post-production with scoring sessions recorded at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy by chief engineer/co-manager Justin Lieberman.  “It was PC Muñoz who suggested Trilogy,” commented Mack.  “He’s done a lot of work there and our sessions for the film were terrific, absolutely top-of-the-line.”

San Francisco-based PC Muñoz is known for genre-defying productions that stretch the boundaries of classical, funk, hip-hop, and the avant-garde. Muñoz’s past production projects include the Grammy-nominated 2008 album “Strange Toys” by cellist Joan Jeanrenaud and the award-winning multi-media project “Twenty Haiku.” His work has been praised by NPR, Performing Songwriter, DownBeat, URB, and many others. 

Mack had been using a classical recording of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” as a temp score for the film and went to Muñoz for a new recording.  “When I do interpretations, I always pretty much radically reimagine them,” explained Muñoz. “I said I’d like to do something completely different, almost render it in a jazzy style. I suggested to him that we do a drum set and cello rendering.”

“Brujo” (Spanish for sorcerer) revolves around the activity at a modern dance workshop. The story traces the arc of jealousy to its disastrous result and, at the same time, chronicles the creative intensity of artists coming together to collaborate on a project.

Muñoz met at Trilogy with former Kronos Quartet cellist Joan Jeanrenaud.  “We brought Joan in, had a brief discussion about it. Here’s the Vivaldi, we both know it, but we’re not going to try and play it as a strictly classical piece. We’re going to do it the way we do the music that we usually create. We talked a little bit about switching the time signatures and the kind of pulse it would have. Fortunately, for that session, Glenn was there. He’s super great to work with, just wanted to make sure that the vibe was right for his picture.” 

Muñoz describes the session: “We had the picture there on the big screen and just ran through the different ideas that we had for the arrangement until we landed on something, especially in terms of the drums, because obviously, there are no tracks of drums on the original Vivaldi. I had to figure out a way to make it rhythmically cool, and also useful for the scene, and something that Glenn would dig. We just sat there and knocked out a few takes.”

“The way Joan and I often work is with a beat that I make either acoustically or electronically,” Muñoz continued. “In this case it was all acoustic, and then Joan started to layer different cello parts — some rhythmic stuff, some long, legato stuff, some pretty stuff, and some stuff that evoked different types of moods for the scene. We also worked closely with sound designer Chris McGrew, who was there for that session, as well.”

After the tracks were completed and sent off to post-production to be mixed into the film, Muñoz commented on working at Studio Trilogy.  “It’s by far my favorite place to work in San Francisco, probably my favorite in California. It’s a fantastic studio – Justin Lieberman and Willie Samuels are great engineers, Cindy McSherry is a great studio manager, and they are always, always ready for whatever I’m looking for. I like looking for distinct and unusual situations in a musical context, and they’re always ready to go there with me.”

To learn more about “Brujo” : visit: http://brujothemovie.com/

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Future Youth Records Mission Girls at Studio Trilogy

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are students Mariacel Gutierrez and Kianna Farr-Zunig, FYR founder Jason Wall, singer Thia Megia, engineer Tyler Crowder, songwriter/producer Ben Thompson, and composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Mo Pleasure.

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are students Mariacel Gutierrez and Kianna Farr-Zunig, FYR founder Jason Wall, singer Thia Megia, engineer Tyler Crowder, songwriter/producer Ben Thompson, and composer/producer/multi-instrumentalist Mo Pleasure.

San Francisco, CA, September 2014 – Future Youth Records, which has a long-term association with San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy, has completed a preliminary chapter of the Mission Girls Remonstrance Project.  Spearheaded by FYR founder and producer Jason Wall, the project aims to create music that rallies against songs and videos that objectify and degrade women in the hip-hop music community.

“We started out by creating an original song and music video that will be used to inspire and empower young women,” explained Jason Wall.  “At the same time, this will serve to educate Bay Area residents about the growing problem of disesteem towards women in this musical community.” 

“When we first came together on this partnership,” commented Mission Girls’ director Susana Rojas, “We expected to get a song out of it and for the girls to be exposed to a new field in a professional way.  Mission Girls not only got the song and the exposure but so much more.  Through this partnership we were able to build empowerment for our girls by hearing their own voices and without a doubt   claiming that they are now rising up.”

Successful musicians who came to Studio Trilogy for the sessions included Morris Pleasure (Michael Jackson, David Foster), Nathan East’s brother Marcel East (Phil Collins, Phillip Bailey), and Thia Megia (Amercian Idol).

The long-range goal of the project is provide ten at-risk young women from the Mission Girls Services organization (MGS) with the tools and platform to draw awareness to the growing problem of women degradation and exploitation in rap and hip-hop music.  Each participant will write and record one original song and produce a music video alongside professional songwriters, engineers and filmmakers.

The initial song produced at Studio Trilogy to launch the project was “Rise Up.“  “A couple of weeks after we finished,” recalled Jason Wall, “Susan Rojas, the director, told me that one of the girls was suicidal the week before coming into our program and through it was able to overcome those feelings and now wants to help other girls who feel the same way she felt.”

The proposed project will run March 3 – 27, 2015.  Participants will work over a four-week period to write and record one original song at Studio Trilogy and spend two additional weeks creating a professional music video in San Francisco.  Participants along with FYR and MGS will work with local merchants to secure physical distribution of free download cards.  High profile musicians Dr Fink (Prince & The Revolution) & Marcel East are already confirmed to act as mentors. 

To learn more about Future Youth Records, visit:

http://futureyouthrecords.org

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Studio Trilogy Engineer Rebounds After Serious Bicycle Accident

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are recording engineer Willie Samuels and Enemy You members David Jones, Ken Yamazaki, Luke Ray, and Chris Matulich.

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are recording engineer Willie Samuels and Enemy You members David Jones, Ken Yamazaki, Luke Ray, and Chris Matulich. Photo by Noah Killeen

San Francisco, CA, July, 2014 —  On the evening of Father’s Day, June 15, Studio Trilogy recording engineer Willie Samuels was found unconscious on the side of the road, presumably after being hit by a car while on his bicycle.  Determined to finish a project with the punk band Enemy You, Samuels was back in the studio for sessions two weeks later on June 29.

“It’s really a mystery what happened,” says Samuels.  “A good samaritan found me unconscious and I have no recollection of the accident or the following few days.”  With a major concussion, his forearm broken in half and his left hand nearly separated from his arm, Samuels spent the next ten days in the hospital.  After five surgical procedures, he refers to himself as “a man of steel.”

Enemy You was formed in 1997, and Samuels first worked with the band in 2003 for the album “Stories Never Told” on the Red Scare label.  The project was tracked and mixed at Samuels’ Nu-Tone studio in Pittsburg, CA. The Enemy You lineup is David Jones, lead vocals, guitar; Ken Yamazaki, guitar; Luke Ray, drums; and Chris Matulich, bass guitar.

Ten years later, the label asked Enemy You to record a new song for their ten year anniversary compilation.  “Initially we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to pull it off,” commented guitarist Ken Yamazaki.  “It had been over ten years since we last played together, but we got together and started working on a demo at home.”   

“It was a blast working with this band in the past,” said Samuels. “I was thrilled when they contacted me for their new project.  I assured the band I’d be out of the hospital and ready to go because I’ve always prided myself in not canceling or rescheduling sessions,” said Samuels.  “I was released from the hospital on June 25 and we were in the studio on the 29th.”

“I was a bit worried that Willie would be in pain or be uncomfortable after the serious injuries,” said Yamazaki. I was wrong.  He was fast and didn’t miss a beat.  Studio Trilogy was beautiful and relaxing.  The session went smoothly, Willie was awesome and all of us were happy.”

Samuels acknowledges much help from Trilogy assistant engineer Noah Killeen and the studio’s interns.  “I soon realized it wasn’t easy to setup or move microphones with one arm, but we had a cool time and it was a great reunion with the band.”

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MeringCarson Posts “California Rocks” at SF’s Studio Trilogy

 

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are MeringCarson ad agency creative director Scott Conway, producer Christina Staal, and Trilogy post-production engineer Chris Konovaliv.  Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured (L-R) at Studio Trilogy are MeringCarson ad agency creative director Scott Conway, producer Christina Staal, and Trilogy post-production engineer Chris Konovaliv. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, CA, June, 2014 — The cutting-edge MeringCarson advertising agency, with offices in Sacramento, regularly makes the trip to San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy for audio post-production. “We don’t mind the trip at all,” says creative director Scott Conway.  “Trilogy has such a creative atmosphere, quality gear, and some of the best post engineers in the country.”

 “California Rocks” was a recent campaign posted by Trilogy’s popular post engineer Chris Konovaliv, with agency producer Christina Staal and creative director Scott Conway on hand for the recording of talent from all over the country via ISDN.

“Everything revolves around the ‘California Rocks’ concept,” explained Conway.  “We start out with the unspoken rules of California: always bring a sweater to the Bay Area, bug spray for hiking in the Sierras, and finishing with earthquakes and the peace of mind that comes from insurance with the California Earthquake Authority.”

“We’re recording seven voiceovers today,” added producer Christina Staal, “The first two are at Studio Center in Virginia, the rest are all calling in from their home studio’s ISDN, and then Chris will edit and work his magic with the music.”  

With offices in Northern and Southern California, MeringCarson serves a roster of clients that include Walt Disney Parks & Resorts, Visit California, Pebble Beach Resorts, Sacramento Kings (NBA), San Diego Tourism Authority, CA Speedway (NASCAR). The finished “California Rocks” TV spot can be seen on Youtube here:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX-0xl22k2A

Trilogy’s Chris Konovaliv considers post production his speciality, but brings more than 12 years of experience covering all facets of the audio production process.  Konovaliv has mixed short and long format television for Current TV as well as spots for advertising clients around the Bay Area, including Evolution Bureau, Venables Bell & Partners, Hal Riney, Ogilvy PR, MeringCarson, Runyon, Saltzman, and Einhorn, BBDO West, Engine Company #1, Hubstrategy and Pond Creative Output!, among others.

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SF’s Studio Trilogy and Ocean Way Nashville Linked By Source-Connect

Pictured in San Francisco are (standing L-R) Studio Trilogy engineer/co-manager Willie Samuels, business operations mgr Cindy McSherry, Ocean Way Nashville’s director of operations Pat McMakin, and (seated) Trilogy’s chief engineer/co-mgr Justin Lieberman.

Pictured in San Francisco are (standing L-R) Studio Trilogy engineer/co-manager Willie Samuels, business operations mgr Cindy McSherry, Ocean Way Nashville’s director of operations Pat McMakin, and (seated) Trilogy’s chief engineer/co-mgr Justin Lieberman.

San Francisco, CA, April, 2014 — Attendees at this year’s recent G.A.N.G. (Game Audio Network Guild) Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco enjoyed a premiere event at Studio Trilogy: the live synchronized recording of a performance by a 30-piece orchestra from Ocean Way Recording in Nashville, Tennessee.

The live session was co-sponsored by Source Elements, whose software Source-Connect locked the Pro Tools rigs from each location together while sending the hi-resolution live orchestra feed from Nashville to SF. Source-Connect also allowed talk back capability between the two studios. Minutes into the session, the walls and distance disappeared and people on both ends communicated seamlessly.

“We also utilized a live camera feed from Nashville,” explained Justin Lieberman, Trilogy’s chief engineer. “We watched and listened in real time to the orchestra in Nashville while recording to our Pro Tools timeline. We have the capability to lock picture on both ends or just record to existing tracks and we can provide feedback on the performance and interaction with both the Nashville engineering team and the conductor from our studio in San Francisco.”

Composer David Shipps conducted the Nashville musicians while the visiting game composers and producers on the San Francisco end could check out the impressive facilities at Ocean Way Nashville and listen to talented orchestral musicians contracted by Nashville Music Scoring’s Alan Umstead, while in the pristine listening environment offered at Studio Trilogy.

“This was not only an exciting event during the SF conference,” remarked Pat McMakin, Director of Operations, Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios. “It was also the premier of our new strategic partnership with Studio Trilogy, which offers composers and their music production teams a convenient way to take advantage of the terrific studios and musicians in Nashville while working in the comfort of one of California’s finest studios.”

“We believe this transcontinental partnership opens up a huge opportunity for San Francisco / Bay Area-based gaming and film companies to utilize the amazing Ocean Way Nashville orchestra and studio without ever leaving SF,” added Trilogy’s Justin Lieberman. “We can then edit and mix in surround and stereo right here in SF as soon as the session in completed.”

Both Studio Trilogy and Ocean Way Nashville are active in the film, TV, advertising, and game scoring industries. Composer Nathan Johnson recently scored at Trilogy “Young Ones,” which debuted at this year’s Sundance Festival. Upcoming is his score for “Don’t Kill the Messenger,” directed by Michael Cuesta (“Homeland”). Games scored at Trilogy include “Infamous 2” for Sony Playstation and “BioShock Infinite” with composer Jim Dooley for 2K Games.

OWN has scored major games for Sony Playstation as well as the music for several of the nominees and winners at this year’s prestigious G.A.N.G. Awards, including “Thieves In Time,” composed by Peter McConnell, and “Last Of Us,” scored by Academy Award-winner Gustavo Santaolalla, which took home the top prize at the G.A.N.G. Awards.

The Source-Connect event was co-sponsored by Studio Trilogy, Source Elements, and Ocean Way Nashville. In addition to witnessing the historic recording session, there was a patio BBQ for attendees to catch up on the days events at the Game Developers Conference.

The system provided by Source-Connect enables audio connections between digital audio systems anywhere in the world, allowing direct-to-the-timeline recording with real-time, broadcast-quality audio using only an internet connection.
http://source-elements.com/source-connect/

The Game Audio Network Guild (G.A.N.G.) is made up of composers, sound designers, voice over directors, game designers, producers and other associates and executives within the greater interactive entertainment industry. http://www.audiogang.org/

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Nathan Johnson Scores “Young Ones” at Studio Trilogy in SF

Pictured at Studio Trilogy is composer Nathan Johnson recording a programmable music box with two Neumann KM 84 mics in an X-Y configuration.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy is composer Nathan Johnson recording a programmable music box with two Neumann KM 84 mics in an X-Y configuration.

San Francisco, CA, February, 2014 — Innovative scoring composer Nathan Johnson ventured from his homebase in Los Angeles to work at Studio Trilogy in San Francisco on the music for sci-fi thriller “Young Ones.” The film debuted with strong reviews at the Sundance Film Festival where Steven Spielberg, godfather of director/screenwriter Jake Paltrow, attended the screening.

In addition to recording strings with San Francisco’s Magik Magik Orchestra at Trilogy, Johnson recorded one of the film’s themes with a music box he programmed. “The music box was less programming and more just punching holes in a paper strip with a hole puncher. In this version it essentially only has the white keys of a piano, so I wrote the melody for that and then wrote the rest of the music around it. I worked with the string ensemble, but then there are also synthesized elements. The music for this film is very melodic, but mostly horns and strings are the lead instruments.”

The film stars Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, Nicholas Hoult and Kodi Smit-McPhee. A hybrid of Western and sci-fi genres, Paltrow’s second film is a tale of revenge set in the future when water is scarce and many have fled a barren land in search of a better life. Those who’ve stayed behind manage as best they can, but easily turn on each other.

As a composer, producer, art director, and songwriter, Nathan Johnson’s innovative film scores and hybrid media performances have consistently blurred the lines between stage, screen, music, and narrative. Best known for his unconventional work in film and music, Johnson favors modified, organic instrumentation combined with unique approaches to recording and performing.

“I worked with the Magik Magik Orchestra previously on the film “Looper,” but this was the first time I worked at Studio Trilogy,” Johnson explained. “It was perfect — not only a great studio, but great musicians and recording engineer Justin Lieberman did a really fine job, making it a really smooth session. In addition to all of that, the studio has a nice apartment and it’s so comfortable when you’re in a different city working on a project that you don’t have have to think about all that. You just wake up and walk across the hallway to the studio and then at the end of the day you head back and hit the sack.”

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STUDIO TRILOGY: Recording Oasis in Downtown SF

Pictured (L-R) is the February addition cover photo for Mix Magazine and the Studio Trilogy “Mix Regional: SF Bay Bay Area” article by Blair Jackson.

Located smack dab in the heart of San Francisco’s ultra-creative and growing SOMA (South of Market) district, on the edge of downtown, Studio Trilogy is exactly the type of recording and production facility that mirrors the city’s changing face as a hub for all sorts of different types of artistic expression. Whereas in the past, some of the “hot” studios in The City have been focused primarily on music recording or commercial production/post work, Studio Trilogy revels in its eclectic approach, offering a one-stop shop for almost any audio project imaginable.

“San Francisco is really vibrant right now,” says chief engineer Justin Lieberman, who, with senior engineer Willie Samuels and business operations manager Cindy McSherry, are the trio who run the multi-room complex. “There’s a lot of work being done in a number of different creative sectors we’re trying to accommodate—from small gaming to large gaming, to rock and jazz and hip-hop, advertising, post work. It’s very diversified, but we’ve figured out a way to make it all work in this space.”

“Between the three of us we’ve had experience in all these different market sectors,” adds McSherry. “This was built as a music studio originally, and the rooms were designed with music recording in mind, but as we started to develop Trilogy, beginning in April 2010, we realized there were these other markets out there that needed servicing, so we’ve been able to accommodate those. For instance, the percentage of post work we do here has grown steadily every year,” and now makes up about 30 percent of Studio Trilogy’s business.

The facility started life as Talking House Productions in 2006, in a former warehouse space that was transformed by noted studio architect John Storyk, with plenty of input from Jack Leahy (of local Russian Hill Recording and Crescendo Studios fame) and others on the original studio team.

At the heart of the facility is Studio A, with its spacious control room featuring an 80-input SSL 9000K (the only one in Northern California) and bounteous top-of-the-line outboard gear, and a large, wonderful-sounding tracking space that can accommodate everything from small groups to orchestras. Control Room B is anchored by a 32-channel API 1608 console with custom EQs. Then there’s the smaller Control C—designed primarily (but not exclusively) for post work, with a 16-fader Avid D Control as its primary work surface. A large assortment of high-end monitors—Genelecs, Dynaudios, Yamahas and others—are matched to each control room. Additionally, there are four iso booths, each of which can be connected to any of the control rooms.

You’d never know it from the nondescript exterior on busy Bryant Street, but the studio also boasts an elegant and well-appointed apartment, lounges, media room, conference room, full kitchen, dining area and more—even a private rooftop patio.

The three principals all have deep roots in Bay Area recording: McSherry worked at Russian Hill and Crescendo before signing on to be director of operations at Talking House when it opened; Lieberman started at Toast Recording, and later worked at Different Fur, SF Soundworks, Fantasy Studio in Berkeley and various other spots in his pre-Talking House days; and Samuels co-founded (and still co-owns) indie favorite Nu-Tone Studios, in the East Bay town of Pittsburg, and arrived at Talking House originally as a freelance engineer and producer.

Studio Trilogy also has what is known in the sports world as a “deep bench”—i.e., a strong and diverse group of creative partners who often work out of the facility, including top-flight music engineers such as Howard Johnston, David Frazer and Tyler Crowder; post engineers Chris Konovaliv, Eric Eckstein, and Matt Wood; and advertising specialist Sam Pond.

It’s no wonder there’s such a variety of clients coming to Studio Trilogy. “You never know what you’re going to be doing,” Lieberman notes, “whether it’s a voiceover or an eight-piece jazz band or, the other day, a 15-piece string section. Willie is currently working with a local artist, and then we have a British producer and artist staying in the apartment for two weeks. They did some work in the UK, they’ll be finishing up vocals in our API room and then I’ll be mixing six songs for them in the SSL room.”

“This weekend we have a corporate video shoot in our live room and gallery,” McSherry adds.

It’s quite a juggling act, they acknowledge, “and more than ever,” McSherry says, “pre-production is key—really getting the story about what someone needs before they walk in the door, because everyone has different needs nowadays.” Lieberman: “Some people know exactly what they’re after when they come in, but there are also more novice artists, who need more coaching about being in the studio and maybe even hiring musicians. We have connections with a lot of musicians who can help out on different kinds on projects.”

As for the future, McSherry reveals, “We’re in the process of launching an original music production division for scoring for film and television, called Track Attic. We’ve been developing this for the past year, contracting with various composers to produce material to promote this, and we’ve hired a marketing rep. Our goal is to provide top-level production quality.”

For more information on this article visit MIX online at: http://shar.es/PQsI9

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Rodrigo y Gabriela Record at Studio Trilogy for “Morning Becomes Eclectic”

Pictured at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Rodrigo Sanchez, producer/engineer Justin Lieberman, and Gabriela Quintero.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy are (L-R) Rodrigo Sanchez, producer/engineer Justin Lieberman, and Gabriela Quintero.

San Francisco, CA, October, 2013 — Celebrated Latin guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela recently performed live at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy for broadcast via ISDN on LA’s KCRW “Morning Becomes Eclectic” radio show. Trilogy producer/engineer Justin Leiberman recorded and mixed the performance, and radio host Jason Bentley interviewed the duo, who also previewed three new songs in advance of their World Festival appearance at the Hollywood Bowl.

Rodrigo Sanchez and Gabriela Quintero grew up in middle-class families in Mexico City. Their parents listened to flamenco, jazz, and rock music, but they were also exposed to and inspired by heavy metal rock music and other genres. They met as teenagers at the Casa de Cultura (House of Culture) in Mexico City, where Rodrigo’s brother was Director.

The musicians later gained notoriety by playing on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, and gained a cult following. To date, Rodrigo y Gabriela have sold in excess of 1.2 million albums. In 2011, they collaborated with Hans Zimmer on the “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” soundtrack, as well as contributing to the soundtrack for the Shrek prequel “Puss in Boots.”

They regularly dismiss being classified in any one particular genre of music, preferring to say they play a fusion of many influences. Both Rodrigo and Gabriela play Yamaha NX series electro nylon string guitars exclusively. Rodrigo plays the slimmer neck NTX1200 and Gabriela plays the more traditional sized NCX2000 and NCX1200.

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SF Post Pro Eric Eckstein Teams Up With Studio Trilogy

Pictured is audio post-production engineer Eric Eckstein at the Digidesign D-Control console in Studio C at Studio Trilogy.

Pictured is audio post-production engineer Eric Eckstein at the Digidesign D-Control console in Studio C at Studio Trilogy.

San Francisco, CA, October, 2013 — San Francisco audio post leader Eric Eckstein has returned to the workforce as an associate engineer at Studio Trilogy.   Eckstein is known nationally for his audio engineering expertise in the fast-paced world of advertising and entertainment.

Originally from New York, Eckstein established himself as a leading sound engineer working on high profile national advertising campaigns with an extensive stable of loyal clients.  After moving to the Bay Area, he quickly became the “go to guy” for major agencies in San Francisco.  Eckstein co-founded One Union Recording Studios, where he continued to expand his client roster, both as an engineer and as an executive at the highly regarded studio.

Eckstein eventually departed One Union to try his hands at “a few different things” including raising his daughters and developing his music.
Click on this comical spoof of a radio spot Eric created at Studio Trilogy to find out more:
http://soundcloud.com/studiotrilogy/where-oh-where-eric-eckstein

Eckstein’s return to the business also signals his first collaboration with another San Francisco audio post veteran, Studio Trilogy’s business operations manager, Cindy McSherry, who co-founded and ran Crescendo Studios and Russian Hill Recording, former rivals of One Union Recording.

Says McSherry, “I am so thrilled to finally be working with Eric!  We first met back in the 1990s when I was running Russian Hill (pre-Crescendo) and we really hit it off. I have been following his career with great admiration and now I couldn’t ask for a better collaborator to help with the continued growth of Trilogy’s post business.”

An energetic leader with the highest professional standards, Eckstein prides himself on seeing the “whole picture” while focusing on each detail in post-production, delivering on time with imagination and striking results. “My goal in the studio is to deliver the client’s creative vision, in an environment of collaboration and comfort.  I couldn’t ask for a more creative environment than the one here at Studio Trilogy.”

A short list of Eckstein’s past clients includes Anderson DDB, BBDO, Leo Burnett, Foote Cone & Belding, J Walter Thompson, Ogilvy & Mather, TBWA / Chiat Day, Grey Advertising, MTV, Polygram Records, United Way, Disney, Nickelodeon, Pixar, Jim Henson Associates, and Warner Bros.  Brands that have benefitted from Eckstein’s touch include Budweiser, Mercedes Benz, the California Milk Board (“Got Milk?”), Ebay, Toyota, Ford, Honda, Porsche, Nike, McDonald’s, Nintendo, AT&T, and Amazon.com.

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Landmark “Salsa De La Bahia” Completed at SF’s Studio Trilogy

Pictured at Studio Trilogy while recording “Salsa De La Bahia” are (L-R) recording engineer Gary Mankin and producer/trombonist Wayne Wallace. Photo by David Goggin.

Pictured at Studio Trilogy while recording “Salsa De La Bahia” are (L-R) recording engineer Gary Mankin and producer/trombonist Wayne Wallace.
Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, CA, September, 2013 — “Salsa De La Bahia,” the much anticipated celebration of San Francisco’s vibrant and vital Salsa/Latin/Jazz scene has been completed at Studio Trilogy. The project was helmed by producer and celebrated trombonist Wayne Wallace, and recorded by Gary Mankin.

The new album is the musical companion to the upcoming film documentary “The Last Mambo,” directed and executive produced by Rita Hargrave, which traces the 60+ year evolution of the West Coast Latin sound, a potent gumbo of Afro-Cuban rhythms, jazz harmonies and funk infused grooves. “Rita and I chose the songs with the idea of this CD being a dance record that showed the musical diversity of what the Bay Area scene has to offer,” explained Wallace.

Wayne Wallace’s credits include being musical director of the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, John Santos & The Machete Ensemble, and Conjunto Cespedes as well as sideman gigs with luminaries like Tito Puente and Manny Oquendo & Libre.

The musical spectrum of “Salsa De La Bahia” shows the kaleidoscope of Afro-Latin musical colors seen and heard around the Bay Area. Complimenting this rich collection are three original pieces recorded at an all-star session at Studio Trilogy. “Everyone understood that this was an opportunity to make a collective musical and artistic statement about the music we have played for years,” commented Wallace. “We spoke of the lineage of Cal Tjader, Carlos Federico and the many musicians who helped create this music.”

“It is significant to remember that this music is an essential part of the forward-thinking Bay Area community,” added Wallace. “In the early 50s, the San Francisco mambo/salsa scene pre-dated the integration of the 60s and welcomed a diversity of races and cultures at the nightclubs and concert halls. Without this musical and cultural phenomenon you wouldn’t have had a Santana and the Latin rock scene.”

“Not only did we have a festival of great musicians at Studio Trilogy, we had the support of a studio staff that is top drawer,” commented recording engineer/producer Gary Mankin, whose discography is a who’s who of Bay Area luminaries. “The ambience at the studio was perfect for this project, family style where everyone felt comfortable and at home, but always very professional.”

To view sessions at Studio Trilogy for “Salsa De La Bahia” and learn more about the film project “The Last Mambo,” visit: http://thelastmambo.com/store

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Cascada de Flores Recreates Classic Radio Show at Studio Trilogy

Cascada de Flores is pictured in session at Studio Trilogy, (L-R) Saul Sierra-Alonso, bass; Steve Savage, producer/engineer; Jorge Liceaga, guitars; Arwen Lawrence, voice, guitars, dance; Brian Rice, percussion; Marco Diaz, trumpet, piano. Photo by David Goggin.

Cascada de Flores is pictured in session at Studio Trilogy, (L-R) Saul Sierra-Alonso, bass; Steve Savage, producer/engineer; Jorge Liceaga, guitars; Arwen Lawrence, voice, guitars, dance; Brian Rice, percussion; Marco Diaz, trumpet, piano. Photo by David Goggin.

San Francisco, CA, August, 2013 — Cascada de Flores, the fiery ensemble exploring Mexican and Caribbean music and dance, has recorded “Radio Flor” at San Francisco’s Studio Trilogy. The project is described by the band as “a musical love letter to the Golden Age of radio, when songs reigned and a melody grabbed your heart for a lifetime.”

Cascada de Flores features Arwen Lawrence, who provides the distinctive vocals, guitar and dance alongside luminary musicians of the San Francisco traditional music and Latin jazz scene. The album’s motif explores heart-wrenching bolero, raucous Cuban guaracha, earthy Mexican dance traditions, all presented in energetic arrangements spiced with a bit of chilango humor.

Recording engineer Steve Savage, a mainstay of the SF music scene, explains: “In keeping with the radio broadcast theme, everything was recorded live in the studio, including vocals. The result is a totally unrestrained and expressive album that captures the band at their best. I used all pencil condensers for their smooth off-axis response, except for Neumann M269’s on vocals and a few dynamic mics on bongos and cajon.”

Lead singer Arwen Lawrence commented, “Our time at Trilogy was precious, the perfect setting for making this emotional music with the spontaneity that it deserves.”

Savage added, “Cascada de Flores strikes such a lovely balance between outstanding musicianship, emotional commitment and a willingness to put the song first in their musical approach. Everything about Trilogy supports creative work — all the amenities are there, all the technical requirements are covered at the highest level, and everything works, but even more important is the warm atmosphere. The sessions were intense, but it was also a pleasure from beginning to end to be working with such wonderful musicians in an ideal studio environment.”

To hear “La Chuparrosa,” a traditional dance piece from the Afro-Mexican culture in Oaxaca, and the first single from the album, visit:
www.soundcloud.com/cascadadeflores/la-chuparrosa-single

To learn more about Cascada de Flores, visit: http://cascadadeflores.com

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