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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 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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