Studio Construction

I’ve pushed the studio construction photo log to its own page on this website as it is too big a process to tuck into this blog roll. I’ll also expand on some of the acoustic-determined construction decisions on that page in case the info is helpful to you. In designing this studio (and knowing nothing about studio design when starting out) I’ve learned that ideas around acoustic-design can be difficult to interpret or apply to an individual situation so hopefully pictures/explanations will offer another perspective on the process of studio construction.

Practice vs. Performance

Some of the most amazing, effortless music I’ve played has been alone in the practice room. This is frustrating but inevitable. It’s also a place for gratitude as the experience of ease when playing music is great.

Somewhat related observation - it takes time to integrate things that might feel doable in the practice room into a performance setting. This is a head trip.

Performance Observations #1

1) Be yourself.

2) Being yourself, you have to decide how much or how little to let out.

3) The energy required to play music in front of people is different than the energy required to socialize/interact with those same people in a concert setting (remember this too when you meet musicians at one of their concerts).

4) A lot of what you’re obsessively focused on (in performance) no one else sees.

5) A lot of what you’re hearing (including room acoustics) in a performance, no one else hears. This can work for or against you depending on what you’re hearing and how you’re receiving it.

Weaknesses & Strengths (#97)

What you feel sure is your greatest weakness may be one of your greater strengths. This much has been said over and again. For musicians, practice and the pursuit of perfection (i.e. chops) presents a unique type of navigational challenge - do you direct your practice time according to what you think you should be able to do or instead according to what you’re curious about?

In my musical practice, more time than I’d like to admit has gone to pursuing skills I thought I “should” acquire even when the practice failed to pack any real meaningful punch. The issue here is that the “should” practice idea can easily fall prey to concepts of sound or creative voice that distort the strengths of your weaknesses.

Acoustics

Acoustics carry all the certainty and predictability we expect from proven science… we can predict how a room’s physical dimensions will impact its sound, what specific frequencies will be most problematic, etc. But despite the solidity of these facts, the challenge of trying to predict/construct a great sounding room still packs a hefty dose of mystery.