Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Salon Wrap-Up for October 24, 2010 "Recording Artists"

Annie Kozuch

There was an exciting buzz in the air as Salon attendees began to arrive at Etc Etc, because they spied Peter Millrose in the front of the room setting up his professional recording equipment for the occasion. That’s right, the optional theme for the evening was “The Recording Arts/Demo Night Part II with Peter Millrose,” giving Salon members the chance to take home studio quality recordings of their work in front of a live audience.

The evening was hosted, as usual, by the charming and talented Mark Janas. His co-host was the blonde and sassy songstress, Annie Kozuch. Annie announced that her solo album, ”Here With You“ just hit #6 on the CMJ Jazz Chart, and will be performing a teaser set from her show at the Lincoln Square Barnes & Noble on October 27 at 6pm.

Annie kicked off the show with a jazzy rendition of ”Gorgeous“ from The Apple Tree, and ”I Thought About You.“ Rosemary Loar then tempted and teased us with a medley of songs including ”The Lady is a Tramp,“ ”Nobody Does It Better,“ and ”Treat Me Rough.“ Joining us on the stage next was Mark Levy, who charmed us with Mr. Maraczek’s song, ”Days Gone By“ from the musical She Loves Me. Up next was Julie Reyburn, who haunted us with her gorgeous version of ”Another Winter in a Summer Town“ from Grey Gardens, followed by Tony Imgrund, who gave us a glimpse at adorable with ”The Kite“ from You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown. (And, for the record, we think the revival version is A-OK in our book!)

Annie then paused the show to ask us to admire her earrings... because they were designed by none other than Shana Farr, who was up next to sing ”I Could Have Danced All Night“ from My Fair Lady. (A side note from me, Erin, your blogette- My Fair Lady is a perfect show to sing from when talking about recordings. The lead character, Professor Higgins, is a phoneticist, specializing in dialects and the collector of voice recordings from his gramophone. Much of the show is about Eliza being recorded, and then trying to match the sounds she hears from other speakers. Quelle coincidence! But, I digress... ) Next up was Marya Zimmet, who sang a silky and sultry version of ”Lazy Afternoon.“ Johnnie Kozuch, Annie’s brother, then came to the stage and sang ”Malaguenia Salerosa“ while accompanying himself on guitar. Annie announced that they were a globe trotting family - he was born in Puerto Rico, while she was born in Mexico. It was wonderful having such international flavor during the evening!

Coming up to the stage next was Richie Eisenberg, who shared his clever, original tune ”Never Too Late.“ Deb Berman came afterward, singing the beautiful ”If I Love Again.“ Deb has a show coming up November 2 at the Metropolitan Room at 7pm- hop on over to the club after you vote in the election! Up next was Stephanie Zagoren, who shared her love of Gershwin with ”The Man I Love.“ After that was The Salon’s newest volunteer, Danielle Erin Rhodes (our Times Square Postcard-ette!) who gave us goosebumps with Dan Furman’s original tune, ”The Trouble with Dreams.“ This song is from his new musical, Rip!, which is having a concert at the Puffin Cultural Arts Center in New Jersey on November 6.

Next up was yours truly, Erin Cronican, with She Loves Me’s signature ballad, ”Will He Like Me.“ (I’d be crazy if I didn’t mention that I have a few shows coming up- I’m currently doing the classic British play, Look Back In Anger, which performs through October 30. I am also appearing in a musical reading of Nab-A-Date, which is open to the industry guests November 15.) Next up we had Etceterette Danielle Grabianowski, who wowed us with the playful and touching Jamie Cullum hit, ”Photograph.“ Danielle also has a show coming up at the Metropolitan Room October 28 & November 3, both at 7pm. Up next, Mark and Peter led us through Classical Corner, where we discussed the ins and outs of recording live and in the studio (see the bottom of this post for a list of tips & tricks that were discussed during this segment.) To close out the 1st half of the evening, we were delighted to present the Salon Spotlight - this week with Janice Hall. Janice sang two songs from her show, ”Grand Illusions: The Music of Marlena Dietrich“ - firts was ”The Laziest Girl in Town," followed by ”La Vie En Rose.“ We capped the 1st half of the evening with a birthday cake and song for Salon member, James Eden. (It was delicious, by the way...)

The 2nd set of the evening was led by Annie Kozuch, who sang the Spanish tune ”Nosotros,“ followed by ”I Can Cook Too“ by Bernstein/Comden/Green. Annie then introduced Salon producer Tanya Moberly, who gave us a stunning rendition of Peggy Lee’s ”I Don’t Know Enough About You.“ Tanya is working with the benefit ”Zani’s Furry Friends“ as well as being a featured guest at The Iguana on November 3. Following Tanya was Scott Tucker, accompanied on the piano by Steve Watts. Scott recently married his long time partner, and shared with us a story about his song, ”Sailor“ - he had planned to sing it at his wedding but instead of singing he found he was crying through the whole song! So, he brought it to the Salon so that he could get a clean recording to present to his new husband. I tell you, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house!

Coming to the stage next was Salon Board Member, Sue Matsuki, who sang a fun and spicy version of ”Lullaby of Birdland.“ Up next was Salon Sponsor, Father Jeff Hamlin, who dedicated his song, ”The Impossible Dream“ to birthday boy, James Eden. James then followed with a song from one of his favorite musicals: ”Double Talk“ from the Cy Coleman show City of Angels. Following James was Blogette-on-Vacation Sierra Rein, who finally got to sing the full version of ”This Place Is Mine“ from Maury Yeston’s Phantom, after singing only 16 bars in audition after audition. We all agreed that she’d blow the roof off the audition room singing any amount of measures from this song! She's now singing for Kevin McMullan's show "Twist of Fate" at the Laurie Beechman Theater (thru December4th) , and is in the cast of Musical Monday Theater Lab's reading of "The Good Girl" on Thursday, Oct 28th. Annie then finished the evening with the amazing & gorgeously sung ballad, ”And The World Goes Round“ (from the Kander/Ebb revue of the same name.)

Special thanks to Peter Millrose, who provided an incredible service Sunday evening. For those of you who recorded, we will be sending notifications of when the tracks are ready to be listened to and purchased. In the meantime, a little bit about our fine recording engineer: Peter has been ”in the mix“ for over 20 years and specializes in live cabaret recordings, piano/vocal demos, VO Tapes, transfers & editing. You can reach him at www.millrosemusic.com.

And, here are 8 tips & hints about Recordings, via The Salon’s Classical Corner

1) Try to spend time in the booth before you start your recording - get to know the acoustics as much as you can.
2) If you have you own mic that you love and trust, bring it with you.
3) Try not to record and mix on the same day - give yourself some space of a few days before you start mixing.
4) Do at least 2-3 takes, get a CD of all performances, and sleep on it!
5) You’re never going to get your performance just the way you want it. As Peter says, ”Don’t let the search for the perfect get in the way of the perfectly good.“
6) If at all possible, record the band while you are singing. Even if you are not recording your voice at the time, having your voice in the musicians’ headphones as they play will enhance their performance.
7) When setting mics at a live event with multiple instruments, be aware that a little bit of the other instruments will bleed into each individual mic. To help fix this problem when mixing, consider placing voices together that are on opposite sides of the spectrum (for example, a soprano singer near the upright bass.) The engineer can usually tune out the opposite frequency and get a pretty clean sound.
8) If you have several live performances, record 2-3 of them. That way, you have some choices to mix between.

NEXT WEEK! --- NO SALON (It’s Halloween, go get dressed up and have fun!)

TWO WEEK’S FROM NOW -- NOVEMBER 7 - Co-Hosts Edd Clark & Sue Matsuki present optional theme, ”Here Come the Holidays!" where Salon attendees can sing songs about any holiday. Special points go out to those who find songs about obscure ones, like “Peanut Butter Lovers Month” or “National Accordion Awareness Month“ (no joke, they exist.)

-Erin Cronican
The Blogette for The Salon

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