As recording engineer for the Colorado Daily's live music studio, Second Story Garage, I've often been witness to a unique phenomenon regarding the brain, the ears and the eyes.
If you haven't checked it out in a while, swing over here and peruse our 500-plus free music videos, filmed and recorded over the past several years. We curated the lineup to represent the best music and musicians this region has to offer, but we also opened our recording doors to notable national bands just passing through Colorado. We've recorded many Grammy winners, and a quick gaze through all artists shows some of the prestigious outfits that have plugged in at the Garage.
When I record a band for SSG (what the cool kids call the Garage), it's always a live, full-band affair. Bands with tons of gear, roadies and managers on hand, like the New York-based TAUK , usually pose a challenge when recorded.
Before the recording, TAUK's managers sent me a list requiring about 30 inputs, which I whittled down to 22 for our purposes. Then came the fun part — learning their songs on the fly and live-mixing 22 inputs at once down to single a stereo track. It proved to be as much a performance for me as it was for them.
But the job wasn't done after the session. My next task was mastering the final mix and massaging elements of the sound to pull off what music fans listen for in the recording.
So with these tracks in my ears, all the while making small changes here and there, I inevitably formed an image of the band. I couldn't help it — as I see it, my brain is used to applying imagery when music is ingested.
Why is that? Am I so used to the visual aspects of a concert that I've grown to expect it? Does mental imagery heighten the listening experience?
Lessons were always learned when it came time for me to place my final audio tracks on the videos that our veteran photographer Paul Aiken created. Every time, without fail, I would place and listen to the track while witnessing imagery that was not created in my brain, leading me to inevitably develop a new understanding of the music based on the new imagery. It's like the two are so connected as to influence each other in my mind.
Forgive the lengthy preamble, but I use this notion to bring up an event you shouldn't miss, if you can help it.
Saturday at noon at the Boulder Theater, veteran concert photographer Jay Blakesberg will present his book of music photography, "Hippie Chick: A Tale of Love, Devotion & Surrender" (check out our story here). Jay's cool idea presents the historical influence of the female hippie culture at live concerts over 35 years and craft a narrative based on interviews with bonafide "hippie chicks."
The release of a book about music photography wouldn't be the same without live music, so the Denver/Boulder do-all/be-everywhere group The Drunken Hearts will tear up the stage along with special guest musicians.
Did I mention it's FREE? Do yourself a favor and soak in the sounds of great music and imagery of whirling hippie chicks. And, if you want an image to place with the Drunken Hearts, check out our videos of them on SSG. In their case, the sound and vision we created was excellent.
Read more Taylor: coloradodaily.com/columnists.