Recording in Italy: a Berimbau, Farfisa, Demijohn & RainDirk + 3 Pears, a GoPro 2 & a Twerk for #ProjectELECTRICO
Our recording session for #ProjectELECTRICO at the Prosdocimi Recording Studio in Carmignao di Brenta, Italy, was a day for the music books. In the video below, check out our instrument list, catch a peek at our session (replete with song-and-dance by Drummer, Alberto Stocco, as he whipped up the most delicious, hand-shaken, Italian coffee I’ve ever sipped), plus witness the fine form of Record Producer, Ronan Chris Murphy. When a producer tells the drummer, “For this take, it’s 90 seconds: 30 go straight, 30 go swing, and 30 go crazy,” you know you’re in for a ride.
The Making of #ProjectELECTRICO: Prosdocimi Recording Studio, Carmignao di Brenta, Italy
Instrument List from Prosdocimi Recording Studio
Mike 3rd played a Berimbau (a single-string percussion instrument with a musical bow-Brazilian). He’s also the Studio Owner and Engineer.
Alberto Stocco played Percussion, Drums, and a 54-gallon Demijohn (that’s a 54 gallon wine jug)!
Kathleen Blackwell played a Farfisa (a combo organ based on transistor accordions – Italian manufacturer).
Arthur Edstrom played a GoPro Hero 2 (his camera angles from our session are super hot).
Ronan Chris Murphy (aka RCM) played his own Vox (and he gave insanely – cool artistic direction).
The Board was a RainDirk (high-end, pro-audio equipment – British). According to Wiki, “RainDirk’s first console was sold to former Deep Purple singer Ian Gallan’s Kingsway Studios.”
The brilliance of Producer, Ronan Chris Murphy (RCM)
Ronan on giving direction to Alberto for his drum takes:
We’re making music for people to dance to, not for drummers.
Engineer, Mike, asks Ronan, “Do you think Alberto should use a click?”
No, I want him to focus on the music. He should have a lot of track (volume) in his headphones.
Then RCM brings in a little inspiration! He plays Rick James, “SuperFreak,” for Alberto, and says,
I need you to play almost like a machine, but with a heart.
What we’re going to do on this next take? No cymbals, kick and snare only. …And from here? Only cymbals. (Chuckle.)
‘Istanbul’ for cymbals is like the Paris or Milan for fashion.
Ronan giving direction to Alberto for the next 90 second take:
It’s only 90 seconds. Maybe 30 go straight, 30 go swing, and 30 go crazy.” author=”RCM”]
Then Mike says,He wants to try it with the cowbell. (We all laugh. You can never have enough cowbell!) -#ProjectELECTRICO Wisdom at Prosdocimi
When I asked Ronan, “How do you mic a Berimbau?!” He said,
Put a mic close to it. (Ba-da-bah.)
Funniest quote of the day
When Mike was playing the Berimbau, he was really nailing the groove, and Ronan said,
Okay, now what we need is less twerking.
The Penultimate Wisdom of Producer, Ronan Chris Murphy
What we really need for this record? A 54-gallon wine jug!
When the Demijohn cracked, after being bummed, Ronan said,
Well, at least it will make an EXCELLENT snare sample! We captured it on the GoPro 2 (see video).
The hospitality at Prosdocimi Recording Studio was truly special, and it was a really unique and inspiring recording atmosphere—a gem of a session. If you’re ever in Northern Italy and looking for a hip, analog studio to do some recording at, not only is their attention to decor super swanky (copper for analog, chrome for technology, purple-pink hues with wood tones) and intelligent (thematic design carry-through), but their attention to creativity and music rocks the Villa.
As we were wrapping up our session, and leaving the studio, outside we explored the grounds. Prosdocimi Recording Studio is indeed an Italian Villa. The pear trees were in season, so I handpicked three pears and put them in my purse to enjoy later. I’m now in Milan, and as I am sitting here writing, I ate the last pear. Perfecto!
CREDITS: #ProjectELECTRICO at Prosdocimi Recording Studio in Carmignao di Brenta, Italy, with Producer, RONAN CHRIS MURPHY; Songwriter & Artist, KATHLEEN BLACKWELL; Drums, Percussion & Demijohn, ALBERTO STOCCO; Studio Owner, Engineer & Berimbau, MIKE PROSDOCIMI; and Video Production by ARTHUR EDSTROM
We had a wonderful time with Mike and Alberto taking this record to another level. Talented guys, awesome wine, and the most delicious coffee!
What is #ProjectELECTRICO?
With peace and love on a musical journey #ProjectELECTRICO is a global recording project uniting a world of musicians to create a collaborative Pop record with international rhythms, flair, voices, and soundscapes.
#ProjectELECTRICO is home to the stories behind the making of Austin-based Artist Kathleen Blackwell’s third album, ELECTRICO, with Producer Ronan Chris Murphy.
In creating this body of work, we get to pull from a lot of different spice cabinets. #ProjectELECTRICO is the collaborative collection of the world’s most influential musicians and sounds in one big soup.