When Work Feels Like Play

I’m a little behind with my journal this week since things have kicked into full gear as far as projects go. I’ve been spending quality time in the Collarts studios and tech rooms, both working on projects and planning for future work. Practically all of my courses at Collarts involve one or two “assessments” which are essentially projects designed to get us to apply the knowledge we’ve been learning in class. This week I decided on a topic for my presentation in my acoustic design class, and I began my audio to video surround sound project. However, the most demanding aspect of this past week was preparing for and running a recording session for my small group recording class.

As per the project, I’m meant to find a band, record them live, and produce at least one song. At first, I was a bit intimidated by this prospect seeing as I did not know any groups at Collarts. Thankfully I ended up meeting a drummer in a band while making my coffee in the Collarts kitchen, and long story short, I found a new band to record. Making a recording plan was a bit of a confusing task for me since I’d never had to create a formal plan at Drexel. Additionally, I’d never worked in any of the studios at this school, and was about to simultaneously record four people in one of them.

Our initial session brought a sense of frustration that I’ve become used to as a student engineer. I didn’t have an assistant to help me, and none of the band members knew much about recording so I was scrambling to get the studio up and running by myself. Both at Drexel and at Collarts I’ve learned that the artist is essential and as a professional, it falls on the engineer to not waste the artist’s time. Keeping this in mind, I rushed to troubleshoot the many issues that came up in the brand new studio. Thankfully, a Collarts professor helped me resolve the remaining problems and I was able to spend the rest of the session doing what I love: working with the artist and getting a good recording.

After the success on Friday, the band was kind enough to invite me to a party for the lead singer’s birthday. It felt great to get to know other students at Collarts, and I have to admit, I truly enjoyed myself at the party. Several bands played that night, including the band I’m working with- it was actually their first show. As their producer, the group was keen to have me at their first gig and I was excited to see them play. Even though most of the crowd was from Collarts, this event was my first real social gathering outside of school, and I found the environment to be quite safe and welcoming. I’m looking forward to getting to know even more of my peers as I continue my work here at Collarts.

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