Mak­ing mu­sic in Par­adise

Val­ley mu­si­cians drawn to the acous­tics, am­biance of Par­adise Stu­dio

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE - BY PAUL PICKREM SPE­CIAL TO ANNAPOLISCOUNTYSPECTATOR.CA

As a mu­si­cian, how would you like to record your first al­bum in par­adise? West Par­adise, to be spe­cific.

That’s just what Val­ley-based singer, song­writer Jeff Shearer is do­ing.

Shearer, and the al­bum’s pro­ducer and en­gi­neer, Vance Dy­lan, got to­gether with their friend, Peter Price, also a Val­ley mu­si­cian, and de­cided to record 13 songs for Shearer’s first al­bum, Some­where Be­tween Here and There, in the stu­dio space on the sec­ond floor of Price’s barn-style garage in West Par­adise, An­napo­lis County.

The choice of lo­ca­tion was based on sound rea­son­ing.

“You come in here and you au­to­mat­i­cally feel at ease. It’s a re­ally great sound­ing room. It’s been sit­ting here for a cou­ple of years, but no­body’s re­ally had the equip­ment or the know-how to do any­thing with it,” Dy­lan said in an in­ter­view.

“The room sounds amaz­ing. You can al­most do no wrong in here. It’s re­ally re­lax­ing. You can see peo­ple re­lax and get into the cre­ative mode as soon as they walk up the steps.”

Shearer and the other mu­si­cians work­ing on the al­bum agree. He said the am­biance and chill fac­tor, cou­pled with the great acous­tics, makes for a solid record­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It’s a very re­laxed en­vi­ron­ment,” he said. “You look out the win­dows and you see groves in the back­yard and a view of the North Moun­tain. You look out the front win­dow, you’ve got a view of the South Moun­tain. It’s Pete’s man cave and we turned it into a stu­dio and, luck­ily, to our ad­van­tage, it’s turned out to be per­fect acous­tics.”

That fits into the phi­los­o­phy of stu­dio owner Price, who be­lieves a com­fort­able mu­si­cian is a good mu­si­cian.

“I want peo­ple to be as cre­ative as they can be when they come up there. When you walk up­stairs it sort of has the wow fac­tor,” he said.

“Ar­chi­tec­turally it is strik­ing but any­body with an ear for mu­sic that has played in a cramped base­ment or a room without good acous­tics will see the po­ten­tial of what can be ac­com­plished up there.”

Price de­scribes the two-storey garage as a barn style build­ing with one side fac­ing to­ward the river. It has a five-sided dormer, which is rem­i­nis­cent of an am­phithe­atre.

He cred­its his friend and fel­low mu­sic lover, Wil­lie Shearer, who hap­pens to be Jeff’s first cousin, with the win­ning de­sign.

“He went for a lit­tle drive, and thank good­ness he did be­cause he got in­spired,” said Price.

“He showed up on the Mon­day morn­ing, sketched it out on a piece of scrap wood and thought we should do it like this.”

Price said his orig­i­nal goal was to cre­ate a jam space in his garage where he could have a few beers with friends and play mu­sic without both­er­ing any­one.

How­ever, the goal changed some­where be­tween there and putting the fin­ishes on a ful­l­length al­bum.

“This project will give me an idea of what we need to do to turn this into an ac­tual pro­fes­sional record­ing stu­dio and, hope­fully, a fu­ture en­ter­prise,” he said.

More in­for­ma­tion on Par­adise Stu­dio is avail­able through email­ing vancedy­lan@hot­mail.com.

SUB­MIT­TED

Val­ley-based mu­si­cian Jeff Shearer is putting the fin­ish­ing touches on his first al­bum at Par­adise Stu­dio in West Par­adise.

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