Cover image for Studio Grace : the making of a record / Eric Siblin.
Studio Grace : the making of a record / Eric Siblin.
Publication Information:
Toronto, Ontario : House of Anansi Press, 2015.
Physical Description:
295 pages ; 22 cm


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1 Bob Harkins Branch 780.92 SIB Book Adult General Collection

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With a dozen original songs percolating in his head, bestselling author Eric Siblin had two chance encounters in the same month: one with a real estate agent named Jo, a talented singer with pop star dreams; and the other with a college acquaintance named Morey, a fiery guitarist, record turned digital music producer, and manager of his teenage daughter's burgeoning singing career. These two serendipitous events mark the start of a musical odyssey.

In Studio Grace, Eric Siblin chronicles the twelve-month realization of a long-held dream: recording an album of original material. To get there he plunges into the joyful and painful heart of songcraft, grappling with elusive verses and choruses until they are ready for recording. Siblin's songs are captured in three very different studios reflecting the evolution of sound recording: a tiny basement studio run by a wedding band drummer; the famed Hotel2Tango analogue studio, where a former producer of Arcade Fire connects Siblin with hipster musicians; and the mansion attic where his new friend Morey creates songs on a laptop using the latest in digital technology and the global distribution network that is YouTube.

Published to coincide with the release of the album of the same name, Studio Grace is an entertaining and demystifying behind-the-scenes look at the making of a record filled with songs about love gained and love lost, about modern identity theft and ancient battlegrounds, about life and death, fleshed out by a host of eclectic characters, from ambitious young singers to veteran session musicians and unknown engineers to high-profile producers -- all of whom are pursuing the multi-layered dream of a four-minute pop song.

Author Notes

Eric Siblin is the bestselling author of The Cello Suites , which won the QWF Mavis Gallant Nonfiction Prize and the McAuslan First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award, the Writers' Trust Nonfiction Prize, and the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction. So far, the work has been published in thirteen territories and in nine languages. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Siblin, a journalist and author (The Cello Suites), takes readers with him on an entertaining journey to fulfill his lifelong dream of recording an album of his original songs and music. Even though he had been playing guitar since he was 11, wrote his first song at 13, and decades later finally felt that he had a dozen songs fully composed, the album still doesn't come easily, and Siblin recruits help from many quarters. Readers get to know Jo Simonetti, a talented singer, and Morey Richman, a digital music producer, who both play key roles. During his 12-month endeavor, Siblin explores all facets of the work: choosing right instruments, changing verses, finding perfect vocals, collaborating with other musicians and professionals, and recording in three very different places: a basement and garage, an analog studio, and an attic studio where Richman uses digital technology and distributes recordings via YouTube. This vivid account of Siblin's adventure in an era when "nobody buys records" will appeal to readers who love pop music, and especially to musicians and songwriters who harbor their own recording dreams. Readers can listen to and download the rich fruits of Siblin's labor of love on his website. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Table of Contents

About the musicp. ix
Chorus interruptusp. 1
How long have you been gone?p. 3
Cloudburstp. 6
Mansion on the hillp. 11
Song castles in the sandp. 22
Basement session No. 1p. 29
Basement session No. 2p. 36
Interlude: Take me homep. 41
Basement session No. 3p. 46
From the skyp. 57
Unstoppablep. 64
Who is Howard Bilerman?p. 67
Basement session No. 4p. 75
Hooksp. 81
Basement bass 'n' drumsp. 87
The girl from the NextDoor Pubp. 95
Write your own No. 1 hit!p. 102
Take one with Shaharahp. 105
Perfect shellp. 114
Labyrinth of voicesp. 119
This is what you should be doingp. 125
Zoomp. 130
Building a bigger better greater chorusp. 137
Are we in Funkytown yet?p. 143
How "Unstoppable" became "Inflammable"p. 148
Prelude2Hotel2Tangop. 153
H2T. Session No. 1p. 157
H2T: Session No. 2p. 164
H2T: Session No. 3p. 168
Capturing realityp. 176
Battlefield mindp. 184
Underbellyp. 194
Back to the basementp. 199
An oceanic feeling-tonep. 207
Honey from the atticp. 211
Dionysian brass paradep. 216
Zeros and ones with a human facep. 221
Cherry-picking at the hotelp. 232
Major handcuffsp. 237
Pomegranate seedsp. 241
A tuneful sighp. 247
Chorus maximusp. 252
The sound in my headp. 263
Lyrics and liner notesp. 269
Links to dramatis personaep. 291
Acknowledgementsp. 293
About the authorp. 297

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