Where do musicians go when they want to produce music seriously? Where does a producer turn for budding talent?
A short distance outside New Haven, up towards the quiet shady greens of old Connecticut, there’s a building that will soon host music professionals and the cream of sound engineering. It’s inconspicuous, but the neighbors and curious travelers frequently stop in to check on the renovation progress. There’s always a fresh pot of coffee and a heady conversation among the stacks of drool-worthy equipment. . The studio lights are being prepped for hanging and custom treatments await the pulse of soundwaves.
The amount of inquiries from musicians (both local and renown) is staggering. The question is always the same: “When can I record here?”
The answer is always a smile and “soon.” The perfect creative arena won’t be compromised by a rushed job. This is a playground for serious artists. The opening day is drawing close.
This is exactly the kind of organically creative environment that Travis S. Branch, Lois Larson Branch,and Michael Sorrentino, all partners and musicians, have their hearts set on.
“Connecticut is overflowing with musical talent and other creative artists and these people need space where their creativity can flow” Travis says with a face unable to conceal excitement, “so we’re building it. The sense of musical and creative community is already flourishing here, and we haven’t even opened the doors.”
Thousands of hours of labor were spent constructing a perfectly tuned studio designed by renowned sound engineers, SH Acoustics, out of New Haven, CT. Special care was put into the custom acoustic treatments, lighting, wiring,sound-space analysis, and interior design. The efforts were energized by the passionate team of Branch, Larson Branch, and Sorrentino, and supported by friends and professionals, all people who are enchanted by the magic of musical and video experimentation.
The white-on-black sign on the front of the building stands out: The Recording Den. The logo is stark and captivating. It carries an alluring feeling of contemporary style. It’s fresh with sharp edges. It’s an indication that a hidden gem waits to be discovered. It’s a novel feeling to spend time at a place that you know is going to “get big.” Being there is to feel like a part of something: a cherished part of the whole.
Art is born in creative space, and this former post office has been transformed with that promise in mind. It is equally the realm of the composer and the director and the soundboard fanatic. The design philosophy for the new studio at every point came down to: how do we make this the best of its kind? And it shows. It shows in the wide-eyes of every artist while they survey the control room for the first time or assess the sound stage where they'll soon have the opportunity to stand.
The Recording Den’s lead audio engineer and jazz musician, Mike Sorrentino, is bringing his technical expertise (and cabinet-maker-carpenter skills!) with him.The Recording Den’s last space was a musician’s dream world of top-of-the-line mixers, synthesizers, and the latest AV gear. It had an energy of fun and accomplishment, but nothing can match the excitement buzzing around the new location in Bethany. “We outgrew it,” Travis says about the Trumbull location. “It was too limiting to what we wanted to provide. This is much more our vision.”
The big new space also requires new faces with fresh skills and ideas to push our boundaries. The most thoroughly un-average cast has been assembled for the task. The sound and video wizzes have big ‘gen-z’ energy. Their vibe is profound; their drip undeniable. The team balances innovation and class, professionalism and imagination. It’s a stew of boiling young professionals, and they’re here to help you go somewhere.
As anyone knows, the next big song doesn’t appear spontaneously but is the skillful statement of a half-dozen passionate prodigies. Art is seen by the audience as a perfect and complete image, a theatre set. This is not the whole story. Behind the art is a team of working professionals, mixers, producers, technical experts and their apprentices. Behind each track is cutting-edge equipment and the savants who know how to produce a perfectly hidden tone.
Among the technical and electronic there is a fire of excitement and vibrancy. The electronic beats and rising tones and ethereal voices generate a living sound. The intricate and well-advised notes and strings cease to be individual parts but flow together in a synthesis, provoking dreams and admiration. The Recording Den will propel a new generation of creators through the stars.
Liam CA Noble
6 August 2021