Sounds of the South West
Junior Bowles in the Sonic Lolly Studio. Photo: Mark Boskell.
Noah Shilkin from Sonic Lolly has been busily working away on the recording of WAM‘s Sounds of the South West CD, which will be launched at the Emergence Creative Festival tonight. We spoke to Noah about the recording and what musical treats are coming our way during this year’s Emergence.
Tell us a little bit about the recording of the Sounds of the South West album at Sonic Lolly?
Well we were tasked with recording nine very diverse artists over the span of about a month. The idea was to give a taste of the many different musical styles or genres that were being practiced in the South West. This album is the latest in a series called “The Sounds of…..”. WAM (West Australian Music) in collaboration with Celebrate WA, the DCA and various other sponsors have successfully been running this project and have already recorded and released The Sounds of The Pilbara, Tom Price, Wiluna and Shark Bay.
It was most exciting to be selected to do The Sounds of the South West. I already run a residential studio here in Margaret River and we just got to it! What was most fun was to be able to record a singer/songwriter one day and a punk rockabilly band the next. Every artist was different yet all very talented and representative of their genre and the region.
Bloody Hollys recording vocals. Photo: Mark Boskell.
What artists have been a part of the recordings on the album?
There are 10 original tracks on the album spanning 9 artists – The Warangka Band from Bunbury open the album with a fabulous acapella “Welcome To Country” entitled “Kaya”. They also have another track on the album entitled “Koora” which is partly sung in traditional language. We have Codee-Lee Down doing her new country song “Ain’t Got Time for That”, Tracey Barnett from Bridgetown with a roots track entitled “Alive (AKA Home)”, Junior Bowles doing a solo guitar/vocal blues song “Saviour”, local band Bloody Hollys with their crazy brand of punk/rockabilly called “Wake Up Drunk”, soulful balladeer “Latehorse” (Shane Thomas) from Donnybrook with “Hungry For Your Love”, fabulous alternative rockers Dallas Royal slamming “Swingers”, the legendary 10 Cent Shooters with “Cold Down South” and finally Aquaman’s Lab (the brainchild of Yallingup DJ/composer Swami Adima) doing a hybrid groove instrumental entitled “Song in Sea”.
It truly is a magical mix of music!!
Warangka Band. Photo: Michelle Troop
How long did the album take to put together?
The planning began early December last year. We did some pre-production in December and basically produced, recorded, mixed and mastered between January 5th and February 3rd – yikes! The plan from the beginning was to have the release coincide with the Emergence Creative Festival.
Swami Adima. Photo: Mark Boskell
Were there any stand out moments for you putting this album together?
That’s a tough question.The short answer is it was all standout! Everyone was so excited to be involved and gave their everything. It was a very tight timeline but each artist came prepared and we just knuckled down to get the best we could. All embraced the sense of place and I think it infused and enthused the work. I can’t single any of the artists out – all of the recording sessions were fun. People did however enjoy the crickets, bird songs, kangaroos, possum and phascogale chatter and the walks to the Margaret River.
Dallas Royal recording session. Photo: Michelle Troop
As a recording studio, what makes the setting of Sonic Lolly so unique for artists to come and record their music?
The short answer is it’s in the country! I think that being away from the city in a peaceful, tranquil beautiful environment one can be inspired – and more importantly totally focused on the music. The methods of recording have changed a lot over the last ten years and with huge advances in recording technology it is possible to make fabulous finished recordings in different and unique spaces. There are many examples of this – major recording artists trying different approaches. Sonic Lolly is residential so artists can isolate themselves for a period of time away from the noise and chatter of the urban and immerse themselves in their art. As a producer i am always looking at new fresh innovative ways to capture the “magic”. I have been very fortunate to have worked in some of the greatest studios in the world but I am more excited about the music I am helping create here in Margaret River than I have ever been.
Warangka Band. Photo: Michelle Troop
There will be a launch of the album at the Creative Emergence Festival on opening night…what can we expect to see?
We’re all pretty excited about the Emergence Creative Festival – and particularly the opening night album release show. WAM have selected four of the artists – The Warangka Band, Junior Bowles, Dallas Royal and Aquaman’s Lab – to perform. The night will be filled with some fabulous talent and diversity. There’s also going to be a bunch of other crazy stuff going on – live art, installation pieces, wild projections – so I think the whole evening will be something truly special!
Bloody Hollys. Photo: Mark Boskell
What are some of the things you’re looking forward to most seeing or being a part of at this years Emergence Festival?
This years’ Emergence Creative Festival is so exciting. I am a little biased as I am the Chairman of the Creative Corner! From a music perspective there are some really innovative and unique things going on. One in particular is the live recording sessions from the deck at Lake Cave. This is going to be mind- blowing. The setting at Lake Cave is just breath taking and we are setting up a complete recording system where artists will work individually or collaboratively to capture their music. All of the music will be logged and later mixed, re-mixed, sampled and mashed-up to be uploaded for all to hear. Who knows what will “Emerge” (he he) but I’ve had a peek at the artists and I’m pretty confident it’s going to be amazing!
We have some incredible minds presenting at this year’s Emergence – I want to see them all. Also from the music world to have PJ Bloom (Music Supervisor for Glee, Jerry Bruckheimer etc. and on it goes) coming to Margaret River is a huge coup.
It’s all going to be great – exhausting but well worth it! 8.
WAM West Australian Music
Junior Bowles. Photo: Mark Boskell