Issue V, 2017
CENTER STAGE Music Center Corp.
“Are You Listening”
Time King • How Political Should Music Be • Alexander Technique
THE TEAM EDITOR IN CHIEF Angela Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Reilly MANAGING DIRECTOR Veronica Sanchez CREATIVE DIRECTOR & HEAD DESIGNER Christiana Kaimis TEAM WRITERS & EDITORS Kelby Khan Ulises Amaya Stephanie McKenna
CONTRIBUTORS Dr. Jennifer Rhoades Kristin Mozeiko Time King
Letter From the Editor
Is Your Music Too Loud?
Photo by: Melanie Ramos
Photo by: Henry Be
Photo by: Washed Up Media
16 Like…Just Play My Song! Photo by: Patrick Fore
17 Sit Down Session With Alexander Technique Specialist Kristen Mozeiko
18 Alexander Technique: Your Health Comes First Photo by: Gabriel Gurrola
Photo by: Nicole Feldman
20 Meet Creative Director: Christiana Kaimis
It’s Only Rock ’n Roll Baby Playlist
Backstage with Kelby Khan
Photo by: Veronica Sanchez
Photo by: Michael Rathsam
Cover artwork by: Mark Seliger
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
rom very young, we are told that we need to stay healthy in order to live a long and happy life. Most people stay healthy by eating right and exercising, which of course is very important but, many will ignore those nagging aches and pains that could be warning signs of a more serious issue. Musicians tend to suffer from chronic physical conditions such as tendonitis, carpal tunnel and tinnitus, to name a few. All extremely common and all extremely debilitating. However, many musicians are unaware of the damage they are causing to themselves until it is too late. Are you listening to your body when you feel that wrist pain? Are you listening to your body when your hearing is muffled and ears are ringing after that loud concert?
In this issue, we address some important health issues that musicians need to be aware of and proactive about. Ear specialist Dr. Rhoades gives readers some professional tips on how to prevent hearing loss, and Kristen Mozeiko will walk us through a sit down session on Alexander Technique; a method that relieves tension for musicians and helps prevent injuries. We will also meet the Long Island native rock group, Time King, and learn about their journey and upcoming projects. Enjoy, Angela Lee Editor & Author
ABOUT CENTER STAGE Center Stage Magazine is a branch of Center Stage Music Center, a teaching studio in Westbury, New York. Since opening our doors in 2011, our goal has always been to create a comprehensive learning experience beyond what is taught in the classroom. This magazine is a natural extension of that goal and aims to provide an even greater array of musical knowledge for general readership and the budding musician. Written by musicians for music lovers, our desire is to bring all the diamonds in the rough to the masses and to inspire the next generation of artists, musicians, and listeners.
y it’ s onl
Rock n’ Roll
Twist & Shout – The Beatles Hound Dog – Elvis Presley Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (Don’t Fear) The Reaper – Blue Oyster Cult Take Another Piece of My Heart – Janis Joplin Dream On – Aerosmith Kashmir – Led Zeppelin Paint it Black - The Rolling Stones Money - Pink Floyd Smoke on the Water – Deep Purple Back in Black -ACDC Crazy Train- Ozzy Osbourne Paradise City – Guns n’ Roses Alone – Heart Woman – Wolfmother In the End – Linkin Park Gold Lion – Yeah Yeah Yeahs Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet Fell in Love With a Girl - The White Stripes Take Me Out – Franz Ferdinand Last Night – The Strokes No One Knows – Queens of the Stone Age Little Black Submarines - The Black Keys Do I Wanna Know? - Arctic Monkeys Someone Like You – Kings of Leon Mr. Brightside – The Killers Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
IS YOUR MUSIC TOO LOUD?
Hearing Loss Prevention from Ear Specialist Dr. Rhoades Written by Kelby Khan
This week I had the opportunity of interviewing my friend and ear health specialist, Dr. Jennifer M. Rhoades, AuD (audiologist at The New York Head and Neck Institute, Northwell Health Lennox Hill.) While I do consider myself a practitioner of ear safety (wearing earplugs at rehearsals/concerts, etc.) there were some more in-depth facts that I found surprising. Whether you are a musician or an average concert-goer, this paramount information will hopefully get you to think twice about some of the damaging activities we put our ears through!
How loud is too loud? When does hearing loss/damage occur? There are accepted time and intensity standards for allowable exposure to continuous noise/music before damage to the ear will occur. An individual can safely be exposed to continuous noise at a level of 85 dBA (think of a food blender or city traffic inside a car) for 8 hours. For every 3 dBA over this level, the permissible exposure time before damage can occur is cut in half. As a musician, you are likely exposed to loud level sounds for extended periods of time, and more at risk to inner ear damage than the average person. There are many affordable apps that allow you to use your phone as a sound level meter. I would recommend measuring the intensity level of music at rehearsals, shows, etc. to become more aware of how at risk you are for hearing damage, and to adjust levels/ exposure time when possible.
How do ear plugs work and what are some differential types? There are many universal ear plug options that exist to protect your ears from harmful noise exposure. However, these options are geared towards users who want to attenuate as much sound as possible, such as gunshots at a shooting range or loud construction at a job site. As a musician, it is likely that you are looking to protect your hearing by reducing sound by a reasonable amount, but without sacrificing the fidelity of the original sound. For these circumstances, musician’s custom filtered earplugs are most appropriate. Unlike traditional earplugs, the attenuation is essentially flat across the entire sound spectrum allowing for a more natural representation of music. These earplugs are custom to each individual’s ears, and require ear impressions taken by a hearing healthcare professional. Musician’s earplugs are made of a soft silicone material and come with a choice of three filters that are often interchangeable. For vocalists or acoustic musicians, a 9 dB filter is most appropriate, while for percussionists or musicians/crew/photographers standing near speakers, a 25 dB filter is best. These earplugs are designed to allow for the attenuation of sounds while avoiding the “head in a barrel” effect that is common with solid, traditional earplugs. Pricing for musician’s earplugs plus one set of filters will typically range from $150 to $250 dollars, with additional filters often being an extra charge. Meet with your local audiologist to schedule an appointment for ear mold impressions and to further discuss which filter options would be most appropriate for your lifestyle. 6
What frequencies are most damaging to the ear? Due to the anatomical arrangement of hair cells in our cochlea that allow us differential between high pitched sounds versus low pitched sounds, high frequency sounds are most damaging to our ears.
How can you tell if you’re experiencing hearing damage? Some of the warning signs of exposure to hazardous levels of sound include but are not limited to: inability to hear someone speaking three feet away, a muffled or “full” sensation in the ears upon leaving a noisy environment, ringing or buzzing in the ears immediately after exposure to loud sounds, and difficulty understanding speech after being exposed to loud noise.
Is going to a live concert bad/detrimental to my ears? Yes! Concerts and live music often have noise levels exceeding 120 dB! Loud concerts/music can initially result in a temporary threshold shift, creating a muffled sensation and loud tinnitus upon leaving the venue. Often, these symptoms will subside within a few days. With repeated exposure, this damage to the inner ear can lead to permanent threshold shifts, and thus a hearing loss. If you attend concerts regularly, it is ABSOLUTELY recommended to utilize hearing protection!
What is tinnitus and how can you treat it, if at all? Tinnitus is described as the perception of noise or ringing in the ears when there isn’t an external noise source present. Tinnitus is often the symptom of an underlying condition or fault in the hearing system, one of which is typically hearing loss or damage to the ear from exposure to loud sounds. While millions of people suffer from tinnitus, there is still a lot that is unknown despite ongoing research. One theory is that when the hair cells in the inner ear become damaged, the brain is no longer receiving the same auditory input it expects, and therefore generates “phantom” sounds to compensate or fill the void. Unfortunately, there is no simple “cure” for tinnitus. Research has shown that tinnitus is best treated via counseling/cognitive behavioral therapy. Masking devices can also be useful, and attempt to cover up one’s tinnitus with the substitution of another, less bothersome sound (i.e. a fan, rainforest/ocean sounds, white noise, pink noise, etc.).
Is there anything that you wish everyone knew about their ears? I would have to say that I wish people were more aware of the damage they can be doing by listening to portable music devices too loudly. I am surrounded by people every day on the train, especially younger people, blasting music through their headphones so loudly that it is audible everyone around them as well! As portable music players have become more popular in recent years, it’s important that younger generations are aware of the permanent damage they can be doing to their ears. A general rule of thumb when listening to portable music players is the 80/90 rule: you can safely listen to your MP3 player at around 80% volume for up to 90 minutes before you become susceptible to inner ear damage. Choose to lower your listening time, or lower the volume.
by: W ashed
WRITTEN BY STEPHANIE MCKENNA & ANGELA Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;REILLY
Photo by: Washed Up Media
Photo by: Washed Up Media
I first discovered the Long Island based prog-rock band, Time King, when I saw an advertisement for one of their shows hanging on a bulletin board in the Performing Arts Center at Adelphi University. At that time, Shane Plunkett (guitarist) and Brandon Dove (guitarist and back up vocalist) were peers of mine in the music program at Adelphi. A group of friends and myself decided to go support their band and check out the show. I had never heard them before and honestly didn’t know what to expect. I was quickly drawn into their tight sound and was shocked at how talented they were. Lead vocalist, Kalvin Rodriguez, blew me away with his amazing vocal ability, pitch accuracy and captivating stage presence. As a singer myself, these are things that I really appreciate and admire in a vocalist. Not only is Time King technically tight and rhythmically, melodically and harmonically creative, but their passion for their music and fans is very apparent. From the moment I first saw them, I became a huge Time King fan. When I found out, a few years later, that I would be able to interview TK (Time King) I was beyond excited. Even though I already knew Shane and Brandon from school, I was definitely having a fan girl moment when I got to meet the other members of the band. I finally got a chance to ask them all the questions I had about their origin and creative process. I also found out how truly humble and down to earth these guys were. We caught their live show at Amityville Music Hall back in January, which further solidified my total admiration for these amazing musicians. After their performance we huddled together outside in the back parking lot of AMH, with Kalvin, Shane, Brandon, Matt Nazario –aka Goose- (drummer) and James Meslin (bassist), to find out more about Time King.
Photo by: Krissy Linacre
“A BAND FOR YOUR INNER NERD, AS WELL AS YOUR PARTY GIRL”
CS: We are very curious as to where the name Time King came from? We have a theory that it comes from your impeccable ability to switch time signatures so often and masterfully. Is that true? James: It’s not that at all haha. It actually came about through a text message between Shane and Brandon attempting to figure out commute routes between NY and Boston. It was an autocorrect error from timing – to Time King. And we just decided to roll with it. Brandon: It was easy to remember and there were no URL’s with that name. On a more philosophical level though, it was the first of the many times that we realized if we don’t take ourselves too seriously, things usually work out. CS: How would you describe your sound to a new listener who has never heard TK before? James: Time King is a band for your inner nerd, as well as your party girl. Brandon: Our aesthetic is groove oriented prog-rock, but conceptually we take elements of technical music and present it in a way where
there are a lot of nuances that the listener can enjoy. Kalvin: We kind of sound like if Glassjaw, Incubus & Dream Theater had a baby. Shane: I would say we are contemporary rock, mixed with jazz influence. CS: How did you all meet each other? Brandon: Shane and I met in 2009. He’s from California and I’m from here in NY, but we both attended a summer music program at Berklee College. We started out our collaboration just sending each other demos and i-messsaging ideas back and forth. James: That being said, Kalvin, Brandon and I were all in bands together when we were 14 years old. We parted ways for a while and played in other bands, but I joined Brandon and played bass on the demos he would send to Shane. Eventually Kalvin’s previous band broke up, and we got our friend back. We had a few different drummers helping us write EP’s throughout college. Finally, when it came time to playing live shows, we found Goose on YouTube. One best friend later…
CS: You found him on YouTube?! James: Yes! We basically booked a show without a drummer. So we went on YouTube and searched for Long Island drummers. We found a video of Goose playing a cover of Glassjaw song and we hit him up asking if he wanted to jam with us. He came into rehearsal knowing every song, and he only lived a half-hour from all of us. Everything fell into place after that. CS: That’s amazing! What can you tell us about your songwriting process? James: We’re as close to as democratic as it gets, I would say. Almost all of us write and everyone brings ideas to the table. Even vocal writing gets split up between 4 or 5 of us at times. Shane: If we have the time to afford, we try to involve as many people into each song as we can. We’re extremely collaborative. CS: I know you mentioned that Shane and Brandon met at Berklee College of Music. Do all the members have formal music training? And does that affect your songwriting process?
CENTER STAGE Photo by: Nico Moreno
James: Shane and Brandon both have their big boy degrees in music composition. I have a bog boy certificate in audio engineering. So, that’s how we keep everything “in house.” From the very beginnings of demos, to the final mixes and masters. Both Kalvin and Goose are naturally gifted people. I think that the three of us who did not go to music school have learned from Brandon and Shane, as much as they have learned from us. Brandon: Our backgrounds really influence our writing process. James, coming from the audio background, thinks a lot about the sonic quality of our songs. Shane and I are usually the theory guys. Shane: One of the reasons we love Kalvin so much is because his talent is so organic and natural. We can trust his musical ability, even though he hasn’t had any musical training. James: And Goose definitely brings the cool to the band… and he can rip. CS: I just want to say that trained or not, you guys have such a real talent for complimenting one another musically on stage, while staying so tight with rhythm and sound. And you never lose your energy and enthusiasm. As an audience member, we can really feel the passion. Time King: That really means a lot to us. CS: What are some of the pressures you face as an active traveling tour band? Brandon: This is a very relevant question right now because the format of how we operate has changed in the last year. James is actually garnishing a successful audio career of his own. While working at Cove City Sound studio, he had the opportunity to be the assistant engineer on two of Dream Theater’s records. James: As much as Time King is my band, I have obligations to Dream Theater as well because fortunately enough, I now not only work with them in the studio, but I also work with them doing live sound. Starting last year I began touring with them full time and am sometimes gone for bouts of 5 – 7 weeks at a time. So, the times we are together as a band are extremely critical and we have to get as much done as we can. Kalvin: We’re called Time King but time seems to be our biggest hurdle. Brandon: But we’ve evolved to make it work. We have to be more organized about the planning and execution stages. We will have i-chat meeting with James while he is in Italy, for example. Then when he gets back, we do as much writing, performing and recording as we can. CS: Well, we are happy that you have made it work and continue to produce new music and preform. What’s your craziest story from the road? Time King: OHHHH, Kalamazoo! Kalvin: Last summer we played at the ‘Fat Guy Festival’ in Kalamazoo, MI. It was one of their slowest days but it wound up being one of our most lucrative shows. It was packed and everyone had wonderful things to say about us. We were supposed to play a show in Chicago the next day, but that fell through. So, we ended up extending our stay throughout the 14
Photo by: Washed Up Media
acre y Lin Kriss Phot o by :
“WE REALIZED IF WE DON’T TAKE OURSELVES TOO SERIOUSLY, THINGS USUALLY WORK OUT.” CENTER STAGE
Artwork by Jonah Lorsung
weekend and booked a house show with some new friends we made. We found a place to crash, but did not get any sleep because the homeowner was having a party until 7 am. To sum it up, that show in Kalamazoo was kind of what the dream is; we were surrounded by a community of people who love music and bands. But, it was one giant post-college part for 3 days. We couldn’t believe people lived like that. That was the most fun show we have ever played. James: For me, the craziest story was when we got the opportunity to write a rendition of Amazing Grace for the USA show Graceland. That job ended up funding the first two years of our band. And because we are able to record and mix ourselves, and we didn’t have to put any money into the start of the band, we benefited a lot from that opportunity. CS: I’ve heard your cover of “This Christmas” on YouTube. Would you guys ever consider doing a Christmas album? Goose: YES! Absolutely we would love to. We’ll get on that. CS: What is coming up for Time King? James: The last song we played tonight, Main Street, is a lead in to the next year of our lives. Basically we are working towards a concept album, consisting of multiple EP’s and singles that will make up one big collection of songs. Main Street, is the introduction to that. The collection will be released in pieces throughout the next year, so stay tuned for that!
Photo by” Kri
Time King’s music is so meaningful and unique that there is something for everyone; no matter what genre you are into. They put everything together tastefully and their harmonies are so unpredictable, but they work so well. If you hear the album before you see them live, or visa versa, you will not disappointed. Their first studio album Suprœ and their current EP signle “Main Street” can be found on their website, and their Facebook page. Stay tuned for upcoming shows and EP’s: www.facebook.com/timekingofficial timekingofficial.com
LIKE…JUST PLAY MY SONG!... How Political Should Music Be? Written by Ulises Amaya
Kanye West is no doubt an easy target these days, and while privately he may be a great philanthropist, his performances have been derided for their stream of consciousness rants that come off entirely self-serving. He is not the only artist who can let what he says on stage get in the way of the message he may be trying to convey. One may see the space between what an artist sings about and what an artist talks about as a spectrum of intent and self-indulgence, especially in a live setting. But that begs the larger question, what are we looking for when we see an artist perform? I suppose first and foremost, we want to experience the music we love performed with the inimitable energy of a live show. But beyond that, what we want may depend on whom we are seeing perform. If you’re walking in to see a Rage Against The Machine concert, or for a more modern example, Kendrick Lamar, you’re going in expecting it to get political. There’s an inherent statement in, and a very outspoken nature to most of these artist’s songs.
Photo by: Veronica Sanchez
But if you’re favorite Beyonce song is Love On Top, and a sexy Black Panther Party themed performance is getting underway at the Super Bowl half-time show, preempted by a black power salute, you may have your consternation. After all, you just want to see a game predicated on watching behemoths smash into each other for 60 minutes. I understand if you just came to dance and sing U2 songs but now Bono is going on about children going hungry in the streets. It’s easy to turn off or feel like this isn’t what you paid for. I imagine it’s easier for the emaciated children not to care because they only know privation.
“We Shall Overcome” is a song synonymous with the Civil Rights Movements of the 1950’s and 1960’s. It was sung as early as 1945 by Tobacco workers on strike in Charleston, South Carolina. It was sung to keep spirits up during harsh winter days and was passed along orally to other southern labor unions fighting for fairness. It was sung by Joan Baez along with a crowd of 300,000 in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. It was quoted by Martin Luther King Jr. in his final speech before being assassinated in 1968 and was subsequently sung at his funeral. It was sung in Spanish during the grape boycotts of the 1960’s and was even adopted by the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association in the early 1970’s. The power and message of this song, which is rooted in gospel tradition, spread around the world to signify hope for the oppressed and the struggling. It was not sung between spouts of auto-tuned verbal diarrhea deriding Nike for not selling an artist’s shoe. 18
There’s a responsibility borne by those with a platform to speak out for those who don’t have a voice. However, balance is key. In Jack Johnson’s latest album, he acknowledges that “it’s been a hard year to avoid politics in the US,” and some of his songs have a degree of political commentary in them. But, he manages to ease listeners away from political tension by mixing in beautiful love songs. You might disagree with this, but you have the right to withhold your money or change the channel as much as any artist has a right to voice their thoughts. I do sympathize with you if you just want to dance and just want to hear your song, particularly in today’s political and artistic climate where everything is constantly in your face and intersecting all parts of life. And I certainly believe an artist can take things too far with regard to rambling monologues with no purpose. However that threshold is subjective, and when you think an artist has crossed beyond what you consider entertaining, walk away.
SIT DOWN SESSION WITH... ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE SPECIALIST
Dr. Kristin Mozeiko is a full time lecturer of Music Education at Queens College, City University of New York, where she conducts the Queens College Symphonic Wind Ensemble, teaches conducting, the Alexander Technique for musicians, and a variety of music education courses to graduate and undergraduate music education majors. She is an AmSAT certified Alexander Technique teacher and provides workshops, private lessons, and masterclasses using a “hands on” approach. Dr. Mozeiko holds degrees in music education (BA), French horn performance (MM) and music education (DMA). In her research and writing she integrated the Alexander technique with music education/performance and focused specifically on violinist and violists. Dr. Mozeiko is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the New York State School Music Association, AmSAT, the Women’s Band Directors Association, CBDNA, and IMTE (Instrumental Music Teacher Educator).
#1 In this sit down session… Viewers will learn how to practice a daily lie-down in a semi supine position. This is one of the integral parts of Alexander Technique, therefore AT teachers typically ask students to lie down once or twice a day for 10-20 minutes. The goal is to address areas of tension and to learn how to release the excessive tension in order to improve overall comfort and health.
“Are you listening to your body?”
#2 In this sit down session… Viewers will learn step by step on how to sit properly without putting extra pressure on the back, neck and hips. Having a balanced posture while sitting is extremely important for a musician’s performance and health.
YOUR HEALTH COMES FIRST:
What is the Alexander Technique and how can it help? Written by Kristen Mozeiko
Check out our blog to see what the next steps are to pursuing Alexander Technique.
Photo by Gabriel Gurrola
The Alexander Technique is a method that focuses on developing an awareness of our ability to feel what is happening internally in order to create positive change in how we move, breathe, sit, stand, play an instrument, and engage with the world. It is a way of learning to reorganize and energetically redirect chronic patterns of tension and habits that have unconsciously become a fixed or static part of how we function in everyday life. The technique involves developing awareness and understanding that by consciously addressing coordination and balancing of postural support, movement, and breathing become more efficient and feelings of general well-being can improve. The Alexander Technique (AT) has become a widely accepted method in music schools and among professional musicians to assist with the development of healthy playing habits. AT is intended not only for performers, but for anyone who is looking to improve their awareness, physical efficacy, breathing and posture. Typically musicians use the technique for performancerelated injury prevention, and as a means of improving instrumental and vocal technique and performance. (Mozeiko, 2011) The technique was developed by an Australian actor/orator, Frederick Matthias Alexander who was experiencing a pattern of vocal hoarseness while reciting Shakespeare in public performances. â&#x20AC;&#x153;After exhausting help from the medical profession, he embarked on a journey of self-observation to uncover the habitual patterns of movement and tension that he believed were creating interference in his breathing, speaking and acting.â&#x20AC;? (Mozeiko, 2011) More than 120 years ago, he received acclaim for his improved vocal production in performances, and began to teach others what he had learned. In learning and practicing the technique students are able to direct thought and awareness on gauging the optimal balance of tension in the whole body. The first step is consciously stopping patterns of misuse and directing or redirecting the neuromuscular energy with spatial intent. The technique emphasizes the process or means-whereby as opposed to a focus on the goal result or end-gaining approach.
My Story I was a somewhat typical student when, in 1992, I headed for music school to study the French horn and music education. During my first year in college I started to notice pain in my neck, shoulders, back and eventually in my arm and hands. As the pain increased, I lost feeling in my hands and began to develop painful spasms in my upper back. The pain was debilitating. I had been regularly attending physical therapy sessions but my symptoms only worsened. My mother finally said to me, “why don’t you go to the doctor?” I was lucky enough to find a competent orthopedic surgeon who quickly and accurately diagnosed me with carpal tunnel and thoracic outlet syndrome as well as a subluxing ulnar nerve and tendonitis in my hands, arms and back. The doctor gave me a prescription for rest, more PT, some muscle relaxants and encouraged me to change my major from music to something less physically intensive. Changing my major did not feel like an option. I could not envision my life without music and I was attending college tuition free, on a music scholarship. I did not know very much about alternative therapies and, because I had no money, they were not an option at the time. I opted to have my right had operated on for the carpal tunnel syndrome. According to the doctor, the surgery was a success because the numbness was gone from my right hand, but, as my scars began to heal I was demoralized to feel the old pre-surgery pain continue. It was at that time that I began to understand the extreme limitations with modern medicine. This is not to say there are not times when surgery is merited and appreciated, but for me, it is important to exhaust alternative methods before taking measures as extreme as surgery. The doctors were only partially treating my symptoms, but they were not looking at the whole person, they could not see the deeper root of the problem. I was passionate, intense, and I had an attitude that screamed, “no pain, no gain.” I was competitive and displeased that I was not the top player in my studio. My music and performances were prioritized before my own well-being. Music teachers would tell me to play with less tension in my shoulders and I would think, “This is me playing with less tension!” I could not understand how some of my peers could play all day without pain, and I was unable to get through a single practice session without feeling aches throughout my body. Managing my pain with PT, chiropractic work, massage, and reduced practice time, I was able to finish my degree and get a job in music education. I continued to perform and a
big part of my new job was to type short reports for about 200 students. My hand, neck, shoulder and back pain was ever present so, with my meager income, I began to try out alternative therapies. I tried physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopaths, Shiatsu massage, healers, and the list could continue. While some of the therapies were helpful in the short term for acute pain, none of them addressed my poor posture, fixed habits of tensions, and the way I engaged with the world until I found the Alexander Technique. While I was teaching abroad I attended an introductory workshop on the technique and I read a book called Body Learning by Michael Gelb. This book helped to give me an intellectual understanding of the technique but it was a through a series of private lessons that I began to understand how and the extent to which I was carrying around patterns of tension into all activities. What was interesting was that I was fighting against myself all of the time. I was doing this to myself without ever having realized that I had been working against myself and without knowing that there were other options available to me. In the beginning stages all that I could recognize was that I felt less pain after each lesson with my private teacher. I also had this strange but nice feeling of being really light after each lesson, like I would float down the sidewalk and into my car. Next, I started to become aware of smaller habits like clenching my jaw when I was doing the dishes or picking up my fork. As the work started to integrate into my daily life activities I noticed that the chronic pain I had experienced was disappearing and the quality of my life began to improve. I could sit without pain for more than five minutes and I could play my instrument much longer than I ever had before. Eventually, I started to feel much more comfortable, less stress in my body and, a big bonus was my playing and high range improved. It was the best financial investment I had ever made. This work proved to be the “only thing” that could finally help me as a lot of my chronic conditions proved dramatically. It was not by any means a quick fix and it does take a lot of mental effort and regular practice in the beginning stages of developing new habits and patterns. Some students feel relief or changes after only one session and others sense the changes after 6-8 weeks. This work changed my life so dramatically I studied to become an AT teacher.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Mozeiko, K. J. (2011). The effects of participation in the Alexander Technique on female violinists and violists: A mixed-methods study. (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Boston University. Nicholls, J., & Carey, S. (1991). Alexander Technique: In Conversation with John Nicholls and Sean Carey. Brighton, England: Redwood Press Limited. CENTER STAGE
Creative Director & Head Designer for Center Stage Mag
LIFE IS ABOUT USING THE WHOLE BOX OF
Center Stage Mag prides itself on providing readers with an inside look at the music, musicians and innovators of today’s industry, albeit with a beautiful contemporary graphic design. As if Rolling Stone and Nylon had a baby. Christiana Kaimis is the creative mastermind behind all things design at Center Stage. Her bright spirit and innovation inspires not only the CS team, but also thousands of readers from around the world. As a child, all she ever needed was some crayons and paper to keep herself occupied. She started her first drawing book at the ripe old age of seven. Christiana eventually graduated from the School of Visual Arts in NYC with a degree in Graphic Design. When she is not designing for Center Stage Mag, she is a graphic designer for L’Oréal Professionnel. As a designer who never stops designing, she also works as a freelance artist and photographer. When she’s not working (which is rare) Christiana loves to bum out and is obsessed with watching TV series (shout out Game of Thrones), and of course, her cat! Follow him on insta! @BuoyTheCat
IS WHAT IT TAKES TO
stand up and speak;
IS ALSO WHAT IT TAKES TO
” sit down and listen SIR WINSTON
BACKSTAGE WITH KELBY KHAN
Great question! Especially with a plethora of software and hardware to choose from, getting started can be a bit overwhelming. There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution, but rather one that is tailored to your needs. Choosing the right DAW, and additional hardware can set you up for victory quickly, or require you to train for a few months before producing anything substantial. The modern day producing bread and butter is the DAW, or Digital Audio Workshop. This is where you’ll record tracks, edit them, and mix them. If you’ve never worked with a DAW before, I would strongly suggest using GarageBand. It has a simple, user-friendly layout, with just enough bells and whistles to get your feet wet, but not overwhelm you. It’s also very cheap. When I was in high school I bought ProTools, which was amazing, but complicated for someone as new as I was. I later switched to GarageBand and learned WAY more recording techniques because it was easier to understand. Besides ProTools (which is the industry standard) there are a bunch of other great DAWs. The prices range from around $200 - $400. Ableton focuses on the ability to create and edit in real time, which is good for live performances, especially for electronic music. Logic is somewhat like GarageBand on steroids - you can create track bundles (which GB can’t do), and their in-box synth and editing plugin options are pretty good. Digital Performer, while not as famous, is super customizable and good for tracking MIDI. I personally use Digital Performer right now. If you’re looking to track audio in addition to MIDI, you’ll need a D/A converter, aka an interface. These can range anywhere from just under $100 to almost $10,000! If your working by yourself, it’s probably a good idea to just get a two-channel interface that connects with USB or FireWire. Each interface is different, so read the user manual to make sure you install it properly. Focusrite, Presonus, Beringer, and M-Audio are all brands that produce affordable interfaces; just check reviews for the quality! Next you’ll probably require a microphone and/or a MIDI keyboard. Mics, again, can go anywhere from just under $100 to over $10,000. The Sure SM58 dynamic mic is always a safe bet for recording vocals, and the Sure SM57 is great for any guitars or drums. A quality but inexpensive
The last bit of necessary equipment is some headphones or monitors (speakers). The Sennheiser HD280 Pro seems to be in everyone’s studio - they’re about $100, and sound decent for the price. Sony, AKG, JBL, and a ton of other companies make great headphones so try them out. Avoid ones that boost the bass such as Beats - you want the audio coming through to sound un-tampered and flat so you can properly hear all elements of what you’re creating. Monitors are much more expensive, with very cheap ones going for around $200. Consider these puppies as lab equipment - they’re there to give you the best/truest representation of the sound you’re putting out. Stick with headphones first and save up for a good pair of monitors later. If all of this seems overwhelming, don’t underestimate the power of online tutorials! I myself have benefited from online forums and YouTube videos. At the least, keep experimenting, keep thinking, and keep your ears open!
“What is the best equipment and software for DIY recording?”
condenser mic I’d recommend is the Blue Spark, which is $200 and sounds great for the price! MIDI controllers are relatively cheap as well; a cheap 88-key controller is about $300, and most people definitely don’t require that many keys. Unless you’re busting out some serious classical piano, you can easily get away with a 61 or 49-key controller.
Photo s by M ichael
Kelby@ Cente rStage Music Cente r.com
from you! ments r a e h o t t com age. We wan ns and t
Backs uestio s your qet some time u d n e S can g and you