To say that fine arts in their most simple inconsequential forms are fading in this country is an understatement. Music, theater and art are becoming less and less accessible to children all across the country—a travesty which in itself could eliminate the creative mind in the United States for generations to come.
Fortunately, the people live in a community affluent enough to have access to a wide range of artistic expression. Last year, Geneva High School graduate and resident Dan Yotz opened his very own recording studio on State Street called Sound Sculptor. Yotz sat down with us and answered a few questions about his studio and where the arts fit into the suburban environment.
Patch: Thank you for meeting with me, Mr. Yotz.
Yotz: Oh yeah, sure! Anytime!
How long have you been in business?
Well, we officially moved into the place in April two years ago. The Studio started recording around December, where I had an open house for the Christmas Walk. Sound Sculptor really opened its doors in January of last year.
So how long have you lived in Geneva?
My family moved here in '82, I think, so ... about 30 years, give or take? I moved away for college at the University of Miami, and then I moved around, like from Indiana, Kentucky, and then I moved back here.
What kind of things does your studio primarily record usually?
Well, primarily we try to focus on the local bands here and around the area, but we do a lot of mixing music around the country, you know, like improving the sound of the tracks and making them sound clearer.
Cool. So does your studio offer any other services besides recording?
Oh yeah! We offer installations, like with video, audio, and commercial things. I also set up home theater systems and consult with people on the best products available in the marketplace for audio and film.
Music seems very important to you. How important were the arts in your youth?
I LOVED music, and I always tried to find a way to play everything. I myself was never really that big on fine arts or theater, but I had a lot of friends invested in art, so I got a lot of second-hand exposure. I did a few talent shows in my day, too.
Why open a studio here in Geneva?
For one thing it was the town I grew up in! (laughs) I mean, I could really open the studio anywhere, which was good—the technology works just as well in the suburbs as it does in the city. Not to mention that this town gives off a phenomenal vibe—everyone here is so supportive and nice, the citizens are great, and with the wide range of local bands, there seemed to be a need for a studio.
Do you have any long term goals for this studio in particular?
I really want to put out great music, make it a great and comfortable place for artists to express themselves, and make it affordable for artists to put out music. New artists really don't have a lot of avenues, so it's great to give them a place to expand upon their careers. I also hope to build new partnerships with corporations and work on getting new equipment.
How much do your sessions cost in the studio?
The base rate starts pretty cheap, at $40 an hour, and the fullday rate is about $240, which is negotiable depending on how much time you actually use in the studio.
Was audio always your life's passion?
I was always into electronics, computers, and stuff like that; I got into music around high school or middle school. Once I got into college was where I fell in love with audio--how could I not, you know? It had all of the stuff I was interested in converging in one subject!
What kind of technology can you find in the studio?
(Laughs) LOTS of computers—if I had to guess I would say there were about twenty computers, with even more processors, probably going up to about 200. I also have an analog tape machine-- almost every single of the '80s was recorded on a machine like that, so I'm pretty proud of it. My sound systems can range frome eight to forty or fifty thousand hertz. Better yet, I have a phase linear system, so people can work on these for hours and never hurt their ears with loud music.
Finally, what is your favorite thing about working in Geneva?
Definitely the people and accessibility. I drive to work every day, looking around and really seeing how great the city is. Everyone is so nice here, not to mention all I have to do to get a nice fancy lunch is walk a few steps outside of the studio. It's just a really nice community. What's great about Geneva is not only that it has that small-town vibe, but has accessibility to a wide range of things. Music doesn't have to be recorded all the way in the city anymore, you know? A lot of bands are great because they bring their own suburban backgrounds to their music, and they lose a lot of that when they move into urban atmospheres. That's another reason why I wanted to open a studio in the suburbs, so that bands can express themselves without losing their suburban roots, because if they lose those roots they lose a part of their inspiration.
Dan Yotz can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at his website at www.soundsculptor.net