Fay Garrison on Working with Adam Moseley, Fender, and Why She’s No Music Snob
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Recipient of the Fender Musical Instruments Corp/Recording Connection Experience, Fay Garrison (Los Angeles, CA) is making the most of the opportunity to create an original song with fellow recipient Uriel Soto and producer/engineer legend Adam Moseley (Beck, Nikka Costa/Lenny Kravitz, Wolfmother, Spike Jonze, U2).
A classically trained musician and multi-instrumentalist, Fay changed her musical trajectory when she heard European-based alternative electronic project, VNV Nation. Today, she’s focused on producing expansive scores and pushing the boundaries in electronic music while she builds her career as a composer for film and televion.
ON THE WISDOM ADAM IS ABLE TO IMPART:
“It’s so extremely exciting to work with Adam because he’s lived through all these decades and has heard all of these genres develop through hardware, instruments, and now with things being digitized, he can hear the differences, which is super exciting. [People are] calling him to consult him on [plugins], ‘Oh, well, you worked with this piece of hardware and we’re trying to develop that for this software. So what would you like to do more of with this piece of hardware’ or ‘What is it that we need to do to make it sound and be like what you used?’
ON HOW THEY’RE COLLABORATING ON THE TRACK:
“Adam is so great, because he’s like, ‘I want you guys to create. I’m going to let you create, then, I’m going to help you make that shine.’ So, really, we’re designing and Adam is enhancing that…
Uriel developed some rhythmic foundation, and I came in and I added some different elements, different harmonies, different melodies. And then, Adam really is able to further help us understand how to emphasize those things in the mix, based on the hardware and the software that he has used and all of his mixing experience…
I just got a guitar from Fender that’s a Duo-Sonic HS. Because I’m a very small person, so they helped me pick a guitar that fits my body. So, I added in some electric guitar with delay…Then, just the other day Uriel added in some electric Fender bass, and also more electric guitar.
So, we’re doing it in layers, figuring out what is most important to emphasize and what is most important to have kind of swirling. It’s nice with electronic music because you can make something feel really alive. It’s very uplifting, and that’s why I love making electronic music. It’s creating things that have a lot of depth…
Now that we’ve created something together, we’re hearing all of us in this piece of music…and here we are in 2018, here’s all of these different sounds and there’s definitely our bass and electric guitars in there…
We all recognize that the stereo field is not flat. It’s got all these dimensions. So that’s what we’re really doing, we’re really expanding all these sounds [which] are breathing in and out and it’s danceable, you know. It’s fun and very catchy.”
ON HER CONSERVATORY EXPERIENCE AND WHY SHE’S ‘NO MUSIC SNOB’:
“So Age of Empires is this computer game where you have different things on the map. But it starts out, you look at the screen, it’s totally black. You have the person in the corner and they’re just standing there. And there’s a little piece of land. Like, wherever you’re standing on, there’s a little piece of land and that’s visible.
And when you walk, more land appears under your feet. And all of a sudden, you get these weird, you know, pictures because…and you have to just keep walking and fill in all the black. And the more you walk around, the more is uncovered. Right? And so, I think that, for me, that’s how I describe, like, my musical experience. It’s like, ‘Oh yeah, I was in the classical corner, then I decided to walk over here, and oh, my gosh, wow, look at this!’ It’s all part of the same world, right?
People try to separate it sometimes and I’m like, ‘No, you guys, this is not separate.’ Adam says that, too. He says, ‘The reason why symphonies are still arranged the same way today that they were 200, 300 years ago, is because it works.’ He’s like, ‘They understood how to arrange the sonic field with instruments and it makes sense. Those were the first producers.’ They were producing music and arranging it in the sonic field based on what they had…
People that are training classically, who are constantly focusing on this area of study, that’s beautiful and wonderful…but, it’s 2018. And if you’re going to close your eyes or not turn around and see what’s happening currently, then you’re missing out. I feel like that’s really limited and I’m not a limited person. I really like unlimited thinking. I really like expansive thinking. Like, I would love someday to just go back to some of the schools that I went to as a guest speaker, just talk to students about how everything works together.”
ON WHY SHE’S GLAD SHE TRAINED WITH RECORDING CONNECTION:
“I spent years teaching myself electronic music concepts and I have lots of notebooks of information that I’ve gathered online and all these tutorial videos I’ve watched. What was so exciting about discovering Recording Connection is that I found what I was wanting which is someone to help me in my process, one-on-one…Having that one-on-one interaction is so unique to Recording Connection.”
Engineer/Producer Adam Moseley on Recording in Men’s Toilets and Growing Your Ears
More on Fay, Uriel, and Adam Moseley at Fender!
How We Did It: Recording Connection grads Tell How They Got Hired in Audio