The House of Requirement

The Room of Requirement

IN MOST HOUSES, there is a spare bedroom. In our house, it’s called The Room of Requirement. Harry Potter fans will appreciate the reference. Our spare room has served as the sewing room(Cyndi), bedroom(Adam’s old room), Grandma/Grandpa’s room(both sides of the family), Photography Studio and Printing Room(Aria), Silkscreening Room(Aaron), Free Motel for Starving Musicians on Tour(Aaron’s friends from out of town), and even a Woodshop(Aaron and me). Tonight, it’s serving as  the Recording Studio.

Aaron is putting some refinements on a demo to be sent out into the world in the hopes of landing more gigs for one or more of his bands(Marco Aziel, Daddy and The Long Legs (soon to be Kiss Your Friends?), Petty Theft, or Ness Lake), although I think he told us earlier tonight that it was for DATLL.

So Cyndi and I are sitting in the house, listening to a recording session. And because Aaron is mic’ing the amp, and is playing near one of the heating/cooling registers in the room, we can easily hear him in any other room in the house. It’s like having a wireless sound system, but with even even fewer wires. Except, of course, in the Recording Studio itself. He’s going through three pedals, a DI box and still mic’ing the amp, into Travis’ Mac via USB interface, because I just had to check out his rig. But I digress.

For me, I’m listening to, and appreciating, the various takes. Aaron has tried to teach me over the years why he likes certain recordings, or certain sounds in the recording, or various other aspects that describe the aesthetic of a well produced record, sort of like trying to explain a master artists’ brush strokes to a novice painter. In one way, it’s the audio equivalent of watching your kid build something with Legos, foraging around in the box looking for that one piece. But this is more subtle. To stretch the analogy, it’s perhaps like looking for a Lego piece from many seemingly identical ones that happens to snaps into place with exactly the right sort of  satisfying click.

Only he can hear the rest of the mix in his headphones; we can only hear what he’s doing on guitar. I started to imagine the rest of the mix(not recognizing this particular composition), but then I realized it was enough just to listen to this guitar part. It’s kind of meditating.

If that Room of Requirement has become a Recording Studio, the rest of the building has become the House of Requirement. And tonight, we must have required, and therefore received, an intimate(Aaron would say very chill) live performance from the best musician in the House.