Monday, October 20, 2008

the Tree People Centrum Creative Residency

The Tree People, Stephen, Jeff, and Rich, did a Creative Residency at Centrum, an arts
organization at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington in for a week in September of 2008. These Centrum Creative Artist Residencies, which attract artists from all over the world, are perfect for artists to create in a quiet, inspirational setting. Nothing is required or expected from the artists at these residencies, so artists have the opportunity to concentrate on nothing else but their art.

Fort Worden, featured in the movie An Officer and a Gentleman, was created to protect the west coast from attack in the early 20th century (you can now walk on and inside the numerous gun turrets on the grounds and imagine the soldiers on watch), but now is home to a state park, art and educational organizations (such as Centrum), and several college outposts. Musicians now enter the gun turrets to experience the deep and resounding echoes with musical instruments instead of weapons.

We stayed in a wonderful 3 bedroom house on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula and did nothing but play music all week. You can see Rich with his double bass and his stool (which he brings wherever he goes), Jeff with his artist badge that his young daughter made for him especially for the residency, Stephen and Jeff clowning around with a instrument made from a found object that Stephen painted at a previous Centrum residency that he did in 2002 (the other Tree People liked the look of the instrument, but saw no real use for it except as a possible fictional weapon), some photos of the house, the grounds and view from the house, photos of Stephen, Rich and Jeff, and a photo of Jeff's instruments in the house.

After 4 days of rehearsing, refining, and arranging new pieces, we went into Synergy Studio,
a studio on the Centrum grounds, with engineer Neville Pearsall, for two days and recorded a good part (8 pieces) of the music that will be on our our third and new Tree People album.
(We will record a few more pieces of music and mix the final results with engineer Dean Baskerville at Dead Aunt Thelma's Studio in Portland later this year, and then send the completed product to Guerssen Records of Spain, who will release it later in 2009).
On the last night of our residency we went into Port Townsend and did an evening performance for a nice listening audience at the Upstage, a really nice venue.
We would like to thank Lisa and the rest of the staff at Centrum for helping to make this fantastic residency possible, we would like to thank Neville at Synergy Sound for providing a warm, welcoming, and professional atmosphere at the studio, and we would like to thank Mark and his staff at the Upstage for the excellent sound and the warm, welcoming, and professional atmosphere there as well.

This residency will always be remembered by our Tree People trio!