By Carolyn Bostick
Posted Jan. 18, 2016
It’s not your average record label.
Newlywed Records hopes to enlarge the Utica music scene and also push musicians to expand their boundaries by creating collaborative opportunities with visual artists.
The new record label could mean big things for Utica’s music scene. The company – aptly named to represent new beginnings – is debuting Jan. 23 at the 4 Elements Studio at the Westminster Moriah Olivet Presbyterian Church, at 714 Washington St. in Utica.
Zeno Pittarelli began the company after he kept vacillating between moving to New York City or staying in Utica. There were benefits to both locations and he struggled to reach a decision, until he hit upon the idea of staying in the area and creating a record label that would cater to artists who were both local and from outside the area.
“I think it’s a really cool opportunity to set up a base here and have people come here from New York City and out of state,” Pittarelli said. “We’re here, we’re doing stuff.”
With a team comprised of Shannon Stockbridge (graphic designer), Pittarelli (owner/founder) and Rebecca Turner (photographer), the group is ready to pave the way for artists with new ideas about making music and presenting it to the public in unusual ways.
The operation will use the physical studios at Big Blue North on Genesee Street to record, but Pittarelli said he strongly prefers using Café Domenico as a site to discuss projects with clients.
“I’ve been playing in bands for four to five years now and I’ve met a lot of artists and bands,” he said. “It’s a really good excuse for making art with friends.”
The collaborative element is part of what makes this new company unique. They envision pairing the release of a new EP with something like a new perfume release, a puzzle or an origami kit.
“We’re going to push our artists to work with visual artists. The biggest advantage we might have is we’re going to do things differently,” Pittarelli said.
Local musician Anthony Bianco will be performing at the label kick-off with his solo project Anthony and the Mountain, and will eventually be recording with Newlywed, once things get underway.
“It’s going to be great, I think. You have a wider audience. It’s definitely a mix of people from downstate and here,” Bianco said.
Bianco usually moves between sets featuring his powerful vocals and a piano and pieces incorporating electronic music into his vocal styling, but his performance at the Newlywed kickoff will only feature his pieces using electronics for accompaniment.
“There is a potential for a lot of music to be heard on a larger scale. Having a place to do that is exciting,” he said. “I’m really excited; I hope it’s going to be a success. I think it will be.”
If you go
What: Newlywed Records label launch party
When: 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 23
Where: The Westminster Building across from Hanna Park in Utica
Details: Admission is $5. Artists include Exitpost (NYC), Anthony and the Mountain (Utica), Bay Kee (NYC), Comfy (Utica), Negative Death (NYC), Sleep Storm (Utica), Ginjavitis (Utica). Sponsored by Big Blue North Recording Studio and Cafe Domenico.
Utica Observer-Dispatch / Music Scene
By MARK SISTI
June 04. 2015 5:59PM
Big Blue North recording studio offers professional sound close to home
So, you’ve got your band sounding good and sounding tight. You’ve worked up a few original tunes that don’t sound like Nirvana retreads. Maybe you’ve even demoed some of your material on your Tascam Portastudio. You’re ready to take that next step and make a professional recording. But where to take that step? That’s the question. New York? Nashville? Genesee Street?
That’s right, local musicians looking to chase their dream of recording stardom can start that chase right in their own back yard. That is, if they live behind 2317 Genesee St. right here in the city of Utica. That’s where you’ll find Big Blue North Studios, owned and operated by husband and wife Jeff Aderman and Pamela Jardieu-Aderman, in a building that started its life in 1926 as the Church of the Nazarene. In 2001, renovations began; 21/2 years later, it reopened as Big Blue North Recording Studio.
Once you get over your reluctance to talk in church, you’re struck by the acoustics of the studio’s live room. With its 1,700 square feet and 35-foot wood ceilings, you can imagine an angelic church choir singing. Or, for that matter, a huge John Bonham-type drum sound.
If the live room is the heart of the studio, the control room is its brain, and that’s where you’ll find one of Big Blue North’s main attractions: a highly-coveted 32-channel Neve analog console designed by audio engineering legend Rupert Neve, the subject of Dave Grohl’s 2013 documentary, “Sound City.”
“There’s not another Neve any closer than Woodstock,” said Aderman. “There’s nothing like this locally at all.”
OK, you’ve decided to take that step (and a 33.3 percent discount for musicians in the 315 area makes that choice an easier one.) What now? What’s the single most important thing to consider before going into a studio for the first time?
“Pre-production,” says Jardieu-Aderman without hesitation. “Don’t wait to get into the studio to find out, for example, what the tempo should be. And don’t let this be the first time you’ve ever heard yourself recorded. You need to be demoing yourself all the time.”
These days the biggest competition for a studio comes from the proliferation of home recording options. While not matching the quality of a pro studio, project studio recordings can churn out good-sounding recordings; Pam and Jeff realize that, for some, that’s enough. And they’re OK with that.
“I encourage people to talk to us and give it a try even if it’s just a song,” says Aderman. “If they don’t feel that there’s a big enough difference then, great. But most people that come here come back.”
Mark Sisti is an experienced performer and promoter who writes about local music for the Observer-Dispatch. Email him at email@example.com