Sound is a Place: The American Recording Studio in the Digital Age

Spring 2018

Spring 2018

Throughout the history of recorded music, America has been, and continues to be, home to a vividly diverse array of sought-after music studios. These are mysteriously sacred spaces—old houses, revamped storefronts, tiny ramshackle rooms—many built amid urban decay or scattered upon the lost red roads of the American South.

Exploring the art, architecture and surrounding environments of America’s groundbreaking contemporary studios, Sound Is A Place is a photo-driven book featuring in-depth essays and insightful interviews with engineers, musicians and producers.

Sound is a Place will document a select group of contemporary studio spaces, revolutionary new rooms where some of the best in modern music was recorded (Jack White's Third Man, Ryan Adam's PAX-AM), while including an introductory overview of some of America’s legendary, still functioning old studios—such as Electric Ladyland, Sunset Studios and Capitol Records.

What occurs in these places is that the merely aural gets made tangible. The outside—the muggy Tennessee backwoods night or the bustle and grind of a Detroit day—leaks inside, seeping through glass and brick, and the world around the music makes its way into the blood and the guts of the songs recorded there.

These are rooms whose capacity for recording sound allow for rich and evocative moods, spaces which eloquently insert a narrative of place and time; in between rock ’n’ roll riffs, country vocal twang, or 3-bar-blues lament.

Detailing not only the environment, gear and aesthetic of these spaces, but also the artists who work in them, Sound is A Place will provide a compelling photographic narrative of iconic music studios of the past, and a visually thrilling overview of some of the finest in the new breed of contemporary recording spaces pushing boundaries today.

Written and Edited by Jessica Hundley
Photography by David Black