Every so often an artist will come into Chris Raines’ broadcasting studio in Parksville and something magical happens. Such was the case recently with singer Elizabeth Ryan.
“There are a whole series of people that I feel like I already know and they were predestined to do this...” said Raines. “Liz is one of them.”
Raines, a veteran musician and long-time sound/video engineer is currently collaborating with Ryan, an exceptional vocalist, to produce a distinctive, bluesy, ‘60-style CD called The Well~Ryan Raines.
The two will be hosting a soft launch of the album with a live performance at the McMillan Arts Centre Friday, Oct. 26, and Raines will also do an audio/video presentation giving people some insight into the recording process.
Ryan has been involved in music for about 15 years, releasing an album of standards in 2000 and writing and performing musicals around B.C. She came to Raines’ studio to record some standards but Raines convinced her to do a bit more. He has a massive collection of originals he has written over the years and Ryan chose some favourites. She thought she’d take some of the songs home and see what came of it.
“As soon as I took the pieces home—and I work from midnight till about 2 .a.m.—the lyrics just fell out,” she said. “I would take the music the day before and, I don’t know, the universal stream of creativity would happen, and the next morning we’d be recording.”
Ryan wrote most of the lyrics, with some small additions from Raines and his wife. Raines plays a host of instruments on the album including piano, bass and guitar and local musician Gerry Barnum joined in with some harmonica.
Ryan said the stories in the songs have probably come from somewhere deep in her psyche, and she surprised Raines and even her husband with some of her lyrics. Raines’ music is very inspirational, she said, and definitely helped in her creative process.
The album is named The Well because Ryan said every time she arrived at the studio she was presented with such fabulous music and support it felt like a deep well.
“We dipped the bucket into the well and came up with loads of beautiful things,” she added.
Raines is currently working with Harrison Consoles, world leaders in recorded sound for the music and film industry, to help design a digital audio workstation. This replicates the company’s older consoles which had incredible, rich sound, he said. And this is what he’ll be using to produce the album.
There will be 60 Limited Edition CD’s available at the show available for purchase and signing. The music will be available for download from Raines Broadcasting at a later date.
The live studio session at the MAC starts at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 26 and will have an interactive component allowing for audience participation. Tickets are $15 for the show, available from Cranky Dog Music in Parksville or at the door.
For more on Raines and his studio visit www.rainesbroadcasting.tv.