Kean’s “Electric Lady Studio” for Classical Music
By: Adilene Rodriguez
“That used to be a church and behind that was a swimming pool,” said Mickey Kaufman, production manager for the theatre department, pointing at the seats in Enlow Hall.
Built in a brand-new space that once was a private school, not only does the five-year-old Enlow Hall host renowned musical acts, but it also doubles as a recording studio. The recording studio was built in what was once used as a warm-up room behind the seats of the recital hall.
Set with state-of-the-art equipment and video capacity, Kean’s recording studio is one of the few places in the New York metropolitan area with the capacity to hold a 50-piece orchestra. A feature that Lindsay Gambini, executive director of the theater department and current overseer of the recording studio, hopes will attract professional musicians to Kean.
“Over the last 10 years or so, a lot of recording studios for big ensembles in Manhattan have closed, being turned into condos or whatever,” said Gambini. “There’s only three spaces in Manhattan that can accommodate the space we have.”
One of the spaces Kean’s recording studio is up against is the Manhattan Center’s Studio 7 recording studio where a handful of film scores and Broadway cast albums have been recorded. The Studio 7 studio uses the stages of The Hammerstein Ballroom and The Grand, both concert venues, as their recording area. The second recording studio is in the Academy of Arts and Letters, which also uses its recital hall’s stage as the recording space and finally The DiMenna Center, the only one out of the three that strictly specializes in the recording of classical music.
With such scarce space for classical musicians to record in, Enlow Hall’s recording studio hopes to fill a void.
“We’re hoping that there’s a niche in the market for us,” said Gambini
While the recording studio doesn’t have a permanent engineer, a handful of artists have already recorded in the studio, including classical pianist Julian Gargiulo, classical singer Toni Dolce and trumpeter Joe Burgstaller. Some faculty recitals and student ensembles have been recorded here as well.
Although Gambini says anyone can book the space, the studio was designed for chamber music and doesn’t recommend the space for non-classical musicians.
“Trying to record loud, electric and amplified stuff in there probably would not be the best idea,” said Gambini.