When students from the Recording and Production Techniques Class at NYU Abu Dhabi (also known as Gazelien Records) found themselves without access to the campus’s recording studio due to the pandemic, they got creative with the way they produced their final class project using their residence and everyday household items. The song From a Balcony is the product of an innovative global recording collaboration from students in the United States, Korea, China, Poland, and Abu Dhabi.
With only a bass, an acoustic and an electronic guitar in their accommodation, students looked to their daily lives for new sound ideas. Jakub Podmokly, Class of 2022, sent through a recording one day attempting to use parts of his door in Poland as a drum kit. Samples of the recordings were eventually added into the song. Students also recreated other sound effects for the percussion such as using sesame seeds and salt, hand sanitizer sprays, and breathing through a mask.
Aaron Marcus-Willers, Class of 2022, who helped compose a guitar section among others said, “Professor Marciano gave us a great amount of freedom in the creative process, as long as we applied techniques that we had studied in class during the recording and editing process.”
The lyrics were inspired by the class’s collective desire to express their feelings and experiences during this quarantine period, while the title came from viral videos of Italians singing together from their balconies during quarantine. “This image not only portrays how important it is for us to stand together during these trying times, but also demonstrates the power that music can have in all situations,” said songwriter Bea Laszlo, Class of 2022.
Assistant Program Head and Assistant Professor of Practice of Music Technology Matteo Marciano could not be more proud.
Students’ creativity blew my mind and proved that even through social distancing and lockdown of our facilities, they could create music readapting the usage of technology.