Music, as someone once sang, makes the people come together. The process of creating it, on the other hand, can sometimes be a solitary business, made up of long hours spent at a recording console or staring at a computer screen.
When you think about it, music production might be the perfect self-isolating job for our pandemic times. On the other hand, it helps to be able to connect with peers and mentors, especially when you don’t fit the mould of the typical studio wizard.
Jane Aurora gets it. The Vancouver-based engineer and producer is also the host and program curator of Producers Lounge. In a telephone interview with the Georgia Straight, she explains: “Producers Lounge is an event that used to take place in studios all over town before COVID. And now we’ve adapted programming to have this massive, festival-like day celebrating some of the best women and nonbinary producers that the world has to offer.”
Indeed, Producers Lounge Connect 2020 is an interactive live-streamed event taking place on Saturday (November 21) from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Headlining guests include Ebonie Smith, whose credits include albums by Janelle Monáe, Cardi B, and Sturgill Simpson; and Sylvia Massy. If ever there was a producer who could be described as a rock star in her own right, it’s Massy. She’s worked with more iconic artists than we have space here to name, but the list includes Tool, Johnny Cash, Red Hot Chili Peppers, System of a Down, Aerosmith, and Tom Petty.
“We were lucky enough to have her as our guest at the first Producers Lounge,” Aurora says. “Howard Redekopp interviewed her at the Warehouse. She’s coming back now, and she’s going to be broadcasting from home, which is cool, because she has amazing gear there, and she’s just finished writing a vintage-microphone book about this collection of microphones she’s been putting together for some time now, so it’s pretty excellent to have her back.”
The online event will also serve as a showcase for B.C.-based producers and music-industry creatives. These include Kinnie Starr, Dawn Pemberton, Mary Ancheta, Natasha Duprey, Swann Barrat, and Aurora herself.
As in the past, Producers Lounge Connect 2020 will focus on elevating women and nonbinary-identifying producers and engineers. What’s different this time around is that the event is open to everyone regardless of gender identity.
“It’s been a really unexpectedly awesome community that’s grown out of this in the last two years,” Aurora says. “We’re really excited to open it up for everyone from the audio community, to attend. It’s been for women and nonbinary folks when it’s been in the studio, but now that we’re doing it as a broadcast, it’s open to everyone, and there’s lots of guys in town who really want to see Sylvia Massy and spend workshop time.”
Producers Lounge Connect 2020 is a free event, but registration is required.