For as long as I can remember i have always poured over the liner notes and credits in albums that I got… checking out the names of studios and mastering gurus. Looking back, it was a really weird thing to do – I had no idea who any of these people were really. I never really knew what a producer was or what an engineer did – much less did I even think that was a remote career possibility for a kid like me.
And here I am now – I’ve been making albums for the past 15 years. What a crazy ride.
Having a a place where artists can come and stay at, while working on a project was a long time dream. Pinch me. Protection Island is the name of my new rural recording studio approximately 1 hour from downtown Vancouver, BC. (Buena Vista Audio was my previous space in Langley).
The new space was an old 3 car garage that we spent about 6 months converting into a 3 room studio. A few larger iso booths and a large combination control/live room. There’s lot of instruments and recording gear to create with. Natural light. There’s a lounge and a cottage to crash in. There’s some great lakes, rivers and trails all close by to explore.
We are coming up on our 1 and a half year anniversary in this new place and it’s been a great start. In the first year we’ve had Twin Bandit here to make their debut album for Nettwerk Records, Jordan Klassen recorded a smashing new single and some misc tracks for his recently released album (which I also mixed), wrapped up work on Zaac Pick’s excellend album “Constellations”, North Atlantic Explorers finished their recent (2!) lps, there was mixing for UK based band Reichenbach Falls, Saskatoon-based band Dream Country, Edmonton singer-songwriter Simon Hoskyn, Yes We Mystic (Winnipeg indie rock), another great album of laid back folk-pop for Joel Willoughby, new albums and eps for a few new local artists and many more.
info: Jonathan has worked on numerous recording projects, ranging from solo artists like Aidan Knight, Sheree Plett and Jack Harlan (Nettwerk), to popular Vancouver bands In Medias Res and Stabilo (EMI), to children’s choirs, string quartets and indie rock bands. He has also spent time at many different studios in the greater Vancouver area – the pacific northwest and as far away as Black Box recorders in rural france (working with David Odlum – the Frames, Gemma Hayes). any space can potentially become a recording studio now as Jonathan’s set up is portable (based around the RADAR24). so the options are really limitless (like a cabin on the gulf island where Jonathan recorded the recent album “road to my family” by Sheree Plett).
Coming at recording as an artist and musician first has given Jonathan a unique understanding of the process and makes him an adept and creative collaborator. he is an advocate for making recordings out of “real-time” collaborations and he values inspired performances over sterile perfection. working without the desire to use the computer as merely a compensating tool (ie: “that sucked, come on in”) allows for greater emphasis on capturing a truly magical performance of a great song. that is what great albums are all about.
that said, jonathan is in no way anti-technology and he loves all the creative possibilities for altering/manipulating/reconstructing sound. chasing unusual and unorthodox textures and sounds is a cornerstone of his work, so this isn’t about a puritan methodology- it’s about capturing and conveying emotion. it’s about using sound as way to communicate.
Jonathan Anderson has been producing albums for nearly 15 years dating back to many hours spent as a youth with only a borrowed four-track and an imagination. Music began for Jonathan as a young child in piano lessons, and on through school choirs, high school jazz band (first on trombone, then guitar) and his first official band, paisley suitcase, with whom he spent 5 years and had his first forays into recording. The band recorded in a number of different studios and did a lot of the recording live to save money. This was important as it laid the ground work for his philosophy of capturing the magic of a truly inspired performance as opposed to today’s popular cut-and-paste mentality. Since those early days, Jonathan has released several albums and EPs of his own songs (Jonathan Inc.) and has had his songs placed in various tv shows such as SCRUBS, DEGRASSI and FALCON BEACH.
Aside from his own music he has contributed his notable multi-instrumentalist abilities to recordings by Radiogram, Great Aunt Ida, Kevin House, John Bottomley, Lily Frost, Jack Harlan, Carolyn Arends and numerous other solo artists and bands. He has sat in on live performances by the Great Lake Swimmers, the Microphones/Mount Eerie, International Falls, Joel r.l. Phelps and the Secret Three, and Kevin Kane (Grapes of Wrath) among numerous others. Having had a significant amount of experience, Jonathan is diverse as an accompaniest and producer and where is it wanted, he is also adept at arranging.
a few favorite albums:
talk talk/SPIRIT OF EDEN
gillian welch/TIME(THE REVELATOR)
laming lips/THE SOFT BULLETIN
idaho/ALAS/HEARTS OF PALM/LEVITATE
aa bondy/AMERICAN HEARTS
sun kil moon /GHOSTS OF THE GREAT HIGHWAY
sparklehorse/IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE
built to spill/PERFECT FROM NOW ON
tom waits/MULE VARIATIONS
what have the press said about jonathan’s production?
“The maturity and quiet complexity of Waiting for Morning is particularly impressive considering Jon is still in his early twenties” -splendid e-zine
“The focus is definately on the songs, but Anderson’s production passes the headphones test with Ebow drones, Casio keyboard beats, and, of course, the frontman’s luminous guitar work” -georgia straight*
“The album has a satisfying texture, utilizing rich soundscapes and tasteful production” -MOTE magazine
“As one of the West Coast’s most respected young songwriters and musicians, Jonathan Anderson continues to make great strides in the studio…The opener “Turning The Tides”, is only one example of how he uses space and his bandmates to the song’s ultimate advantage.” -EXCLAIM
“Everything about this, from the well-designed packaging to frontman Jonathan Anderson’s masterful production and arranging, speaks to an unswerving dedication to quality.” -georgia straight