Local Spins traveled to Kalamazoo’s La Luna studio to showcase new projects from Seth Bernard, G’itis Baggs and Liz Townsend. Plus, the radio show debuts tracks by several other Michigan artists.
SCROLL DOWN FOR RADIO SHOW PODCAST, VIDEO
Support our coverage of
West Michigan's music scene
Ian Gorman’s love of recording and audio gizmology began at a young age when he was playing bass and/or guitar with various middle and high school bands.
“I was always the guy with the tech stuff and loving the production and that side,” he conceded.
Eventually, his fledgling experimentation with a four-track cassette recorder led to training through Western Michigan University’s audio engineering program, work at a Chicago studio and starting his own Big Green Lamp home and garage studio.
Renamed La Luna Recording & Sound and relocated in 2018 to a beautifully renovated, 1,800-square-foot space in Kalamazoo’s Jericho Town, Gorman’s home base has become one of the region’s go-to studios.
He’s spun the dials and produced projects by the likes of Michigan favorites May Erlewine, The Crane Wives, Gregory Stovetop, Stephen Lynch, The Corn Fed Girls and many more over the years – all of it with one goal in mind.
“The musicians and the songs are still the heart of everything. That’s why we all do it,” Gorman said. “To me, helping a musician realize their creative vision and really getting something that they’re super pleased with and proud of is still what it’s all about.”
As for the “icing on the cake”? That comes from developing a long-term relationship with an artist that allows Gorman to become part of the collaborative team in creating and enhancing a recording project.
One of those long-term alliances involves northern Michigan singer, guitarist, songwriter and Earthwork Music founder Seth Bernard, who’s been involved in 10 different projects at La Luna. He just completed his 13th studio album, “Unrest and Rest,” with Gorman – a star-studded affair that officially gets released over Labor Day weekend.
For this week’s on-the-Michigan-road edition of Local Spins on WYCE, Gorman debuted tracks from Bernard and two other artists with recent La Luna projects: G’itis Baggs (Grant Littler), a Kalamazoo songwriter who’s battling brain cancer and whose album has rallied participation by an all-star cast of Michigan musicians, and jazz singer/artist Liz Townsend, a vocal instructor at Kalamazoo College and Western Michigan University.
Scroll down to listen to all three tracks in the podcast for the Aug. 18 episode of Local Spins on WYCE.
“The Michigan music scene is really what moves me and inspires me,” said Gorman, a bassist, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist who’s also performed and recorded as part of the Kalamazoo ensemble The Red Sea Pedestrians, who currently are on hiatus.
While Gorman also has spent time working on his own experimental recordings, he’s concentrated most of his attention on engineering and producing other musicians’ work in recent years.
“There are so many people who I’ve loved working with here,” he said, adding that he particularly revels in aiding those “young musicians taking chances and doing bold things.”
In addition to spotlighting new music from Bernard, Baggs and Townsend, this week’s Local Spins on WYCE – which focuses on Michigan artists at 11 a.m. Friday on WYCE (88.1 FM) and online at wyce.org – featured tracks by Erlewine & Theo Katzman, Nathan Walker, Free Hat, Lowke, Jack Droppers & The Best Intentions, Low Phase, Roosevelt Diggs and Grupo Aye. Listen to the show here.
PODCAST: Local Spins on WYCE (8/18/23)
VIDEO: A Tour of La Luna Recording & Sound
Copyright 2023, Spins on Music LLC