"Music is the only language in the universe that we can all speak and understand" says Basia Galaj our Brand Ambassador, sharing her thoughts in a short interview.
Zylia: Tell us why music is so important for you? When and how it all began?
Basia: Music is the only language in the universe that we can all speak and understand. Even when you don’t necessarily play an instrument or sing, you can feel it. Music makes people emotional, helps go through happy and sad times and that is why I feel like it is the most powerful weapon we have. It is very important to me because it brings hope that humans can unite and create no matter the differences.
When I was about a year old, my grandma started singing to me and playing me different recordings and albums. I would repeat those melodies after her. When she passed away, my mom and grandpa took over. Grandfather played me jazz in the car - lots of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong; I still remember the cassettes he used! :-) My mom showed me Michael Jackson, Basia Trzetrzelewska, Kayah and classical music such as Bach and Chopin.
That lead to piano lessons at age of 5 and continues until day on :-)
Zylia: How and when did you firs hear about ZYLIA?
Basia: I heard about ZYLIA from my mentor and friend – Mikolaj Stroinski. It was during the summer of 2017. He called me and said: Basia, you need to meet these incredible guys, They created a mic... and he just kept going and going :-)
Zylia: How do you see the potential of microphone array technology in changing the way musicians record themselves?
Basia: I think and I really hope it will become a necessity for every musician or music passionate that would like to easily record themselves in a great quality. It has so much potential in many areas! It can only grow in the VR world and that is becoming a next step in the music industry. It makes life of bands much easier since it is using only one cable, not 19 for every mic capsule inside the mic.
Zylia: What are your plans for future? Any interesting projects on your mind?
Basia: I am the leader / organizer of the very first TED talk at Berklee that will be happening next semester – Fall 2018. I am hoping to grow my blog and YouTube channel; I have lots of new content coming up very soon! Over the summer I am going to be doing interviews with Polish World War II veterans, asking them about their experiences and memories and I am going to write music to their confessions and stories. Hopefully, I will be able to use ZYLIA mic to record the interviews :-)
Some extra thing that I do is a project I called – Throwback Thursday! Every Thursday I do a video featuring my friends, we play a song from our childhood or just something we have memories of. I put those videos on my YouTube channel and Facebook fan page :-)
Zylia: We definitely need to see them:-) Thank you for your time and good luck with new projects!
Born in Bydgoszcz, Poland, Basia entered the world of music at a very young age. In 2014, she got accepted into the University of North Texas, where she pursued a degree in Jazz Studies. She has had the privilege to share the stage with artists such as ten-time Grammy Award winner Bobby McFerrin.
Currently Basia lives in Boston, MA and attends the prestigious Berklee College of Music where she is pursuing a degree in Contemporary Writing and Production with a minor in Creative Entrepreneurship. On June 19th 2017, Basia released her debut EP called "Day By Day".
She is currently performing around East Coast with her band, playing her original music.
Zylia: Tell us what is the story behind your project?
Yao: Last spring, I was 9 months away from graduating from Berklee College of Music, and the panic of post-graduation uncertainty was becoming unbearable. I was struggling to plan my career and I wanted to do something different. I spent a whole summer researching the ins and outs of spatial audio and decided to do my Senior Portfolio Project around my research. What I have found is that spatial audio is often found in VR games and films - recreating a 3D environment. It is rarely used as a tool for music composition and production. I saw my opportunity.
With the help and hard work of my team (around 60 students involved), we succeeded in creating ‘Unraveled’, an immersive 360 audio and visual experience, where the audience would find themselves at the center of all elements, being surrounded by choir, strings, synths and imagery. My role was the project leader, composer, and executive producer. I found a most talented team of friends to work on this together: Gareth Wong and Deniz Turan as co-producers, Carlos Del Castillo as visual designer, Ben Knorr as music contractor, Paden Osburn as music contractor and conductor, Jeffrey Millonig as lead engineer and Sherry Li as lead vocalist and lyricist. Not to mention the wonderful musicians and choir members. I am truly grateful for their hard work, dedication and focus.
‘Unraveled’ also officially kickstarts my company ICTUS, a company that provides music and sound design content specializing in spatial audio solutions. For immersive experiences such as VR, AR and MR, we are your one-stop audio shop for a soundscape that completes the reality. We provide music composition, sound design, 360 recording, mixing, mastering, post-production, spatialization and visualizing services tailored to your unique project.
We are incredibly humbled that 'Unraveled' has been officially selected for the upcoming 44th Seattle International Film Festival, which runs May 17 to June 10, and to have been accepted for the Art and Technology Exhibition at the Boston Cyberarts Gallery, from Saturday May 26 to Sunday July 1.
"Get a pair of headphones. Cave in somewhere quiet. Alone. Empty your thoughts and… Allow yourself to dive into something new. A pristine place that will truly disconnect you from the daily frenzy of life."
‘Unraveled’ has been officially selected for the upcoming 44th Seattle International Film Festival, which runs May 17 - June 10, with more than 400 films from 80 countries, running 25 days, and with over 155,000 attendees!
Zylia: Recording so many people at once must have been challenging. How did you organize this?
Yao: I worked very closely with Paden Osburn, the conductor and music contractor, to schedule, revise, coordinate and plan the session. Paden is a dear to work with, basically allowing me to focus on the music while she coordinated with the rest of the amazing choir members. We had developed a great workflow.
I also had many meetings with the team of engineers as well as many professors to figure out the simplest, most efficient way to record. It was indeed very challenging and stressful to pull off, but it was also one the most magical night of my life.
Behind the scene, photo by @jamiexu0528.
Zylia: Tell us more about the technical part of this project.
Yao: On October 27, 2017, we had a recording session of the choir parts with 40 students from Berklee College of Music. The recording was done using three ambisonic microphones (Zylia, Ambeo, TetraMic). We tried forging a 320 piece choir by asking the 40 students to shift their positions around the microphones for every overdub. We also recorded 12 close mic-ed singers to have some freedom spatializing individual mono sources.
The spatialization was achieved through Facebook360 Spatial Workstation in REAPER. Many sound design elements were created in Ableton and REAPER. The visuals were done in Unity. We basically created a VR game and recorded a 360 video of the performance. Carlos Del Castillo did an outstanding job creating an abstract world that had many moments syncing with the musical cues.
Zylia: What are your plans for future? Any interesting projects on your mind?
Yao: My long-term goal would be to establish my company ICTUS as one of the leading experts in the field of spatial audio. We are currently working on an interactive VR music experience called ‘Flow’ with an ethnic ensemble, GAIA, and the visuals are influenced by Chinese water paintings. The organic nature of this project will be a nice contrast to ‘Unraveled’s futuristic space vibe.
Another segment of the company is focused on creating high quality, cinematic spatial audio for VR films and games. We are producing a 3D audio series featuring short horror/thriller stories with music, descriptive narration, dialogues, SFX and soundscapes. Empathy is truly at the heart of this project, some of our stories will have a humanitarian purpose and we will be associated with many organizations that are fighting to end domestic abuse, human trafficking, rape, abuse and other violent crimes. We hope to bring more awareness and traffic to these causes with our art. Spatial audio is incredibly powerful, it really allows you to be in the shoe of the victims and without the visuals, I swear your imagination will go crazy!
In this short interview our Brand Ambassador Gene Torres describes his experiences with ZYLIA microphone and provides insights on recording his gigs and live performances.
Zylia: Gene, this is our second interview. Last time we talk you were testing a prototype of ZYLIA mic (the first interview). Now you are the owner of your own ZYLIA ZM-1 mic. Do you like it?
Gene: Hello, nice to chat with you again!
ZM-1, as far as I’m concerned, is a game changer in terms of recording rehearsals & gigs. I do like it, the possibilities are endless.
Zylia: How do you use ZYLIA recording studio?
Gene: I mainly use it for gigs & rehearsals. Jorge Sylvester a sax player and composer wants me to record a solo bunch of tunes that he wants to release!
>>Jorge Sylvester web page
Matter of fact, he just did a performance based on Eric Dolphy’s music. If you scroll down the above link, you can hear some of the show.
Performance of Gene Torres, Jorge Sylvester and Nora McCarthy doing The Re-Imagining Eric Dolphy show.
Zylia: What is so interesting for you in this system? Does it change the way you record your music?
Gene: Yes, it has changed the way I record not just my music but all the gigs that I do!!
I think that very noticeable is the fact that recording set-up time was cut by at least 50 minutes, definitely less set-up time is required. Within 10 minutes I’m up and running. When I had my two 8-channel computer interfaces there was at least 16 input cables that had to be plugged in. Not any more!
Recorded live performance. Rhonda Denet and the Silver Fox Trio. Mixed Company.
Zylia: You play with many NY musicians, what is their opinion?
Gene: Once, just out of curiosity, I counted the number of groups I was going to work with, either 6 months back or 6 months forward to a specific date... I counted up to 30 groups/bands!
Their opinion is they freak out cause the ZM-1 has the either Red or Blue led ring around it that glows, so they asked what the heck is that! :-) Once I explain what the ZM-1 is and what it does, they usually ask a million questions!!
Gene Torres, Andy Friedberg and Mike Campenni
Zylia: We are very happy that you decided to be our Ambassador and share with other musicians your knowledge and experiences using ZYLIA.
Gene: Once I received the ZM-1 I felt that the world of NYC needs to know what Zylia came out with and how good it is!!
Zylia: Do you have any plans for future? Any interesting gigs are coming?
Gene: I am going to record a solo recording of Saxophonist Jorge Sylvester when we both can work our schedules out!
I’m trying to finally release a CD as a band-leader. One of the things I want to record is a bunch of tunes with minimal direction but strictly improve. So the CD will have 1/3 originals, 1/3 covers but arranged, and 1/3 improve tunes!
Be on the lookout for it!