Michael Beinhorn on Chandler Limited Part 2
Posted by HLPAPG
Michael Beinhorn, has been a record producer for 30 years and he is the author of Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art, in which he reveals how to deal with the interpersonal issues record producers face when they work with artists one on one or in small groups. He also is the subject of a three-part interview at chandlerlimited.com. You can read to Part 1 here. Part 2 is below. Enjoy!
This is part two of our ‘Featured Artist’ conversation with the celebrated music producer Michael Beinhorn, covering production concepts. Part III of our Michael Beinhorn series will break down the Courtney Love Wedding Day EP sessions.
If you’re interested in Michael Beinhorn beyond this article series, you can visit his website, or dive into his recently released book- ‘Unlocking Creativity: A Producer’s Guide to Making Music and Art.’
CL: It seems like you show up to a production, happily waiting to be surprised by what will develop, rather than force-feeding a ‘Producer’s perspective’ onto the project, i.e. there’s not a specific cookie-cutter template when working with you. However, you do have a production methodology, correct?
MB: Yes, there is always a methodology. First and foremost, I like to insinuate myself in a recording project, not only as someone with a lot of experience, but as a collaborator. I feel more at ease with this than the timeworn stereotype of producer-as-supreme-deity on a recording session. On one hand, I see the recording process as a series of creative tasks (as I’ve laid out here- “Reframing the Recording Paradigm“) that, when performed in an appropriate sequence, will yield the very best iteration of an artist’s work. At the same time, I visualize what the project feels (or “looks”) like conceptually. That may sound kind of abstract, but I always get an image in my mind’s eye of a project. I also like to treat the recording process as creative experience and the result of everyone working on the project, collaborating with one another to make something special and unique. These facets are mainly determined by the individuals involved and the music they are making. The varying degrees of those parameters, combined with a different cast of characters on every recording insures that each will be different from one another.
CL: Are you profiling the artist on multiple levels from the get go in order establish their custom production program tailored for them?
MB: From one perspective, you can say that. From another perspective, I’m learning about them so I can help them maximize their abilities in the best interests of the recording project.
CL: Would you say your process, though abstract, is hands-on when it comes to contributing artistically to the production?
MB: Yes, very hands-on. It’s more fun that way.
CL: When contributing to the production on an artistic level there’s a balance you have to find where you’re enhancing and not overshadowing the artist correct?
MB: Yes, that requires sensitivity and paying attention to the immediate landscape. If you’re sensitive to your own work dynamic and simultaneously, what the mission of the project you’re producing is, you can tell right away when you’ve crossed the line and are letting your ego run rampant. It’s imperative to always maintain priorities and let them be a deciding factor in every decision that gets made. A lot of really good ideas get tossed out, but the ones that stay must always be the most appropriate to what the project requires.
You can read the rest of Part to at ChandlerLimited.com!