We celebrate February with music and film from artists, producers and directors who aim to lift you up, paint an entire countryside red and make new deals.
Get in Hollywood where Oscar sightings are emerging. Count down begins for the opening of LA's new architectural landmark expected to play like a grand! Discover new singles from artists from around the world. Learn how your masters can be preserved ready for immersive sound. We explore neighboring rights and meet newly promoted music executives. Say hello to these brothers who are at the helm of a duo and a thriving label.

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Thee Holy Brothers Want To
Lift You Up!
Lift You Up I Single/Video Feature of the Month
Thee Holy Brothers Marvin Etzioni and Willie Aron.
photo Francis A Willey
Producer Marvin Etzioni, who performs under the moniker, Thee Holy Brothers with Willie Aron, wrote the song Lift You Up a decade ago.
Last year Etzioni released two albums, My Name is Sparkle and What's The Mood Of The Country Now? on his Regional Records.

Fast forward 2021, meet collaborator Stephon Ferguson, the voice of Dr. King, who recites Marvin’s lyrics in their new video for Lift You UP featured in this month's studioexpresso.

The video was conceived of and directed by award-winning filmmaker Frederick Taylor aka Fr3deR1cK (top right) of Tomorrow Pictures.
Here's an exchange we had with the director.

studioexpresso How did you choose the song, Lift You Up for your short film that celebrates Black History Month?
Fr3deR1cK Reason I choose the song for the video is very simple. Frankly, it chose me.
I just imagine myself walking with Marvin and Willie from Pharoh’s bondage in ancient Egypt 3000 years ago to freedom in the promise land. What would the sound track be as we walked? What would we say? What would we sing?Jews and black people sing a lot when they are experiencing life. Good and bad. 
Joy and pain. Sunshine and rain.
I also imagine Marvin and Willie along side me picking cotton in the pre-civil war south. We plot our escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad in song. Our oppressor is none the wiser. 
True freedom is our ability to lift each other up.

We agreed. The song's message, though timeless, speaks to our times. This last year was different in so many ways. During BLM marches we witnessed people coming together from all races, religions, and countries, walking in protest with their black and brown friends and family. Show of this type of unity spoke miles which translated into action.  Votes from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, cities with large Black populations and rich traditions of African American history and culture, may have helped put President Biden and VP Kamala D Harris over the top.

The song has a spiritual message that's beyond one movement. It speaks to having respect for your fellow human. Watch Lift You Up and order the single, now available on your favorite digital platforms and at Thee Holy Brothers official
Blake Mills' New Deal

GRAMMY-winning producer, composer, and multi-instrumentalist Blake Mills celebrated the release of his album, Mutable Set via his New Deal Records/Verve. He's listed as producer on John Legend's 2016 release Darkness & Light. The year before Blake Mills was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Producer of the Year, Non-Classical for his work on Alabama Shakes breakthrough album, Sound & Color. Mills has hosted invite-only musical performances at Mollusk Surf Shop, in Venice. Previous shows have seen Mills accompanied by Jackson Browne, Billy Gibbons, Cass McCombs, Charlie Sexton, Benmont Tench, Val McCallum, to name a few.
California-based Mills has toured with Band of Horses and Lucinda Williams. In January of 2012, Mills appeared on Conan O’Brien for his first national televised performance as a solo artist. He covered Bob Dylan’s Heart Of Mine, which he had recently played at an Amnesty International benefit. Mills also served as the opening act and guitarist for Fiona Apple during her 2012 tour through North America.
Mills plays guitar on Bob Dylan's album, Rough and Rowdy Ways released last year.

Now he has co-written and produced Notes With Attachments for Pino Palladino.

Notes With Attachments
Pino Palladino

Bassist Pino Palladino's first record of instrumental original music is co-written and produced by Blake Mills. Once you get passed the grey / credits-only cover, the sound is jazzy and chill. It was recorded in stages over two and a half years. The music is meditative and moves unexpectedly. I enjoyed listening to it on a windy afternoon in LA, last week. The Greek god of wind, Aeolus lent his name to an instrument, the Aeolian harp. Winds have helped shape the Monument valley in Utah. Winds may have inspired Chopin études, with cascading arpeggios and scalic runs. On Palladino's album, the music moved with the wind in the giant Chinese elm outside my office. The effect was mesmerizing. Ah, music for picture! It's music that draws us near and far away like a good day dream. It helps us breath and breath some more. No harps, but several notable musicians on the album include: Chris Dave, Larry Goldings, Andrew Bird, Ted Poor, and more.
The album is being released as part of Blake's imprint, New Deal Records, under Verve.
Good things take time. No wind required to listen!
Ekuté (listen), one of 8 tracks, then order it here
studioexpresso @ NAMM feat producers, musicians from its community
Curt Bisquera (Sarah McLachlan, Elton John), Kenny Aronoff (Smashing Pumpkins, John Mellencamp, Sting), Greg Penny (Elton John, KD Lang), Rafa Sardina (Lady Gaga, John Legend), Niko Bolas (Neil Young, LeAnn Rimes), Eddie Kramer (Jimi Hedrix, Kiss), Matt Wallace (Maroon 5, Faith No More), Cheche Alara (Christina Aguilera), Kim Bullard (Elton John, Kelly Clarkson), Cristina Abaroa (Celine Dion, Enrique Iglasias), Brady Leffler (Hot Chelle Rae, Justin Beieber), Al Schmitt (Diana Krall, Paul McCartney), Alex Acuna (LA Phil, Beck), Teddy Campbell (American idol, The Tonight Show w Leno), Ellis Hall (Ray Charles, Tower of Power), Jacob Armen (Prince), Peter Asher (James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt), Larry Klein (Joni Mitchell, Melody Gardot), Manny Marroquin (Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys), Dave Schiffman (Adele, Limp Bizkit), Gregg Field (Sinatra, Pharell), Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash), CJ Vanston (Toto, spinal Tap), Dame Gail Dorsey (David Bowie, Gwen Stefani), Jenny Mason (The Mrs), Neal Pogue (Outkast, Andre 3000), Leland Sklar (Phil Collins, James Taylor), Moogie Canazio (Sergio Mendes, Sarah Vaughan), Laura Dickinson (Frozen II, Lady and the Tramp), Daniel Seeff (KJazz, Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz), James Torme, and Brent Fischer (D'Angelo, Elvis Costello and The Roots).

ATC Monitoring at Real World's New Red Room
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The Red Room is a fine destination for the discerning producer. The on-call assistant will set everything up with you on arrival, plus they have experienced engineers on staff, when required.
The Red Room, Bath UK
Unparalleled Real World Experience Now Open with ATC Monitoring

Founder Peter Gabriel's Real World reopened in July with safety measures in place for Covid-19.
Studio policy asks that you do not visit with any symptoms of C-19. Before entering guest temperatures are taken and capacity for each studio space is limited to 1-12 musicians, based on the size of room.
Once you're in the safe zone, enjoy the beautiful English countryside vibe with acoustic design by White Mark, monitoring by ATC and a Grace Design M908 monitor controller, to help you hear your true sound.
Imagine having dinner every night at the big table -next to chef Jerome's kitchen!
It is a relaxing and restorative place to be, specially after a long lock down! Jay Z, Beyoncé are among visiting artists. To book contact by Phone: +44 (0)1225 743188 or email here

studioexpresso offers a Choice Community of producers and studios to new and established artists. Producer and studio membership is by invitation.
Click here to renew or send an email to join! claris@studioexpresso.com

Peer Music
85-Year-Old Family Business

Peer Music, the 85-year-old family-run publisher, has more than 350,000 copyrights under its control – including classics from You Are My Sunshine to
Georgia On My Mind as well as contemporary hits such as Beyonce’s Single Ladies and Justin Bieber’s No Pressure.
Ralph Peer II, the son of Ralph and Monique Peer, is the business’s Chairman and CEO.
His daughter, Mary Megan Peer, promoted to Deputy CEO is largely responsible for peer’s recent global expansion. Before joining Peermusic in 2009, Mary Megan worked in investment banking, advising media and entertainment companies on their M&A and financial strategies at Piper Jaffray and Jefferies.
Mary Megan holds a BA with honors from Stanford University and an MBA from Columbia Business School. Based in NY, Mary serves on the ASCAP's board of directors.
Late last year peermusic expanded by acquiring three companies -- Canada-based Premier Muzik, France-based All Right Music and Netherlands-based Global Master Rights. Peer's new roster is comprised of over 300 record labels and more than 2,500 performers, including Rihanna, Billie Eilish, Imagine Dragons, DJ Snake, Leonard Bernstein, Finneas, Lady A, Lang Lang, Lizzo and David Guetta, to name a few. According to a press release announcing the news, discussions originated between Ralph Peer, II, Chair and CEO, peermusic and All Right Music’s Christophe Piot, with what is described as the “blockbuster deal” spearheaded by Mary Megan Peer (pictured above).

Peer now has its own offices in 28 territories including China, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Japan, Sweden, Australia, the UK and the US – and prides itself on its global network.

What Are Neighboring Rights?

Neighboring rights are currently one of the music industry’s fastest-growing revenue streams. According to IFPI's Global Music Report, worldwide artist and label income from public performances grew from $1.4 billion in 2010 to $2.09 billion in 2015.
Neighboring rights are public performance royalties due to the sound recording copyright holder. So, any time a song is broadcast on the radio or TV, or played live in a bar or a concert, the recording artist/label is due “neighboring rights.” On digital platforms like Pandora or SiriusXM, however, the U.S. does pay performers through an entity called SoundExchange.

There's some confusion when different regions come into play. U.S. does not pay neighboring rights to performers from other countries any more than it does U.S.-based artists. Those countries that do participate in neighboring rights payments don’t pay to U.S.-based acts. A bill called the “Fair Play, Fair Pay” Act currently languishing in Congress (Referred to the House Committee).
63rd GRAMMY Awards
Sunday, March 14, 2021

In HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network 
Grammy Nominees here

Sunday APRIL 25, 2021
Nominees short list follows full list On March 15
With all-time low 23 million viewers last year, the Oscar telecast is still the second highest-rated annual event behind the Super Bowl.
2021 Oscars promises a most diverse and inclusive participation
Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center®
Televised live on the ABC Television Network and in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

SXSW Now A digital experience March 16-20

MJF64 Fest September 24-26

Congrats all Nominees!
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, in Los Angeles, Ca is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Renzo Piano and features six floors of exhibition spaces, education and special event spaces, a conservation studio, a restaurant, a museum store, the Sphere, 1,000-seat David Geffen Theater and the 288-seat Ted Mann Theater, will move its opening to April 30, 2021.
Keeping Score
Lolita Ritmanis

We feature two composers who have never been nominated

In 2019 Lolita Ritmanis (Spectacular Spider-Man, Batman: The Animated Series, Emmy nominated musical Batman: The Brave and the Bold: Mayhem of the Music Meister starring Neil Patrick Harris) composed the 70 minute symphonic score for the critically acclaimed Latvian film “Blizzard of Souls,” working with the award winning state choir "Latvia” and a full symphony orchestra. On February 18th, 2020 she won the Golden Microphone Award for best instrumental album for this score. Lolita is one of the founders of the Alliance for Women Film Composers, serving as president 2016-2018, and a founding member of Dynamic Music Partners

Listen to the score here

Emile Mosseri

Mosseri’s latest project is director Lee Isaac Chung’s family drama Minari, which made its award-winning debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and is nominated in the Best Score category for an Oscar. Rain Song from Minari is also nominated for Original Song.
Emile Mosseri (The Last Black Man in San Francisco, HBO series Random Acts of Flyness as well as season 2 of Amazon’s Homecoming starring Janelle Monáe) is an award-winning composer, pianist, singer and producer scoring for film and TV with his song-based approach to crafting emotionally-stirring compositions.

Listen to the score here

Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (winners of Oscar for The Social Network) and Jon Batiste
Disney/Pixar's Soul has a simple message. Spend your precious time doing what you love which keeps you "in the zone."
The story follows a middle school music teacher named Joe Gardner, who seeks to reunite his soul and his body after they are accidentally separated, just before his big break as a jazz musician. Juilliard-trained keyboardist Jon Batiste contributed jazz component to the score of “Soul” with collaborators Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and gets to keep his day job, MD for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.

Listen to the Score here
Terence Blanchard
(2018's BlacKkKlansman nomination)

For Netflix's Da 5 Bloods, and director Spike Lee Terence Blanchard opted for a 90-piece orchestra. The film follows four Vietnam War veterans, played by Isiah Whitlock Jr., Norm Lewis, Clarke Peters and Delroy Lindo, who return to the Southeast Asia country for the first time to recover the body of their squad leader, Stormin’ Norman, played by Chadwick Boseman.
Blanchard recently made history as the first Black composer to have an opera staged by New York City’s esteemed Metropolitan Opera. He was also named 2020 Humanist of the Year by the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities.
A multiple Grammy Award-winner (Best Instrumental Composition, Blut Und Boden - Blood And Soil) Blanchard has composed more than 40 film scores, including an Oscar nomination for Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.

Listen to the Score here
Ruti Olajugbagbe
My Sunrise I Single/Video Feature of the Month

Ruti (ne Ruti Olajugbagbe) is an English singer-songwriter who won the Seventh Series of The VOICE UK and released her debut EP Racing Cars in 2019.
Her new single, My Sunrise is making waves and is studioexpresso's video pick this month.
Working with Wayne Wilkins (Leona Lewis and Beyoncé), Ruti sounds joyful and care-free. The melody appears to soar above all worldly troubles, with a dizzying expression of self-love, and healing in being present. This is what new Neo-Soul Sounds like. Gorgeous harmonies, with sweeping chorus lines and even strings (though, alas "in the box").
"It’s a reminder that often there’s a lot more time to do things than I think I have," says Ruti. All in all, Brilliant! My Sunrise is the second single from Ruti's forthcoming EP, out later in February.

 "Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time." 
-Jean-Michel Basquiat
Time Decorated: New documentary produced by Quincy Jones on the Musical Influences of Jean- Michel Basquiat | Part 1 with Terrace Martin - presented by The Broad
(r) click on the image to watch

Pictured (right) in 1973 is Suzanne Ciani and her Buchla synthesizer. Photo credit: NY Times; (Above) Ciani in a live 2016 performance with her Buchla synthesizer.Photo by Maria Jose Govea.

Ciani has begun the preservation of her impressive music catalog with archiving engineer Bill Smith, head of Archiving at Hollywood's United Recording.
First up are the 24-track analog masters for Ciani's debut album "Seven Waves" (1982) and "The Velocity of Love" (1986).
Following transfer of the 24-track masters to high-resolution digital, Smith is also archiving the half-inch stereo masters used for the original vinyl LPs as well as the CD releases. After baking each of the multi-track and 2-track tapes, Smith employed a vintage Studer A827 24-track analog recorder for transfer from Ampex 456 tape and for the half-inch masters, an Ampex ATR 102 machine for the Ampex 465 tapes transfer.
Archiving was done to digital 24-bit/96 kHz .wav files.
Pioneer Suzanne Ciani's Impressive Electronic Music Catalog Restored with Engineer Bill Smith
A graduate of Wellesley College, electronic music pioneer Suzanne Ciani earned her Masters Degree in Composition from UC Berkeley, studying with such explorers of electronic music as Max Matthews, John Chowning, and Don Buchla. She then moved to New York City where she pioneered sound design for television advertising with her Ciani/Musica production company. Ciani provided the voice and sounds for Bally's groundbreaking "Xenon" pinball machine, created Coca-Cola's pop-and-pour sound, designed sonic logos for Fortune 500 companies, and carved out a niche as one of the most creatively successful female composers in the world. 
"Having the digital transfers of the multi-tracks gives me the option of re-mixing, but in a different format, like Atmos. I've worked in spatial audio for so long, I have a lot of ideas about how I want to handle this material in an immersive format. There's a huge market now because people are recognizing that quality and dynamics are back," says Ciani.

Music History
MJJ + Paul McCartney Collaboration

Music breaks all barriers. Among successful collaborations is the one between two giants of the 90s Paul McCartney and Michael Jackson.
The duo collaborated on three songs - The Girl Is Mine, Say Say and The Man. Jackson's and McCartney's creative co-writing ended after Jackson outbid McCartney for shares in ATV Music Publishing in 1985. Ironically, McCartney had been the one introducing Jackson to the expanded legal world of publishing and licensing music. Despite the business fall out, McCartney has said: "I feel privileged to have hung out and worked with Michael".

Above photo: Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney at Westlake Recording Studio during recording Thriller with engineers Bruce Swedien and Matt Forger (far left).
Executive Promotions at Capitol

Bill Evans

Bill Evans has been promoted to Executive Vice President, Urban Promotion, for Capitol Music Group (CMG), it was announced in early February by President of promotion and MG EVP, Greg Marella (right). Evans began his career working on music videos at a casting company in LA, signed on as a Def Jam promotion executive in 1998, working records by Jay-Z, Rihanna, Rick Ross, Mariah Carey and others.

Radio promotions may be changing, as broadcast giants like iHeartMedia and Entercom streamline their staffs with more centralized content and fewer regional DJs and programmers. RCA and Interscope have cut top promo execs in recent weeks, but Evans' red-carpet approach to stars' promotional appearances remains the same.

“At Capitol....it's been a good run and I'm encouraged by the new talent we're signing and the artists we're developing."

Greg Marella

Capitol Music Group has promoted Greg Marella to the post of president of promotion and executive vice president. The announcement was made by the company’s new chairman & CEO, Jeff Vaughn, to whom Marella reports.
“Greg has a keen understanding of how promotion strategy fits into the larger picture of artist development, and he will play a key role in shaping our company’s future as a member of our executive management team,” said Vaughn
Marella commented, “I’m incredibly proud to be leading a promotion team that is so passionate and committed to advocating for our artists and music that are the heart and soul of CMG. The company is in great hands with Jeff and Michelle [Jubelirer, CMG President & COO] at the helm.” Marella and his promotion team have played a major role in hits by Halsey, Lewis Capaldi, Lil Baby, Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Niall Horan, Migos, Marshmello, Queen Naija, Maggie Rogers, Internet Money and others.

Meet Republic Records' Lipman Brothers

The brothers Lipman, Avery (left) and Monty (right) made their lifelong dream a reality in 1995 by creating Republic Records.
They proceeded to make it one of the most successful start-up labels of the past quarter-century, as well as one of the most distinguished music labels inside the prestigious Universal Music Group composite of labels as a global market share leader, cited as the industry’s #1 record label, according to Nielsen Soundscan.
Vision of the forward-thinking brothers has formed several strategic alliances with ventures that include: American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, and Young Money, among others. In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises.

Monte and Avery have also both remain very committed to numerous philanthropic causes.

Right: At Super Bowl LV, label President & COO Avery Lipman and Monte with The Weeknd.

The brothers believe in the power of radio more than an any other medium to continues to be an important catalyst for navigating through the static and developing superstars in our business. They also believe that the next global superstar to break already lives among us and most likely has music already available via different platforms. And that may be you!
RIP Chic Corea (June 12, 1941 – February 9, 2021)
Where does it all come from and where does it go? Years of joy, curiosity, learning, playing, creating, teaching, innovating. Chic Corea did all of that and more for 79 years. Still, his last words to you artists is to do more because
"the world needs more and it's FUN."
From straight ahead to avant-garde, bebop to fusion, children's songs to chamber music, and symphonic works, Chick has touched an astonishing number of musical bases. Corea went on to win 23 Grammy Awards and developed his piano skills by exploring music on his own. He moved to New York City, where he studied at Columbia University and six months at the Juiliard School. He quit after finding both disappointing. As a member of Miles Davis' band in the late 1960s, he participated in the birth of jazz fusion.
Corea began his professional career in the early 1960s with likes of Herbie Mann and Stan Getz
Scientology became a profound influence on his musical direction in the early 70s and later in that decade he embarked on a series of concerts with fellow pianist Herbie Hancock.
Corea celebrated his 75th birthday in 2016 by playing with more than 20 different groups during a six-week stand at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, New York City. Fortunately Chic leaves behind an impressive discography of over 90 albums and with all that he Returns to Forever - his debut album by his band, of the same name. Our thoughts are with his family and the larger community of musicians who knew and loved the man behind the music.
Rapper Hasél Expressions
The arrest of Spanish rapper Pablo Hasél has brought thousands to the streets of Barcelona for different reasons. Freedom of expression, has pushed many Spaniards to strongly object putting an artist behind bars for his lyrics and social media remarks. The violent unrest in Hasél's home region of Catalonia may be driven politically, still most citizens of the world will defend peaceful artistic expression. Meantime the rapper has amassed 106.3K followers on Instagram.
A Hard Day's Night.
Sounds on Mars
Perhaps the biggest gift space exploration has given us is the realization that 7.6 billion of us on earth belong to just one race, the human race! It also brings out the best in us, namely, curiosity, perseverance and learning. Want to hear what the wind sounds likes on Mars or how you would sound on the red planet? Thanks to NASA, you can record a short greeting and find out here!
The Perseverance (affectionately known to NASA scientists at JPL as Persy) rover carries two microphones, to record the sounds of Mars, for the very first time. It may be comforting to know that if you were on Mars, you might still sound pretty much like yourself, a quieter, more muffled version of you. Also, you’d wait slightly longer to hear it. This is due to Mars' thinner atmosphere (less than 1% of Earth's). Some sounds that we’re used to on Earth, like whistles, bells or bird songs, would almost be inaudible on Mars. Also consider temperature, density, and chemistry of Mars. The speed is lower around 540 mph (~240 meters per second), compared to about 760 mph (~340 meters per second) on Earth. Then there's it's volume (100x less dense translates to softer sound signal) and its quality (only lower-pitched sounds travel long distances) . Listen and compare familiar sounds from Earth, and how they would sound at Mars/Earth playlist here Ok, so it's not exactly music to our ears, but we all admire the landing achievement -- surviving the "7-minutes of terror" after a 7-month journey of 293 million miles to investigate possibility of microbial life some 3.5 billion years ago to the tune of $2.4 billion. Good to be human!
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