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Ballard Sessions #1


The idea for these “Ballard Sessions” came to me out of frustration from not having got my money’s worth out of the Zoom H4N and Sennheiser wireless mic system I’d rented for the weekend to record Noah Gundersen, only to not leave myself enough time to figure out how to use them before heading up to Bellingham. When I got back to Seattle, I decided to head to Conor Byrne and do as many “Take Away Shows” as I could that night in the streets of Ballard before I had to return the stuff to Glazer’s in the morning. I never did figure out the Sennheiser, but most of the audio here was recorded with my own VideoMic, which is good news because it means I can do more of these. The H4N certainly comes in handy, though, I’ll definitely be buying one of those if I can ever scrounge up $300!

Very little in these videos was planned, and the locations were completely spontaneous. Zach didn’t have a guitar strap with him, so he just sat down in the middle of the street and this happened:


I love all of the videos from that night, but Kevin’s has to be my favorite. We lucked out that the marina was unlocked and that the parked boats didn’t completely obscure the view. Watch and listen to this amazingness:


Tom from Lowlands suggested the bell tower on Ballard Ave, and it was a great choice. The H4N is on the ground between them recording the audio, freeing me to move around a little bit more.

I wanted to do this one in the middle of the 5-way intersection, but the odds of getting a complete take without getting run over were very slight. We compromised by moving to the quietest edge of that intersection, and this happened:


I hadn’t scouted out any locations, so I just told The Local Strangers, “Let’s walk in this direction,” and hoped for the best. Luckily we found a sweet stairwell outside one of Ballard’s amazing old buildings, and this happened:


I had wanted a finale at the end of the night with as many people as possible, and my friend Tony Kevin, Jr. had both the song and the friends to make it happen. Such a fantastic way to end the night.

~ by Tos on May 22, 2011.

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