Now in our third year of operation, we have seen and heard all sorts of professional and amateur musicians working on something unique in our studios. We’ve met local, aspiring artists piecing together original music, tribute acts trying to capture the sounds of their heros, gospel groups tuning up for Sunday, national and international touring bands running through their set in order to stay tight, after-work business men and women looking to relieve stress and simply rock out, and many more. And, of course, we’ve spent hours getting to know and teach all of the young musicians in our rock band and songwriting programs, many of whom are writing and rocking for the first time.
Without a doubt, the Replay community is a motley crue (no affiliation) united by the incredible feeling that comes with playing inspired music in great sounding rooms. That being said, we are all equally united by the struggle that comes with pursuing this way of being. Accessing the music inside of our heads and willingly letting it out is perhaps more often than not, pretty darn difficult.
This is not simply a musical burden.
We live in a culture where strong messages of judgment and perfectionism are embedded into our daily lives.
Although our society often praises outliers of bold expressiveness we are overwhelmingly guided towards the safe and the same. Yes, we have our music, movies, books, dance, theatre, and people who we love, but we also have our awards, grades, rankings, facebook likes and paychecks that casually quantify and reduce our passions to criteria and cannon. This can leave us feeling trapped between our desires and our fears of failing and/or standing out. While we may have a sense for how time can wedge that snowball of fear in our heads to fit snuggly into that opening where creativity flows, returning to the imagined freedom of childhood is easier said than done.
This is why Replay exists.
When I first met John and Mare Rubin in the fall of 2012 in an empty, sawdust and paint covered West Village basement, they told me that the goal of Replay was to create a special hideaway for all musicians – young, old, professional and amateur. Replay would strive to be an all-ages musical safe-haven with a particular mission to help young musicians pursue processes to discover, develop, and trust their inner voices because, as we know, it doesn’t get easier.
At the time, it was clear that our philosophies both in music and in teaching were in sync.
And now, looking back, I realize that the original goal is what keeps us going as things continue to grow at Replay. Not every moment is easy, but it is precisely because of the challenges of personal expression in our society that makes it so important and gratifying to pursue the music that we all have inside of us.
This blog will be an exploration in words, pictures, and videos, of the way in which all of us in the Replay community pursue the process of playing, writing, rehearsing, recording, and performing. We are very excited to get started. We are so grateful every time an adult or kid lets us know how it feels to play music at Replay or shares their processes in general, so please feel free to contact us if you have something to share or if you are interested in being interviewed.
Replay Music Studios