Today we have Sandy & Ryan with us to talk about the CD “World Dance Workout”. They’ll give you a peek into the “behind the scenes” work that went into it, as well as let you know what you can use the CD for if you are a dance or fitness instructor…
1. How did the idea for the World Dance Workout CD come about?
Sandy: World dance workout cd was created for a fitness class based on dance moves from around the world. The needs of the original and innovative class inspired the customized music.
Ryan: Once Sandy started sharing with me her needs for her class, I jumped at the opportunity. The concept of real drummers who love dance and have real experience playing for dancers getting into a studio and recording an album is something I have always wanted to do. The tracks on the album are original in essence, but they are based on a number of African Diasporic dance music styles that I love (as do countless people the world over). I arranged these rhythms and grooves to Sandy’s tempo and song length requirements, and we went into the studio. It is worthy of note that this album was tracked and mixed at Solid Sound in Ann Arbor, MI – a true recording studio with an incredible live room. This is remarkable because studios of this quality are fewer and fewer – due to the popularity of heavily produced (and often synthesized and or electronic) music. A lot of contemporary music can be recorded in a simple home studio… but the kind of music we were after – real, raw, and made with acoustic instruments – needed a real live room built to handle that kind of acoustical presence. The popular “Behind Barres” albums are all tracked there as well.
2. Who are the musicians involved and what do they play?
Ryan: There are four musicians on this album; Ryan Edwards, Chinelo Elegua Amen-Ra, Abass Camara and Matthew Bell. All of us share a love of dance and have more or less been raised (either literally, or since we started playing) in the dance tradition. Matthew and Chinelo live in the greater Detroit area of Michigan, Abass lives in Fort Wayne, IN and I now live in Boston, though I am from Michigan originally. The list of instruments we played on the record is a pretty long one, but I will try to summarize: we played congas, bells, shekeres, balafon, drumset, djembes, dununs, surdos, snare drum, ago-go bells, cylinder shakers, pandiero, triangle, goat toe-nails (actually on a few tracks!), cajon, calabash, bass djembe, and I am sure a few more…. you can see a pretty cool video on our website, www.worlddanceworkout.net of us making the record in the studio. It is just a few excerpts from the session, which we did in one day. [Read more…]