Matthew Vitti runs Mother Brother Studios down in Bridgeport. Somewhat recently he and his team began what they call the Salon Sessions, a collaborative opportunity for artists of all walks of life to experience a pretty impressively captured session. I got a chance to chat with Matthew about the origins and purpose of the Salon Sessions, check it out below.
What is the origin of Mother Brother Studios? Do you have a "mission statement"?
Mother Brother Studios was probably born around 2000/2001 when my brother and I started writing music together. From there, we began to teach ourselves how to record and manipulate sound. In 2007, our band, Mother Brother, was formed, and in September of 2012 we became an LLC. During that important time in our development (2007-2012) we started recording other people, and really enjoyed imparting our own flavor to the sound. Everyone we worked with seemed to dig it, too. My brother passed away in August of last year, and I'm continually trying to realize our dream of growth and creation.
Our mission statement is not really a statement, but just 3 words: create. enhance. communicate.
Who are some notable locals you have worked with and enjoyed?
I haven't worked with too many CT artists. Most of the artists that have come through have been from NYC and Massachusetts, but Parlay Droner has always been a pleasure to work with, and I'm really glad I became familiar with his work.
My hope is that the Salon Sessions will draw more CT based artists to come perform and collaborate. There is some incredibly innovative shit going on musically in CT and I want the Salon Sessions to be instrumental in exposing it.
Take us through what would be a regular Salon Sessions procedure
It starts with email correspondence or a phone call; learning about the artist's setup, flavor, style, personality, etc. We find a time that works and we book it, but before all of that, I do a lot of listening. I try to get through as much of an artist's discography as possible before I send them an official invite. If I'm working with a solo artist, we usually try to schedule a rehearsal a week or two before the shoot, so everyone feels comfortable and nothing feels rushed or hesitant. Plus, I need to make sure I'm prepared to play their music!
I try to have everything ready to go once people show up, and we immediately start shooting b-roll footage. If an artist wants to redecorate the room, put up props, throw on a costume, whatever, I totally encourage that. Usually, the performer has a song in mind that they want to use for the video, but we'll end up shooting and recording 3-5 songs for several hours. When it's all done, we like to shoot a very informal 5-10 minute interview.
We post all the videos up on salon-sessions.com, I put together a bunch of photos, and throw all of the recorded material (video, pictures, and audio) into a Dropbox folder that the artists have full access to. They get to have everything.
Salon Sessions are free to the artist, but we accept donations through the website if they feel inclined.
Why is it free for artists?
It's free, because as a musician and performer, I know how hard it is to sustain yourself with your art. My seemingly futile quest to obtain capital to expand and renovate Mother brother Studios' new space has caused immense frustration and stress in my life, and kept me from recording and creating. I miss the collaborative atmosphere I was able to create with my old space, so I've kept money out of the equation. Money doesn't measure talent, obviously, and I really want the artist to have an opportunity to get their stuff out there. Anyone can donate if they feel inclined, but it's not mandatory.
Who else is involved besides the camera crew and yourself?
The Salon Sessions team is me, Matt Grandin, and Liz Ward. Matt is an old friend who currently lives in Brooklyn working as a designer and engineer, and Liz has been helping out Mother Brother Studios with marketing, branding, client relations, website maintenance, and snapping pictures. They're both essential in my life and to the life of the Salon Sessions.
All of the artists that have performed and are performing can be found here: salon-sessions.com/the-artists. We put up the date of their shoot once the video is released.
There you have it. Get at Matthew and his team and help turn this into something longlasting and wonderful!