Arts Desk

Hays Holladay Just Might Record Your Song for Free

Given Bluebrain's proclivity for free one-off events, no one would ever accuse the experimental-pop duo of not giving back. But members Hays and Ryan Holladay also have day jobs, the kind that pay—which is, you know, kind of important when you give away much of your art gratis.

This month, however, Hays will be handing out some of his professional services without charge. Since 2010, he's operated Iguazu Sound, a studio in Arlington where he's recorded local musicians as well as his own work with Bluebrain. Pretty soon, though, he's shutting Iguazu's doors—a shame, although Hays writes that he'll still be freelance engineering and producing at studios like Inner Ear and The Bastille.

Before Iguazu closes, though, Hays is hosting a series of three-hour recording sessions over six days—and a handful of bands will be able to take advantage of the opportunity for free. Hays writes:

Instead of focusing simply on live documentation, the goal is to come up with unexpected results utilizing all available options in the studio. Think of this as a chance to be challenged to approach your song differently and step out of your musical comfort zone.

The sessions will be completely free of charge.

A big and necessary component of this process will be preproduction so that we can create a vision for the song, develop a strategy for recording it and  work out logistics such as tempo, arrangement and other important details. Remember its only three hours so we need to be as efficient and prepared as possible before the session begins.

Want Hays to record your song for free? There's apparently a selection process: Email him two or three demos, "however crude," along with contact info, and cross your fingers.

As for why Hays is shutting down Iguazu, the reason is at least a little punk-rock: In addition to working there, Hays has been living at Iguazu, but writes "that lifestyle has become unsustainable (no windows, makeshift kitchen, no hotwater, no heat etc)." I can only assume he's got his future living arrangements figured out, but if Hays picks your band for a recording session, out of gratitude you should probably let him crash on your couch.

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