Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Mixology for the Heart and Soul

26 Av 5779.

Jonathan Friedlander is a genius. And he knows how to help others bring their particular genius to the surface, and set it to music.

I love the vacuum cleaner microphone.
The Eastman clan has enjoyed playing music together for as long as the lads could hold instruments (or even faux instruments).

We've jammed together for weddings (sometimes to the chagrin of the in-laws, as they had to become accustomed to the "Irish set," which has no Jewish lyrics. At all. But it has a lot of loud, joyful music "fer dancin'," as Aryeh likes to say.

Over the years, as the boys have grown and begun lives away from the family mansion flat, opportunities to play together naturally have diminished. Fortunately, our young men have married understanding ladies; so usually once a month, Aryeh and David drive to Neve Daniel to practice with the old parents.

This year, I asked for the guys to help me with a tikkun. My dear mother had a wonderful nightclub singing voice when she was young; and even as she aged, her lullabies added sweetness to our world. But I never recorded her. I miss her, and I miss her voice.

About six months ago, the guys agreed to submit to a professional recording session. The trouble was finding an affordable and agreeable studio. After all, we were not going after a gold album. We just wanted to have fun together, and to trap that fun for our grandchildren.

Our success started with Drumbite, my personal favorite music store in all the world. This is because unlike at other music stores that focus on guitars and pianos, owner Assaf Kraus is a drummer -- so drums are not an afterthought. He has knowledge to share, along with drums and cymbals and percussion toys of all kinds. He also is wise enough to treat other instruments with reverence as well. You can find gorgeous guitars, wind and brass instruments and keyboards at good prices at Drumbite. The service is exceptional and friendly, and their English and Hebrew are superb.

Assaf works closely at his establishment with a couple of sound engineers, each of whom has studio space and access to the instruments in Assaf's store. With Assaf's guidance, we made the acquaintance of our newest best friend, Jonathan Friedlander of Mixedbyjon.com. Jonathan is American by birth, so English is no problem. Neither is understanding American music of all kinds, as well as what his clients want. It didn't hurt our session any that Jonathan is also one of a family of brothers. He understood completely the raucous banter and humor between our sons, laughed at the right places, and even joined in. He even gave us our impromptu name, after several jokes including the word "intonation." He said we should call ourselves "Eastonation." Jonathan is nothing if not full service.

Throughout the day, Jonathan did his mixing and mastering magic to make sure that levels were compatible and that what we presented sounded if not Grammy Award worthy, it was at least pretty darn good. The end result was as professional as it could be (given the silly characters he had to deal with). The Dearly Beloved and I are proud and happy. Mission accomplished!

On one end of the spectrum, Jonathan has earned at least one gold record for his recording and mastering craftsmanship for a famous hip-hop artist. And on the other end, he made the Eastmans shine, and kept the entire 32-song, eight-hour enterprise within budget. We had such a good time, the boys said that this was our new "white water rafting" family adventure, which I think means we'll be doing this again. And again.

Both Drumbite and Jonathan can be found at HaHavatselet St 6, Jerusalem. We heartily recommend both Assaf's store and Jonathan's expertise. If you play music, why not get a beautiful recording of it?

Do it for your kids and grandkids.