Hanging on a Dream
Recorded at: Sierra Studios, Athens Greece in June 2009
Sound Engineering: Biscuit
Mixing and Editing: Biscuit and Spyros Pan
Mastering at: Melograf Studios, UK
Artwork Design: Topotheque and Bend
Release Date: November 2009
All songs composed and performed live in studio by Spyros Pan on a 2nd gen PANArt Hang.
Hanging On a Dream
There is one key element, the one equipment found in each studio, professional or not, the one key factor where the hole recording is based on, the altar where all sound engineers and recording musicians alike kneel down and pray and that is no other than “The BOARD”!
The one living in Sierra Studios at that time – they sold it in 2010 and they suck for that, but this is just me writing here – was (and I could use a list of adjectives here but I will limit myself on two) the mighty, the legendary NEVE 8078, hand wired by God himself Rupert Neve. The studio purchased it directly from Pink Floyd! The Floyds had a model custom made for them by Rupert, tailored for the recording needs of the “Dark Side of the Moon” album. Hanging on a Dream was recorded on the very same equipment with Dark Side of the Moon. I mean recording on that NEVE was so big, that even nowadays I seem not to fully grasp the big picture. These recording sessions was one of the most awesome moments in my life!
You may well ask “hey what’s with this guy and his obsession with that console”. Well there is two things to answer to this question. The first one is that there is only a limited number of their kind throughout the whole world. One of them was living at the Sound City Recording Studios in Hollywood and if that does not ring a bell, check your LP/CD/MP3 collection as you might find out that you own at least a couple of albums recorded in that studio (depending your age of course). The other is that the console is the single most important element of a recording. One might employ the best engineer, use a super expensive chain of equipment, pray to God and whatnot. If the console is shit, the recording is going to sound pretty much like that. A quality console however, will improve manifolds a recording of descent gear. The NEVE 8078 coupled with an a chain of the best mics out there, resulted in one of the warmest captures of the Hang to date.
The studio was locked out a year in front and that was tough unless of course we had no problem to work between midnight and 6am. We did not! Renting that place was expensive for a musician without any sort of financial back-up from music labels. So we decided to parachute the whole thing. We got in there, chose equipment, made a geometric placement of 12 different microphones – we even used floor mics – press record and that was it. Of course if we had more time at our disposal we could have explored and used the capacities of this console to a much greater level but sometimes you just have got to make do with what you have. Driving that console felt as if we just got our driving licenses and we were given an F1 to drive. And we had only three nights at our disposal. Two sessions for recording, one for editing and mixing.
Hanging on a Dream has a raw energy quality like that of an unpolished gem. Admittedly the compositions of that era focused more on the feeling rather than the virtuosic aspect of playing. The album is a free flow of compositions and songs that were created on the spot, then and there in that recording room. The lights were dimmed, the rec was on, the hands were free to play. Also, it was my first one, which means first time in studio, first time to deal with producing an album on my own, finding all the people to work with. It was like getting ready for Everest. So many different factors from all various backgrounds had to come together one point in time and space and make it happen. And they did!