Written by Eric Siblin
Publication Date May 30, 2015
With a dozen original songs percolating in his head, bestselling author Eric Siblin had two chance encounters in the same month: one with a real estate agent named Jo, a talented singer with pop star dreams; and the other with a college acquaintance named Morey, a fiery guitarist, record exec turned digital music producer, and manager of his teenage daughter’s burgeoning singing career. These two serendipitous events mark the start of a musical odyssey.
In Studio Grace, Eric Siblin chronicles the twelve-month realization of a long-held dream: recording an album of original material. To get there he plunges into the joyful and painful heart of songcraft, grappling with elusive verses and choruses until they are ready for recording. Siblin’s songs are captured in three very different studios reflecting the evolution of sound recording: a tiny basement studio run by a wedding band drummer; the famed Hotel2Tango analogue studio, where a former producer of Arcade Fire connects Siblin with hipster musicians; and the mansion attic where his new friend Morey creates songs on a laptop using the latest in digital technology and the global distribution network that is YouTube.
Published to coincide with the release of the album of the same name, Studio Grace is an entertaining and demystifying behind-the-scenes look at the making of a record filled with songs about love gained and love lost, about modern identity theft and ancient battlegrounds, about life and death, fleshed out by a host of eclectic characters, from ambitious young singers to veteran session musicians and unknown engineers to high-profile producers — all of whom are pursuing the multi-layered dream of a four-minute pop song.
Eric Siblin is the bestselling author of The Cello Suites, which won the QWF Mavis Gallant Nonfiction Prize and the McAuslan First Book Award, and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize, and the BC National Award for Canadian Nonfiction. So far, the work has been published in thirteen territories and in nine languages. He lives in Montreal, Quebec.
"Studio Grace's short chapters keep the story moving along as ideas and songs are emailed back and forth, and advice from all quarters swirls around the songwriter's quest for a finished piece of creativity." Winnipeg Free Press
"Studio Grace is an intimate, at times exhaustive account of Siblin’s journey in writing and recording an album." Montreal Review of Books
"[a] musical odyssey . . ." National Post
"How he engaged with the musicians and recording engineers to achieve his dream make for another great read." The Senior Times
"Seeing this world through Siblin’s fresh eyes, the reader gains a whole new respect for the prosaic elements of music-making . . ." Montreal Gazette
"Engaging look at the seductions of late-in-life creativity and a cleareyed account of the strange state of today's music industry." Kirkus Reviews
"This vivid account of Siblin’s adventure in an era when “nobody buys records” will appeal to readers who love pop music, and especially to musicians and songwriters who harbor their own recording dreams." Publishers Weekly