The Latest Update
Screaming Plastic – Debut Album Out January 11th, 2019
We are excited to finally be bringing everyone our debut album of live improvisations. We are extremely excited about how it turned out, and I apologize to anyone for how long and past my original goal this ended up taking. Obviously, we are extremely grateful to New Music USA for the grant to kickstart this project.
Hannah Mayer – cello
Ben Eisenberger – guitar
Jeff Kolega – drums
Phill Smith – electronics
Recorded by: Ben Brodin at ARC Studios in Omaha, NE
Mixed by: Alex Molini
Mastered by: Thomas Flaherty
Cover by: Dana Oltman
Final Mixes Received
Phill Smith and myself met our friend Alex Molini in Brooklyn to make the final cuts on what to use for the record, as well as to mix everything from there. I received the final mixes from him today, and the next step is getting them mastered so we can slap them on various media formats and finally get them out to everyone!
The whole process has been taking a bit longer than I anticipated, but I appreciate the flexibility in “due dates” with this project and can’t wait to put out music that I hope everyone will enjoy.
Greetings from my sunny porch in the Dundee neighborhood of Omaha, Nebraska.
Yesterday, Screaming Plastic recorded over two hours worth of improvisations for our album as part of our New Music USA project grant. I think we all collectively feel optimistic about getting a great-quality end product from these recordings. We exhausted our minds, bodies, and our collective bag of tricks in trying to pull out every unique sound we possibly could from our instruments.
Working with Ben Brodin at ARC Studio in Omaha was an absolute pleasure, and I couldn’t recommend him more to anyone looking to record. The microphone and amplifier selection alone makes it well-worth the effort, and the speed at which everything was set up and configured was excellent. For example, Hannah’s cello was recorded with a combination of a live mic, direct-input from her cello pickup, as well as running through a Fender Silverface Twin Reverb before I even got done setting all of my stuff up. Naughty.
Of course, we would like to thank New Music USA for the grant to help us with this recording. The next step is getting a board mix from Brodin of the session (a two hour-plus audio file) for each of us to listen to. From this, we will decide which parts work best, what we liked the most, etc. for individual album tracks. After that, we will send the recordings off to be mixed and then mastered.
Other than that, we are excited to play the Lincoln Calling music festival tonight in Lincoln, Nebraska. I’m pretty sure Phill and I are going to teach everyone some tricks for Karaoke Underground afterward.
Thanks for reading, and keep it weird. Love from Omaha,
Ben Eisenberger and (hopefully speaking for) the rest of Screaming Plastic
Update on Project Timeline
Hello everyone, just wanted to offer an update on the recording of our record.
We will be going into the studio with fabulous Omaha engineer Ben Brodin at the wonderful ARC Studios in Omaha on September 28th. The next day we will be performing at the Lincoln Calling music festival, hopefully with adrenaline still pumping!
The plan is to record the album in large live improvised takes, similar to what we do when we perform. However, when we edit the takes, we are hoping to splice parts and make tracks out of everything for a more exciting album-feel and a more cohesive end product. This is going to help distinguish what we want to accomplish from our records from what we want to accomplish with our live sets or our tapes. The editing and mixing should take up at least a month, perhaps a bit longer if we take our time with everything.
Just to be safe, I’ve edited the end date of the project to be May, 2018. However, I’m hoping the record will be out much sooner than this. In a perfect world, I would love to shop the album out to labels that specialize in avant-garde and noise music, and see if we can’t get help with the release! If not, it will be self-released much earlier. Since I’m not sure how much time that would take, May 2018 is my best “latest” goal date.
In the meantime, we have two tapes of live improvisations available for purchase or streaming on our Bandcamp, if anyone has a tape player at home, or just wants to take a listen to our stuff! It’s 2017 and tapes are hip again, if you weren’t aware.
Thanks so much for reading.
From Hannah, Jeff, Phill and Ben, we would like to send out the biggest thank-you to New Music USA for the grant to record and release a proper Screaming Plastic record here in Omaha.
Obviously, we had no idea the timeline of events for our previous proposal or if it would even be accepted, but rest assured we are now able to move forward with all of the stages of this project.
We will try to update the timeline as everything gets settled and plans are made. We still plan to continue releasing tapes of live improvisations intermediately throughout our time as a group. In the meantime, check out some recent live jams on our SoundCloud, or peep our previously-released Record Store Day tape at our Bandcamp page.
Lots of love from Omaha!
Screaming Plastic is a free improvisation quartet comprised of Hannah Mayer (cello, electronics), Ben Eisenberger (guitar, electronics), Phill Smith (electronics, visual effects), and Jeff Kolega (percussion). Based out of Omaha, Nebraska, Screaming Plastic draws influence from contemporary classical, noise, ambient, free music, doom, drone, and many other styles to create an aesthetically rich performance. The recent addition of bright projected visuals – controlled by Smith’s various mixer outputs via several computer programs – add another level of media to the many-layered and intense soundscapes that Screaming Plastic produces live.
Support from New Music USA would fund the recording, mixing, mastering, and production costs for Screaming Plastic’s first release. Although all four members are visible members of the contemporary art scene and active members in the Omaha music scene, Screaming Plastic has yet to release an album of material to more widely bring engagement to their style of art, which is very unique and different to Omaha.
Why It Matters
All of Screaming Plastic’s members hold Bachelor’s Degree or higher in music performance and strive to bring higher levels of art music to the Omaha area. The Nebraska music scene is a booming and diverse musical community, yet Screaming Plastic’s style of improvisational art music is extremely underrepresented. Screaming Plastic also takes pride in showcasing female and queer members of the Omaha music community, specifically in the drone/ambient scene, which where they are very much understated.
September 28, 2017 — Recording with Ben Brodin at ARC Studios in Omaha.
October-December 2017 — Mixing, mastering, post-production.
Spring 2018 — Release.
Start and End Dates
09/28/2017 — 01/11/2019