Behind the scenes of a music concert

International musicians offered the public a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to set up a gig yesterday.

As part of the Samoana Jazz and Arts Festival 2018, the Matt Catingub Jazz Ensemble and Papana, two American bands held an open set-up and soundcheck session in the Taumeasina Ballroom as they prepared for the Mavis Rivers Tribute Concert.

Musicians, sound engineers, production designers and interested members of the public slowly trickled into the ballroom as the band organised themselves and their gear on stage.

Titi Lamese is a jazz guitarist, and a graduate of the National University of Samoa music school. He said he needed to get out a creative rut he had found himself in. “I’m pretty excited to see these professionals play,” he said.

“When you’re playing with shapes on a guitar, it can get pretty predictable so I’m trying to get out and play some new stuff.”

Music teacher at Wesley College, John Kunesa said it’s always good to get out and play with new musicians.

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“It’s about learning new things, getting new ideas,” he said.

Mr Kunesa said he wants to instil a sense of creativity in his students by helping them find the niche of music they love.

“That might be jazz, or reggae, might be classical…. Music is all about how people express themselves.”

As the band rehearsed, they communicated back and forth with their mix engineer Mekene Tane, who carefully adjusted their sound on an Apple iPad linked up over wifi to the sound desk.

They rearranged the band members, waited patiently for a delivery of extra music stands, and jotted down notes for themselves ahead of the big show that night, all things an audience would not typically experience.

On the production and sound engineering side, Tikeri Taulagi attended the session to learn more about mixing and production for live concerts.

His production company, ESRT Quality Sound specialises in the set up and delivery for live concerts, and Mr Taulagi said he’s interested in improving.

“Every singer has a different frequency, a different vocal texture, every instrument has a different frequency,” he said.

“I’m here to listen closely to their mixing, to how they match the different levels to get the best sound.”

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