Saint Cecilia Studios Is Up, Running, and Planning Big Things for Downtown

June 10, 2014

Studio A's massive mixing board stands ready for your recording pleasure...

Studio A’s massive mixing board stands ready for your recording pleasure…

by James J. Jefferies

There’s a moment of truth that arrives for every single dreamer or person with an ambitious venture, upon nearing the finish line of a large-scale, life-changing goal. When you finally flip the switch on the open sign, will the blood, sweat, tears, and money have been worth it? Was there some kind of terrible, unseen fly in the ointment ready to sabotage the plan and send it hurtling in flames down into the darkest abyss?

For Steven Lee Tracy, and his temple of sonic recording wizardry at St. Cecilia Studios, that moment came and passed, and thankfully, it seems to have been a sound investment. “We’re booked solid through August,” said Tracy, whose studio has only officially been open a week, but has been doing steady records since April.

...as does Studio B.

…as does Studio B.

That’s not to say it has been entirely without some need for adjustments. “Anytime you have a hundred-year old building like this,” said Tracy, “it’s going to take a little bit of ironing out with small fixes and adjusting the placement of elements to get the sound right. My bar’s pretty high for this, based on other places I’ve recorded, and I’m really pleased with where we’ve got it.”

Tracy is really happy with the reception within the community thus far. “It’s been an incredibly exciting time. Tucson just has this vibe right now, with so many excellent artists and people all excited about doing their thing.” For his part, Tracy is every bit as eager to dish some of that love right back to a scene on the verge of an explosion.

St. Cecilia Studios will be offering their own deal as part of the Downtown-wide Summer In The City promotion, with recording days within Studio B being offered at $200 per day.

That’s not the only awesome happening on the horizon for St. Cecilia. While the bottom floor of the studio is essentially complete, Tracy is not the kind of guy to rest on his laurels. The big open space on the upper floor has been calling out to him, demanding some kind of exceptional purpose, and what he has in mind may truly be a game-changer for media-driven artists in Tucson.

This is just a small sampling of the extensive array of amps, guitars, and tons of other gear at your disposal at Saint Cecilia.

This is just a small sampling of the extensive array of amps, guitars, and tons of other gear at your disposal at Saint Cecilia.

“We’re in a time where creating graphics, videos, content for YouTube, all of this stuff is just coming together,” said Tracy. “It would be fantastic if the space upstairs could be a huge hub for people with all of those skill sets to also come together and collaborate.”

Tracy is still intent on using part of the upper level as an apartment for touring artists to be able to use in a pinch, but his vision for a media-arts collaborative workspace, something along the lines of a coworking hive for the creative 2pm-2am set, is really a potentially exciting development for media artists of every stripe who call the Old Pueblo home.

“How great would it be to have a 12-foot green screen for people who can’t necessarily build one in their own place?” Tracy asked. Speaking as a filmmaker on behalf of Tucson’s many independent film folk, I can safely say that’s a ridiculously awesome idea.

Saint Cecilia is making heavenly noise over at 128 E. Congress, right next to the legendary Chicago Store. Check them out on the web here.


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