Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 6

20120412-070722.jpgOne of the coolest little features about the new studio is something my father is particularly proud of: a set of Jefferson Stairs.

Invented by the late President Thomas Jefferson in order to conserve space, Sprig’s variation uses a central laminated beam with incremental steps on either side. The effect is a surprisingly natural climb into The Loft that overlooks the Control Room and Main Studio A.

Bob Brola and his son Mike have taken the lead on this and thrown their hearts into the project. While the final steps will be more elaborate and include galvanized piping throughout the architecture, yesterday’s mock-up had all of us climbing on it like boys on a jungle gym.

Boys will be boys.




Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 5


Finishing Schedule: Lighting, Flooring, Paint, Textures

Yesterday was a creative fire storm of wonderment as my design team converged on Sprig Records Studio with cameras, laptops, and iPads in hand.

Peter and Kristen dissected materials and color palettes, while Jason created a mobile office where he brought still images into 3D space for pre-viz of surfaces. A myriad of lighting concepts and materials were discussed, many of which were recycled. Another father-and-son team Bob and Rob Brola were there to make sure things stayed practical and within budget. And videographer and designer Joseph Channell was there to capture it all on camera.


A special thanks goes out to Jeff Arquette who’s sheet rocking expertise has been put to the test on this project. He’s treated every angle and curve with utmost care, details that would test the mettle of even the best sheet rockers.

From bamboo flooring to avante guard light sculptures to diagonal cedar siding, everyone came up with some pretty formidable and truly creative ideas that will add Sprig to the list of New York’s premier recording environments.

Now for searching sources, getting quotes, gathering materials, and inputting the timeline. Rock on.


[One of the pre-viz concept designs]

Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 4


The studio is starting the painstaking and labor intensive process of getting “sealed up.” With all the traditional and spray foam insulation in place, and over 35,000-feet of audio, electrical, and digital wiring precisely laid, it’s time for the sheetrock and plywood to close her up.

I checked in on our the rock foreman yesterday. He was pretty exasperated but still had a smile on.

“It’s so complicated,” he said. “Everything takes longer in here.”

That’s because there are no two right angles in the whole space. Everything is off axis or curved, producing around 25% waste of all building materials, and creating one stink of a measuring-cutting nightmare for the finishing team.

Still, everyone that’s been involved has kept the studio’s main purpose in mind: serving artists for the world to hear. And knowing that the Gospel will go out from this place in song is pretty encouraging; we all feel honored to have a hand in it.

Right now we’re gathering finish materials and ordering lights. Definitely in sight of the finish now.

Thanks for your continued prayers and enthusiasm over Sprig Studio – it means so much to us, and even more to those that will hear. ch:




Building Sprig Records Studio: Log Entry 3

Yesterday I had the honor of watching two of my heros collaborate.

Master audio engineer and producer Peter Hopper dreaming with master designer Jason Clement.

It was epic. Drawings everywhere, ideas spouting, visualization well underway. The studio is framed out, over 35,000′ of cabling laid, and ready for insulation and sheetrock. Now we’re working on the finishes list and lighting.

Team work is everything to me. Whereas before I preferred to work alone – taking credit, and penalties for myself – today I wouldn’t dream of doing something by myself. Co-laboring has become the only way I know, cherishing the inspiration and insight that others bring to the creative table.

Interesting that God views humanity with the same interest. Thus why he loves building with us, not around us.

Sprig Records is rising. ch:

The Tension of Tomorrow

[Photo by | @jenniferhopper]

Even a cursory reading of the Bible will surface a series of opposing statements; unfortunately, many people choose the shallow assumption that the scriptures are inconsistent, with such contradictory statements as proof.

But to the astute mind, under guidance of the Holy Spirit, perseverance and maturity will find the hidden truths that connect such diametric forces, and in fact tie them together in dynamic tension.

Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out.”

All sailors are taught to read the water for wind. They look for “headers,” “lifters,” “puffs,” and anything to help account for changes in the ship’s course and trimming.

They’re also taught to read weather patterns, including time, speed, and placement of fronts.

Being able to forecast wind and weather by eye and feel can be the difference between winning and losing, and sometimes not even finishing.

As summer draws to a close (and I have a hard time even writing that), I’m looking ahead into some interesting waters, the combined elements of which make them appear rather turbulent, though in and of themselves each is quite exciting: A new baby, Eva starting 1st grade, launching my 16th year as youth pastor, grand opening of a new restaurant, self-publishing a trilogy, and preparations for international traveling this fall.

And that’s just September.

How does one even wrap their head around the future and all it will bring? After all Jesus himself said we should plan for what’s to come:

Luke 14:28 “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?”

Yet planning for every facet of a forecast like the one I listed is enough to drive a person mad with anxiety!

The cure for anxiety, however, is as equally forceful as the charge to plan ahead; Jesus speaks to it in the Gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

So we’re supposed to plan ahead, and we’re not supposed to care about tomorrow?

These are the types of questions I want young Believers to be asking, as it proves they’re reading and trying to digest the Word. Anyone who says the Bible makes perfect sense in their defense of it hasn’t read enough of it; my questions of it only grow.

But so does my confidence in the one who inspired it.

And that’s why I trust his hand on the helm more than I trust my own. If Col. Robert L. Scott could say, “God is my Copilot,” then I can say, “God is my First Mate.”

The tension of tomorrow – as is nearly every other tension proposed in scripture – is tied together, not in a formula or quantitative solution, but in a person.

Yes, wisdom adamantly suggests that I make sound plans in caring for a new infant or launching a new business; and any shrink worth their weight in lima beans would say, “Slow down, enjoy the present, and try not to think ahead too much.” But it’s only the Holy Spirit himself who can order our footsteps in a way that speaks both to the present and the future.

Apart from him, our future-planning can never kiss our present-living.

If you’re a chronic future-planner, when was the last time you took the sails down and set anchor somewhere? And did nothing but sit beside your First Mate?

And if you’re a present-liver only, when was the last time you hoisted the mainsail and started making plans with God, knowing your own ideas are imperfect?

The truth of God-relationship is the only sure cure for knowing when and where to drop anchor, as well as what sail to rig and what course to take. It is God-relationship that ties the tensions of tomorrow together.

The only thing I care knowing more about than the future, and enjoying more than the present, is Jesus. Because without him, both my present and my future are shipwrecked anyway.

It may be my boat, but he owns the waters. ch: