At 111 Summer Street in Providence’s Olneyville neighborhood lies Studio Blue, a transplant from upstate New York focused on not just recording artists but providing an environment that’s the right place and right time for creation. The overarching mission of Studio Blue is to “curate and manage inspirational environments for artists and musicians to live, learn, and work together in,” says owner, engineer, musician, and artist Rick Scianablo.
Studio Blue stands out as a place devoted to bringing artists together, realizing artistic visions, and engineering ways to bring those visions to life. “The engineers, artists, and producers here are multi-talented creators who write songs and create music, art, and everything else here,” says Scianablo. “We refine our equipment and spaces together, share gear, knowledge, and skill to help each other’s machines produce the best possible results. So, when you come to us for help to make something, record or rehearse, or even live here, you are most certainly contending with an intentional energy that exists. It has a sort of limitless flavor dynamic, and we usually have the means to make it happen.”
What is immediately striking about Studio Blue is the atmosphere of the space. Every square inch is covered with words, memorabilia, statues, signs, lights, and just about anything else you can imagine. What emerges from the cacophony is whatever you need to see. This attention to physical details plays into the Studio Blue sensibilities that the right space plus the right time equals quality moments.
“There is a certain intimacy and family atmosphere here for sure,” says Scianablo. “The energy of the space is very important to me, it inspires people in different ways. That reaction, mixed with every individual’s personality, is the character we want to capture.” Scianablo shares a story of recording one of his favorite local bands, The Viennagram, in 2010: “We started throwing things at the vocalist and poking the guitar and keyboard player with a stick while they were tracking to get them out of their heads and into the moment – it worked wonders – and we still do this regularly.”
When talking about life during corona-time, Scianablo says, “Self-exploration is a human instinct and an important building block in our struggle to survive as a species, but it hasn’t been a priority value in our culture for far too long. No doubt a contributing factor in the ‘slow’ speed at which our culture is evolving. We need more artists and musicians and less police and politicians. Someday everyone will agree.”
This month, look for the release of Studio Blue’s PRINCESS, a heavy progressive legacy rock n’ roll megaband with Greg Aaron, Dylan Stankowitz, Johnny Sage, and Zigmond (Ziggy) Coffey, produced and engineered by Sammy D’Ambrosio at Studio Blue. Also in the works is a music shop and rock n’ roll cafe in the Olneyville neighborhood. “That’s all I can say about that,” Scianablo mutters.