Beauty Pill: Immersive Ideal

Open Recording Residency

Through Tue August 2, Noon - 10pm
Black Box Theatre

Please note Beauty Pill will not be recording from Mon July 25-Wed July 27;resuming Thu July 28.

Brown Bag with Beauty Pill: Tue Aug 2 / 12:30pm / Free / Ballroom

Inspired in part by the famous Abbey Road Studio Two window, Washington, DC art-rock band Beauty Pill is creating its new album in full view of the public eye—providing you unprecedented access and insight into the creative process of musicians. On a daily basis through August 2, you can watch and listen as Beauty Pill embarks on this musical experiment and exercise in radical transparency.  Beauty Pill’s current line-up includes multi-instrumentalists Basla Andolsun, Chad Clark, Jean Cook, Drew Doucette, Devin Ocampo and the project sees the return of founding member Abram Goodrich. In collaboration with designer Kelley Bell and following its summer residency at Artisphere, Beauty Pill will return in the winter for an installation that will feature its new album. 
Photo: PJ Sykes

Posted July 20, 2011 to The Washington City Paper by Jonathan Fischer:

Beauty Pill's Immersive Ideal: Total Space

It's Tuesday afternoon at Artisphere, and Beauty Pill is advancing the song "When Cornered" from Beatles circa 1967 (frontman Chad Clark's demo of the song is rich in sitar-like sounds and "Lucy in the Sky" lilt) to Beatles circa 1968. Specifically: a layered guitar line that's poppy and hyper-chromatic and heavy and messy. It also contains a moment the band is referring to as "the Metallica chord."

Clark returns from a coffee run to lay down his guitar track. He's wearing sunglasses. So is Drew Doucette. "It can be our thing," he says. "We need a thing." Pretty soon, so are Basla Andolsun and Jean Cook. They don't seem to mind that Artisphere's Black Box Theatre is, in fact, a very black box. "The birth of a thing!" Clark says.

After Clark records his part, the band plays back his original sketch of "When Cornered." “That's what happens when you record at four in the morning, and you imagine you are Paul McCartney.”

Abram Goodrich is trying to find the right reverb-y clavichord sound, Devin Ocampo is working out a powerhouse drum part, and the band slips into the kind of record-nerd back-and-forth that's become common during these sessions.

"It's very Power Station,” Ocampo says of his drum part.

"That's not where we want to land," laughs Clark, who then starts singing the chorus from "In a Big Country," by Big Country.

"I'm pretty sure it's the same drummer"—an old session dude, says Ocampo.

Clark comes up to me and, chuckling, makes sure to stress that Ocampo and Goodrich are not wearing sunglasses, and that this is an important detail.

Goodrich finishes his keyboard line. “That shit is like total space,” he says.

Posted June 23, 2011 to The Washington Post's pop music blog, Click Track by Chris Richards:

Local news: Beauty Pill to record new album at Artisphere

Chad Clark, the singer, songwriter, producer and leader of local rock troupe Beauty Pill is getting the band back together.

Wanna watch?

The group will be recording a new album next month -- in public. From July 16 through Aug. 2, from noon until 10 p.m. each day, Clark and his bandmates will set up shop in Artisphere’s Black Box Theatre and lay down tracks in the company of anyone who might be interested in seeing how 21st century rock albums get made.

“People are really going to see us in a complete state of uncertainty,” Clark tells Click Track.

Clark has dubbed the project “Immersive Ideal,” and likens the viewer experience to a visit to the zoo. Show up at the right time, you’ll catch the entire band wailing away. Show up at the wrong time and they’ll be huddled around a computer, listening to a rough mix.

Artisphere, the cultural center that opened in Arlington last year, is hosting the project in two-parts. Once the recording is finished, it will be played in the Theatre in surround sound, most likely this winter. (The album will also be released traditionally, but there’s no drop date or label just yet.) 

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