Sound & Vision Is 'A Little Bit of Everything' Print
Art - Feature Stories
Written by Ashley Allen   
Wednesday, 26 November 2008 02:38

Sound and Vision's control roomSound & Vision began as a group of guys searching for a place to practice with and record their bands. Located at 1316 Fourth Avenue in downtown Moline, it now features a recording studio, an art gallery, screen-printing, recording workshops, DJ-ing, and custom speaker cabinets.

"It really started in my dad's basement," said Ray Malone, one of eight contributors, in an interview at the studio. Between then and the current situation, the men rented four different spaces, the last being a two-bedroom house in Davenport. "When we were in a house, the control room was set up on the second floor," Malone said. "We did all of the recording downstairs. There was a lot of going up and down stairs to move a mic an inch."

Jon Burns, another contributor, wrote in an e-mail that a friend of the group had lived above what appeared to be a "really nice" commercial space - roughly 900 square feet - that was for rent and sparked the group's curiosity. Malone made a phone call and scoped the spot out earlier this year.

Though originally seen as simply a place for Meth & Goats - a local band consisting of contributors Talbot Borders, Burns, Dennis Hockaday, and Malone - to record and practice, other people became involved. Nolan Girard was interested in silk-screening, Nick Eyre wanted to expand his DJ and PA services, and Jamie Warren and Chad Gooch were interested in learning about recording and helping out with the studio.

To lease the space, "we all threw in on it together," wrote Burns. "We all saw it as an amazing opportunity to do something special and get active in promoting our own art and music as well as the art and music of people who are our friends and/or need help to actualize their creative ideas." The men signed the lease in April and officially opened in June.

The men split the $635 rent eight ways. "We take a percentage of everything made at the studio and funnel it back in for expenses and supplies, whether that be money made from the art gallery, the recording studio, or the silkscreen studio," wrote Burns. They also play in Sound & Vision United, a cover band, to help raise funds.

Sound and Vision's live roomThe recording studio, according to the contributors, is the most-used aspect of the studio. The studio provides a multi-room recording space with a separated control room and a main "live" room, as well as other rooms for sound isolation. "It's a big part because that's why we initially rented here and that's a lot of what we do down here," Burns said.

Malone added, "As far as recording, we've done everything from Celtic music to singer/songwriters to metal to Latin music. We've done a little bit of everything." The studio has recorded Meth & Goats, Los Coscorrones, Meg Cavanaugh, Vaughn Irving, and Lord Green, among others.

The men who initially rented the studio to record have found that it serves other purposes as well. "Since we moved into this new building, we have other options of things to do," Burns said. "It's more than just the past places that were more recording studios." Malone added: "We were all looking for a place that was suitable for recording, and everything else kind of just happened."

Although the variety of services was accidental, Burns said it makes sense. "It's all interconnected," he said. "We may record a band but they may also need T-shirts. We really want to supply people with our services, whether it be recording, print, or artists hanging up their work."

Burns said that a major component of the gallery is "to give space for people that otherwise wouldn't have anywhere to put up art. We want to feature a lot of different people." As far as the silk-screening press goes, Sound & Vision is currently working on an apparel project for a group at Scott Community College.

"I like the idea of creating a place where we can help local artists and musicians, because there's not a whole lot of places like this around here," Burns said. Malone noted that the most satisfying aspect of the studio is "having something that's worth associating your name with - not necessarily on a reputation level, but having something that you can be proud of later on in life."

Sound and Vision's galleryThe studio has hosted several events, most recently a Halloween-themed art show titled "Scared?" and featuring more than 10 local artists.

The next event is set to take place on January 10 and will feature live music and artwork by Tien Chang, a fine art major at St. Ambrose, and Galena-based artist Rose Noble. There will be additional works by Burns, Hockaday, and Warren.

Though content with where the studio currently stands, the group said it's been kicking around the idea of introducing video services. They're interested in being what Hockaday described as a "multimedia studio." Ultimately, he said, they want to "expand even more, like with the video, get people in to record, get the word out more, attract different people from all walks of life instead of just people we already know in the art scene."

"There's no prize," said Malone. Burns said,"We just want to help people and help ourselves."


For more information on Sound & Vision, visit


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