Bryce Goggin has taken a de-sanctified church and turned it into his dream recording studio.
A Space of One's Own
Record producer Bryce Goggin stands in the middle of a former country church that sits on a hill along the Hudson River just south of Albany, N.Y. Behind him are a piano, a few remaining pews, and recording equipment. Above the front door, a stained-glass window depicts Saint Cecilia, patron of musicians. On what used to be the altar is a mixing console.
Goggin, 36, has been a respected record producer for more than a decade. He's worked with Pavement, the Breeders, Phish, the Ramones, and others.
In 1995 the church was desanctified and put up for sale following a local economic downturn that shrank the congregation to 25 people. Two years ago Goggin purchased the building for $60,000.
Based in Brooklyn with his wife and infant daughter, Goggin drives to the church to record bands and mix music for days at a time. He installed a claw-foot bathtub in the downstairs bathroom and, when he stays overnight, sleeps on a futon atop two pews pushed together.
"I have a commando-style philosophy of wanting to make records in unusual spaces," he says. The church has the acoustic and aesthetic warmth he was after. "There's no control room. The space is all wide open. That means some compromises from an engineering standpoint. But it facilitates communication between the artist and the producer."