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Ordinarily, a high-tech studio like Manifold would be well out of The Nile Project's recording budget. According to the pricing schedule on the studio's website, the group's four-day run, plus two extra sessions scheduled for March 18 and April 9, would run close to $11,000—a huge chunk of change for any band, and an even bigger hurdle for a nonprofit operation.
But Michael Tiemann, who owns Manifold, helped orchestrate a win-win scenario for the group: to help cover the costs of recording at his studio, Tiemann suggested that N.C. State help solicit a handful of donors to chip in for the band's studio time, with the reward being the privilege of sitting in at Manifold while the group records Tana. That money would help cover the band's costs while satisfying N.C. State affiliates, and Tiemann gets to show off his space, too. It'll likely be a long while before Tana hits store shelves, but with the ensemble's brilliant musicianship and Manifold's technical might, it'll be well worth the wait.
- Photo by Ben McKeown
Back in the mixing room, the musicians reconvene after tracking "Fulani," their first song of the day. Several squeeze together on a long black leather couch and joke around, and as the music they recorded pours back through the studio monitors, they bob their heads along, grinning. Everyone's pleased with the combined efforts. There's still a long road ahead for these musicians—a record to finish, plus the rest of a three-and-a-half-month tour across the United States that stretches for several more weeks. But for now, it doesn't seem as though things can get much better.
This article appeared in print with the headline "Living Waters."