Sometimes a Job Is Child's Play



Mix Regional

The Mix Regional section for Mix's September 2014 issue focuses on Miami. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, plus club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to

Hothead engineer Roy Harter recently composed and produced all of the original music for the redesign of Noggin, a children's network. Harter selected a group of musicians (including members of Stiff Little Fingers, Polygraph Lounge, Moby and Paul Simon's band) to play the new music according to very strict rules: Only household objects could be used as percussion; no reverb (for intimacy); only one microphone at a time (to encourage spontaneity); all strings had to be under 2 feet tall; and toys were encouraged as instruments.

The result: The Alley Pond Park Ensemble (named after Harter's local playground in Queens, N.Y.). Harter and Hothead director and engineer Jim Stauffer are currently recording all of the Noggin character voices and voice-overs, as well as choosing new character sound effects.

“Laura Corby, Matt Perrault and Doris Grieder [Noggin producers] really gave us free rein,” Harter said. “It was a pleasure working with producers who really trusted our musical instincts. It put all of the musicians at ease and really made the sessions a party.”

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