David Tatasciore knows what he is talking about, when he talks about music. Somewhere in the midst of describing the evolution of house music, trends in funk and soul, and their relationship to techno music, he turned contemplative and admitted that he would love to teach a college course someday about where the music we listen to comes from.
It’s unsurprising, considering he’s in the process of becoming something of an expert on how music is produced.
After graduating high school in 2000, Tatasciore started at Penn State College studying business, before switching to English in his sophomore year. Joining the Daily Collegian, Penn State’s acclaimed student newspaper, Tatasciore quickly discovered a passion for music journalism. While writing reviews, previews of upcoming events, and conducting interviews with local musicians, Tatasciore found his beat with the original music that was coming through town, even DJing events on occasion and broadcasting his own internet radio show.
“I just naturally fell into music journalism because I’ve always been interested in music,” Tatasciore shared. “I played instruments when I was a kid…but for whatever reason I never went into starting any bands of my own or writing any music. At the time I was just more interested in writing about it.”
After graduating Penn State in 2005 with a degree in English, Tatasciore moved back to his roots in the Philadelphia area. Taking on a number of freelance writing assignments, and completing an internship at World Café Live, Tatasciore eventually took a job at the Siemens Corporation and then moved to YellowBook two and a half years later.
It wasn’t until Tatasciore accompanied his uncle to an information session at the Connecticut School of Broadcasting at Cherry Hill that he rediscovered his passion for music and began to consider a career in music production.
“I spent all of that time writing about music, and I know a lot about it from DJing for so many years,” Tatasciore said, recounting his decision to return to school. “I understand how it’s put together, and I really think I could be doing this and doing this well. It’s something that I love.”
Tatasciore heard about the MCCC digital audio production program through a friend and decided to check it out for himself. He came to Central Campus, spoke with Communications Assistant Professor and Montco Radio advisor Morgan Betz, toured the studio and as he himself said, the rest is history.
Tatasciore has flourished in the digital audio production program, and he gives a lot of credit to MCCC for his success.
“I’ve been to other studios at other schools and we’re really kind of spoiled at MCCC,” Tatasciore said. “For the cost of tuition, you’re really getting your money’s worth. And the faculty is just great.”
For Tatasciore, MCCC has not only provided an education in music production, it’s also introduced him to important contacts, such as Grammy nominated music producer David Ivory. Ivory taught a recording workshop at MCCC, where Tatasciore met the acclaimed producer and struck up an acquaintance. Tatasciore is now an intern at Dylanava Studios, Ivory’s studio in Gwynedd Valley, where he is happily soaking up everything there is to learn.
“Interning at Ivory has been like taking years of classes in just a couple of months,” Tatasciore said. “He’s got such an ear for production. It’s just all of these little things in a song that add up, and you may or may not even notice or think about it consciously, but they add up to make a really well produced song. It’s an art form, it really is. And he’s a master at it.”
Not only is Tatasciore learning from Ivory’s expertise and working with incredible music talent, he’s also getting experience as a freelance producer, bring in his own bands to record in Ivory’s studio. Right now Tatasciore is working with the band Chestnut Grove, another connection that he made while at MCCC where the band members were students.
“They are 20 year old kids, great musicians, really enthusiastic, and I love working with them,” Tatasciore raved. “We’ve finished one song and we’re working on another one. I’m really excited to keep working with them over the summer.”
It’s this comradery and working closely with a band that is a part of music production which Tatasciore really enjoys.
“Ivory was a huge influence on how to work with a band,” Tatasciore mentioned. “Anyone can sit behind a desk and push their faders around, but it’s getting them to trust you and like you that gets the best performance out of a band. That’s probably the best thing that I’ve learned from Ivory. The tech side, anyone can do that.”
It’s a perfect situation for Tatasciore, who was never too interested in being part of one band himself.
“Now I get to be a member of all of these different bands,” Tatasciore shared. “I have the luxury of going band to band and not being tied down to one sound or style.”
It’s working with young bands and thriving in a college environment that has led Tatasciore to strongly consider a masters degree in digital audio production and a future teaching career. Graduating in May, Tatasciore is considering graduate school as his next endeavor, and then one day in the future he’d like to return to the classroom.
“College campuses are where you find people who are really hungry and want to do something and be creative,” Tatasciore confirmed. “You are just more likely to find people who are really passionate about what they are doing, and are young enough to really throw themselves into it.”
For now Tatasciore is putting all of his energy into his studies, his internship, and his bands, not to mention his participation in Montco Radio and the XFINITY cable music show David Ivory Presents. He’s busy, but Tatasciore knows that it’s just part of the process.
“Another thing I’ve learned from the professors at MCCC and Ivory, and it’s the big thing that has changed in music, is that you can’t just do one thing anymore,” Tatasciore said. “You need to know how to play music, how to enguineer, how it all works together. That’s an important part of being a producer.”
It’s this insight and his passion for music that Tatasciore will someday be sharing in a classroom of his own, or perhaps in a studio of his own. Either way, Tatasciore is set to play a role in the ever-changing future of music production.
~ by Kelly Cox