Midnight Records | Music | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Midnight Records 

Architect of Sound: Midnight Records grows steadily under the radar.

Pin It

Music isn’t the first thing I associate with Kent Rigby, longtime director of several art galleries in the area and recognized in his own right as a sculptor and ceramicist. But, it’s somehow fitting that, being an architect in his “day job,” he’s recently opened a recording studio and become an architect of sound.

For years Rigby served as the director of Leftbank Gallery (now the site of Poplar Street Pub), then New Visions Gallery. After those galleries closed he started working with Derek Dyer’s nonprofit Utah Arts Alliance in 2007, as the director of the Alliance’s gallery in the Contemporary Design and Art Gallery on Main Street. And a year and a half ago, in the back room of that space, Midnight Records was born, as a nonprofit studio space to provide local musicians affordable recording equipment.

Rigby had been playing and recording music since 1985, but he hadn’t been serious about a recording studio until the studio opportunity came about. He’d amassed a large amount of musical instruments over the years, from guitars and basses to tube amps that make a certain kind of gear-head drool, and that all went into the studio, in addition to his architectural skill, which has resulted in a room that’s stylish, hip as well as acoustically outstanding, with fine wood floors, upscale decorating and sound baffles that would amuse a Cubist. He purchased a grand piano, Gretsch mahogany drum kit and digital recorder just for the studio. Although looking to offer full digital, right now it’s what sound purist Rigby calls “the best of both worlds” with an analog mixing board that is dumped into a computer for digital mixing.

The first acts to use the studio included jazz combo Cerulean Blue and indie-rock group Stalin’s Dossier. Rigby’s own projects include Puny Humans and TAOS—The Architects Of Sound. Recent projects on the slate are singer/songwriter Nicole Christiansen and the Stucco Dogs. The most notable release to come out of the studio was Oh! Wild Birds’ So Long, Cowboy earlier this year, with its subtle blend of folky, eclectic instruments and shimmering harmonies; it helped net highly attended local performances.

Midnight Records is a part-time gig for Rigby, but it’s been steadily busy since opening. He subsidizes the costs out of his own pocket, since the space hasn’t made enough to pay for the overhead. With a flat rate per song, the place is an affordable alternative to some other, more-pricey recording studios in town. And, they also offer production services from English hip-hop producer Mark Smith, who lives here now, and who has worked extensively with the U.K. label Dome Records.

Rigby’s meager advertising budget shortly ran out, and he’s been keeping busy there through sheer word-of-mouth. Still, he wants to expand, to offer ceramics, filmmaking and music performance classes for after-school children, at some point. It reflects his desire to give back to the community. “There was no one to help me, and I thought, these kids deserve some help.”

Pin It

Speaking of...

  • Trump Talk

    Stormy Daniels slays hecklers and dishes on Donald Trump during SLC appearance.
    • Oct 17, 2019
  • Spirit Guide 2019

    Our fourth annual guide to all things booze in the Beehive.
    • Oct 16, 2019
  • No Krooked Path to Success

    Krooked Kings find their sound flying by the seat of their pants.
    • Oct 16, 2019
  • More »

More by Brian Staker

  • Live Music Picks: April 12-18

    Judas Priest, The Residents, Clownvis Presley, The Breeders and more.
    • Apr 11, 2018
  • Loving the Alienation

    Helios Creed and Chrome continue making iconoclastic music for outcasts.
    • Mar 28, 2018
  • Live Music Picks: March 22-28

    U.S. Girls, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Hell’s Belles, Columbia Jones and more.
    • Mar 21, 2018
  • More »

Latest in Music

  • No Krooked Path to Success

    Krooked Kings find their sound flying by the seat of their pants.
    • Oct 16, 2019
  • Joined Voices

    Sacred Harp unites singers of all kinds in beautiful vintage songs.
    • Oct 9, 2019
  • October's Musical Thrills

    Get in the Halloween spirit with a few tunefully terrifying offerings.
    • Oct 2, 2019
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

  • Logan's Luthier

    At $8,000, Ryan Thorell's hand-crafted guitars have a dedicated following.
    • May 16, 2018
  • Cool and Clean

    James the Mormon brings a unique flavor to hip-hop with his faith.
    • May 30, 2018

© 2019 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation