Cellist for H.E.R, Us The Duo, Dj Deorro, Victory Boyd, and more. I have been a session cellist in Los Angeles for almost a decade. I built my own home studio so I do most of my recording work remotely now. Looking forward to adding some emotion to your tracks!
I believe a life dedicated to music is a life worthwhile. Reflecting on my younger years, the unwavering feeling of estrangement is what comes to mind. I did not make friends naturally and being extremely shy and reserved made it nearly impossible. When I would listen to artists that spoke to others like myself, I remember finally feeling understood. The culture surrounding the music gave me an identity. The compositions of my favorite composers became companions through life. Lyrics to songs gave me the words I did not yet have. When I learned to play, music gave me my voice. In a very significant way, music has saved my life and has offered meaning.
I am immensely grateful to be able to play a small role in the world of music. I plan to continue as long as my body allows. My goals for working in music are simple. To give my listeners and clients what music has given to me. An enriched life, unforgettable moments, and to reach the part of your soul that nothing else can.
Tell me about your project and how I can help, through the 'Contact' button above.
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Interview with Marc Christian Cello
Q: Tell us about a project you worked on you are especially proud of and why. What was your role?
A: I did a Christmas benefit show with Us The Duo a few years back and we raised tons of money for St. Judes Hospital. My role was to play cello and lead a string quartet.
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Right now I am working with a few singer song writers on their acoustic songs. Other than recording I am always playing for a variety of events such as concerts, weddings, corporate events, etc.
Q: Is there anyone on SoundBetter you know and would recommend to your clients?
A: I have been recording for years but I honestly just got on SoundBetter recently so I am not positive who is on here that I know haha. That will change soon!
Q: What's your 'promise' to your clients?
A: I promise to give you the best I can possibly manage. If I have to spend way more time working on the song than I had originally thought I will still do it to produce something we are both proud of.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: I love working with other creatives. I love being apart of that whole culture and being surrounded by like minded people.
Q: What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A: Whats the turn around time? It depends on the project and how difficult the part is and how many layers it has. However, my house is on a 4 acre property with no neighbors close by which means I can record late at night. So if its needed I can usually get the tracks sent out within a day or two.
Q: What questions do you ask prospective clients?
A: What does this song mean to you? Are there going to be other added parts after I record? The second question is important because lots of times clients will plan to add violin and viola lines after I record cello. they think it is going to sound like a quartet. However, it is far better to have someone arrange all the parts first to keep the idea cohesive.
Q: What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A: Look up their samples on YouTube, Spotify, instagram, etc and see if their style really fits with yours. There are some great players out there but if you hire them for a style of music that isn't their strength, you will not get the best out of them. I made this mistake when hiring sound engineers in the past. They were great for certain types of music but for my own genre the result was disappointing.
Q: If you were on a desert island and could take just 5 pieces of gear, what would they be?
A: I would take a helicopter to get off the damn island. Oh and some water.
Q: What was your career path? How long have you been doing this?
A: At a very young age, probably around 10 years old, I labeled myself as a musician. I did not know what I wanted to do with music back then but I knew I was going to do it forever. I have taken many routes through my career from working as a solo cello performer of my own original music, teaching, recording, playing for special events. Today, I honestly just want to continue that. I feel the progression as a musician and human is never ending. As long as I am progressing and not feeling stagnant then I am happy.
Q: How would you describe your style?
A: I would describe my style as a mix of cinematic and lyrical. Cinematic for the drama and emotion. Lyrical because I consider cello my singing voice and I really think that comes out in my playing.
Q: Which artist would you like to work with and why?
A: Thats such a hard question so I am going to go with the 2 artist came to mind first. My favorite composer Joe Hisaishi because his music has always made me so happy since I was a kid. His music is so playful yet adventurous and emotional. I really connect with that. The other artist that comes to mind is Regina Spektor. I love her songwriting especially her more avante garde songs. I remember listening to one of her interviews and they asked her how coming to the US from Russia without knowing English has influenced her music. She said because of that experience she realized that language was just a bunch of sounds you make with your mouth. I've always felt the same way about playing cello. Traditionally, there are sounds you are taught to avoid while learning cello such as unwanted harmonics, scratches, and crunches. But I found when you use those sounds intentionally you expand your musical vocabulary and are able to tell different stories through the instrument. I don't believe there is good or bad sounds but rather that its all situational. I think of it in terms of being intentional or unintentional.
Q: Can you share one music production tip?
A: I have been in many studios with great sound engineers. However, many of them lack experience with recording cello. I would say one thing I experienced a lot is that the mic placement is off. I don't believe there is a one size fits all mic placement for cello. It depends on the type of song and how all the other instruments were recorded. For example, if I get a song with mostly MIDI instrumentation where every sound is dense and punchy, I will have my mic placement closer to my cello to blend in with those sounds. If the mic is further away then the cello sounds too thin for everything else going on. Let's say I am recording for a singer songwriter and their guitar was recorded with a condenser mic in an open room. Their guitar is going to have an airy sound which I would try and match by recording myself with the mic a bit farther.
Q: What type of music do you usually work on?
A: My favorite type of music to work on is anything cinematic, lots of singer song writer pieces, minimal arrangement type songs, and pop. I work on other genres as well, but I will say this. I respect my clients enough to turn down work if I do not feel I can provide them with something of high quality. For example, I am not a bluegrass player. I most likely can figure something out that sounds half decent for a bluegrass song but I rather pass the project along to someone else that specializes in that. Like I have stated before, I take pride in my work and don't want to take on anything that I done believe I can execute at a high level.
Q: What's your strongest skill?
A: I believe it's my ability to put my all into my work. I know many people would not consider that a skill but as far as I can tell, most people do not put their all into what they are doing. I consider music my life's work so my clients and collaborators never have to worry about me half-assing anything I am apart of. The quality of my work is of extreme importance for me.
Q: What do you bring to a song?
A: Cello is such an emotion provoking instrument. It has the range of the human voice and in my opinion most resembles the human voice. So for me I would say I bring strong emotion to whatever song I am recording for.
Q: What's your typical work process?
A: My work flow depends on if there is a cello part written for me or not. If there is a cello score, I practice the piece enough to the point where I can be fully immersed in the music without having to focus on the technical aspect of playing. I find this is where I can be most expressive and really capture the magic in the recording. If there is not part written for me I like to write out a chord chart for the song first and improv a few takes to get a feel for what direction to take. I think the most difficult part for writing for another artist is figuring out their artistic mind. Therefore, I usually send my clients multiple takes on the song that they can choose from or even splice multiple takes together if they'd like.
Q: Tell us about your studio setup.
A: I have a room in my home dedicated to recording projects. I use a Rhode NT1000 condenser mic, Apogee Duet interface, KRK monitors, and a sound wall.
Q: What other musicians or music production professionals inspire you?
A: Brooklyn duo, Piano guys, Tina Duo, Kevin O. I love these artist creativity in their arrangements.
Q: Describe the most common type of work you do for your clients.
A: My most common work today is recording for singer songwriters from my home studio and playing for special events.