Arizona Republic Article - April 7, 2006

For Gilbert studio magician, music is 'in my system'

Apr. 7, 2006 12:00 AM

Jason Barney serves on the Maricopa County Planning and Zoning Commission.

Barney also is involved in land development in the Southeast Valley.

But his first love involves a Pro Tools HD3 system with Control 24 control surface in an Argosy console desk.

OK, I'll end the suspense.

What I've just described is a sound mixing board in Barney's Gilbert recording studio, called Talmage Music.

This home recording studio takes up the whole home. That's right, Barney has taken the old basement setup and moved it to the living room, kitchen, and every other room, all for the sake of creating great music.

Remember last year's Constitution Week celebration? Barney was in charge of the musical numbers. This year, he said he plans to bring an original composition to the annual celebration.

In the meantime, he works with promising singers and musicians who could be the next Harry Connick Jr. Barney adopts a long-term vision for his clients, working with them to not only record great music, but to see that that music gets to the desks of record executives from Los Angeles to Nashville.

It's the "spirit of the music" that moves Barney. With literally tons of equipment to work with, the spirit, with Barney's expertise, makes it onto CDs.

Barney was a business major at Mesa Community College when he took a music appreciation course.

"Music has been in my system ever since," he said. "I don't ever see the day when I'm not involved in music."

He went on to receive a bachelor's degree in instrumental music from Arizona State University.

"I love the music of Norah Jones, the Eagles, Diana Krall and Billy Joel."

Barney kept naming names - Miles Davis, Waylon Jennings, Sting - as he sat at his studio's Yamaha grand piano.

"I've got two great local artists that I'm working with right now," he said, beaming. He says he works with the talent "from concept to the final product."

And talk about a love of music. When Barney sold an Internet company he started in the '90s, he took the proceeds and poured them into the studio.

What he's created is a technological wonder that can rival professional studios in midtown Manhattan.

In fact, a piano player in New York sent Barney a track via e-mail, which he ran through his board, and then the computer physically played the tune on the Yamaha grand.

Barney said he can add or subtract notes and basically perfect the performance and give it a polished sound.

Barney's wife, Traci, must feel at times like a music widow.

But he assures me his playing around in the studio makes him a better husband and father. Jason and Traci have four children.

A man happy at work is more apt to transfer feelings of satisfaction to his family. The only thing is, creating and producing music is not work for Barney. It is a true labor of love. The music is in him.

J. James Estrada is a Gilbert resident and freelance writer. For contact info visit


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