Sounds like teen spirit in Eagle-Vail |

Sounds like teen spirit in Eagle-Vail

Sarah MausolfVail CO, Colorado
HL BM CD TS 01 04-16-08

EAGLE-VAIL, Colorado In a recording studio the size of a walk-in closet, 18-year-old Megan Houghton attempts the note thats been eluding her.Will you ever know, she croons, falling flat on the know. Houghton turns to her friend, Molly Allard, with a pained smile. Thats a wrong note, she cringes.Houghton tries the verse from Taylor Swifts Stay Beautiful again, her flip flop tapping to the beat as a purplish band creeps across the computer screen, marking her progress on GarageBand.On this try, she nails it.In this makeshift studio attached to the computer lab at Battle Mountain High School in Eagle-Vail, an album has been taking shape.Years after graduation, alumni often turn to their yearbook pictures for clues about who they we were as teens. While most graduates only have the sights of high school to look back on, Battle Mountain alumni will have the sounds. This month students will release a CD for the first time in school history.Student composers and band members have laid down 15 tracks ranging from country to rap.The CD will be free for students who bought yearbooks. It comes out at the same time as the yearbooks, which are tentatively planned for release Tuesday, May 20. Album-makers are considering selling copies to the public.

The idea for the CD arose from a brainstorming session about fundraising for the yearbook. Junior Rudy Ybarra, the yearbook editor, came up with the idea for an album.I was just thinking, theres a lot of music out there, band-wise, and a lot of students dont get to see what they can do, he said.Andrew Fersch, an English teacher who oversees the yearbook, has been helping the students record their songs.The best thing is just how talented the students are, he said, noting Houghtons Taylor Swift cover as one of many examples. Ive seen Taylor Swift live in performance, and Megans was better than hers.Of course, the album doesnt profess to be professional. For one thing, it hasnt been mastered, so some tracks are louder than others. The equipment also fell short of star quality. Although students tried to resuscitate an aging 24-track machine in the music room, they eventually opted for Apples GarageBand program. A handful of students also recorded songs on their own. As it turns out, the slightly rough-around-the-edges quality of the album makes it endearing.Clearly all the students arent going to be at the level of a professional artist, but they shouldnt be, Fersch said shortly before launching into the project. That doesnt mean they shouldnt get an opportunity to share their music with a larger audience. Everybody who has shown interest so far loves doing it, and to me, thats all that matters.

Songs headed for a larger audience range from a show-tune-esque original by Senior Sean Pack to raps by the band Hpnotiq.Eighteen-year-old Rigo Spath and his crew are the baddest rappers on the east side of Edwards. But until they joined the CD project, theyd been struggling to lay down tracks without a studio.On their own recording of the song Hesitation, Spaths voice echoes when he croons I really love you baby, please dont make me cry.Thats because the teens recorded the song in a public bathroom. Told they were making too much noise rapping in Spaths laundry room, the crew including 16-year-old Josh Mendoza and 15-year-old Eric Atencio retreated to the Edwards rest stop off I-70, where they set up a makeshift recording station in the family bathroom, only to get kicked out by the cops for loitering. Its hard out here for a pimp, man, Spath said.With the help of the CD project, though, the crew will be able to share its unique blend of R&B and hip hop with the student body. They wrote the last two songs on the album, including an introduction rap called Hpnotiq and a spruced-up version of Hesitation.What are they hoping other students get from their music?Just to recognize that you dont have to be from a city to be talented, Atencio said. High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 970-748-2938 or

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