Old friends reunite for pandemic recordings

Old friends Ben Peters (left) and Ian Sturgill reunited for some home recordings during the pandemic, which became the debut album, “Tiger Beat,” from the new project Gastronomics.

Combined ShapeCaption
Old friends Ben Peters (left) and Ian Sturgill reunited for some home recordings during the pandemic, which became the debut album, “Tiger Beat,” from the new project Gastronomics.

Like many people, Ian Sturgill was looking for a creative outlet during the COVID-19 lockdowns. It not only led to a musical reunion with an old friend but also yielded “Tiger Beat,” an album of indie-pop nuggets credited to Gastronomics.

Combined ShapeCaption
Old friends Ben Peters (left) and Ian Sturgill reunited for some home recordings during the pandemic, which became the debut album, “Tiger Beat,” from the new project Gastronomics.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Old friends Ben Peters (left) and Ian Sturgill reunited for some home recordings during the pandemic, which became the debut album, “Tiger Beat,” from the new project Gastronomics.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
Old friends Ben Peters (left) and Ian Sturgill reunited for some home recordings during the pandemic, which became the debut album, “Tiger Beat,” from the new project Gastronomics.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

“I dug out some of my old gear and started making home recordings again,” Sturgill said. “I’d play most or all of the parts and it was something to do during lockdowns and not being able to leave the house for months at a time. I’m not really a singer. I can barely carry a melody, though I can harmonize and sing backup to someone who’s already singing.”

Sturgill decided to contact his old buddy, Ben Peters.

“We met a little over 20 years ago when we were in high school,” Sturgill said. “(We) bonded over music and our shared experiences being teenagers into punk and alternative music in Kettering. We formed a band then and went through a few drummers and attempts to keep a group together with him and I at the nucleus. Being late teens and early 20s, we had different ideas and different priorities and goals, as well as difficulty in keeping drummers and other members around. Lineups would change pretty frequently, sometimes without me or without him. Ultimately, we both learned how to be multi-instrumentalists.”

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Sturgill and Peters, who parted ways musically in their mid-20s, began working whole-heartedly on new material.

“It was the first time we’d done any kind of music together in several years but we had a great time doing it,” Sturgill said. “The project, the decision to make an album together, kind of spun out from there.”

They quickly settled into a productive routine.

“I was writing a lot, more than I had in a long time, so we shifted into writing songs for us to do together,” Sturgill said. “Typically, I’d write a song, sometimes complete with lyrics, and sometimes together, and then I’d record the backing track, overdubbing all the parts, and he’d sing. Ben wrote a couple songs on the album as well. We worked mostly in that fashion where I’d record the track, doing the arrangement and dubbing the parts from my own songs or from his demos, and he’d dub the lead and/or backing vocals. Then, I’d do the mixing and so forth.”

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The musical partners have maintained that creative groove. Gastronomics has recorded a handful of songs for a follow-up album, tentatively planned for an early 2023 release.

More info: gastronomics1.bandcamp.com.

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or e-mail at donthrasher100@gmail.com.

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