Truro musician opens studio inside former Cold War bunker
DEBERT – As soon as she saw it, Amy Brandon knew she wanted to set up a recording studio inside the former Diefenbunker.
She recently opened Top Secret Sounds, located 15 metres underground, and has already spent many hours inside.
“I toured the bunker back in December,” said Brandon, a singer-songwriter and jazz musician originally from Charlottetown but moved to Truro in 2007 with her husband. “It was just fascinating. Jonathan Baha’i, the owner, he knows so much of the history of the bunker. When I saw this studio, it was completely empty and I knew right away I wanted to open my studio here.”
When the Diefenbunker was built in the 1960s, the studio was included with the intent of serving as a broadcast area in the case of an emergency.
“CBC had its own list of employees that would be sent here in the event of a catastrophe,” Brandon said. “When they built it, they didn’t spare anything. You could hear a pin drop in here.”
When she toured the bunker, the 33-year-old was preparing to start recording her own album.
“When you’re recording at home, for example, there are so many extra sounds. The studio here already had a faraday cage to eliminate any signals from cell phone or anything else. This is one of the quietest places to record.”
Brandon has already started working on her album, with the hopes of releasing it by June. She’s scheduled to tour Ontario with JUNO Award winner Mike Rud.
While she’s working on her album, Brandon opened the studio this past Sunday and invited musicians in for a free, 30-minute demo recording.
She had a dozen musicians respond, ranging from country musicians to rappers.
“I didn’t know what I was going to be seeing in terms of musicians, but it was so lovely to meet them all and hear their original work,” she said. “There is so much talent in the Truro area and there were some amazing musicians that came in. I wanted to let them know I was here and to hear the sound quality we’re getting out of here.”
She said the musicians she recorded on Sunday were from the Truro area, many of whom wrote their own songs. Along with those that took advantage of the free offer, she’s gotten quite a bit of interest already.
“There are a number of musicians that are stopping by in the next week or so, so I’m very pleased with the interest,” she said.