We had the good fortune of connecting with Ted Pickell and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ted, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Being an artist has a major impact on ones life. So the ability to not participate in live music was so jarring for me that we wanted to create a new and interesting way to invigorate the arts, while also empower artists during this especially challenging time for performers. My business partner and I sought to create a product that could market high-fidelity videos at a relatively affordable price so that artists could feel fantastic about producing very high quality video and audio without needing to purchase the equipment or develop the skills necessary to do so. It all started from a project I was a part of called “An die Musik”. An online series through Palm Beach Opera to showcase their young artists and promote digital music production. I have been a Benenson Young Artist for the last two years. We were making a video for myself, and thought “Hey we have 2 Sony 4K mirrorless cameras, why not shoot two angles”. We saw how the final product turned out and thought it was so much more exciting and engaging. Knowing so many of our colleagues singers and instrumentalists would need to make digital content especially this fall we decided to double and triple down on our capabilities. We invested heavily in the highest quality cameras, microphones, sliders, gimbals, lighting equipment, drones, and training. Effectively a full production company so we could be versatile and available to produce any content from the most simple 1 camera audition to complete and in-depth short films.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Well, I have been a professional singer now for over ten years. I studied at the University of the Pacific for my Bachelors Degree and Northwestern University for my Masters in which my degrees were in Vocal Performance. I have been freelancing as an artist for the last five years since I got out of grad school in which I have been privileged to participate in a number of wonderful programs and contracts. From being a fellow at Merola Opera Program, Benenson Young Artist at Palm Beach Opera, singing with one of my idols in a main stage production at San Diego Opera, I have traveled all over the United States singing. I was supposed to be an apprentice at Santa Fe Opera this summer, until the contract was cancelled. During the Covid-19 crisis, I have sought to be on the forefront of innovation in bringing more art and music to as many people as we can with our platform and the capabilities at our disposal . We have sought out partnerships with management firms, large and small arts organizations, and of course individual artists. Conduit Studios LLC truly started as such a small seed of an idea that had really been growing for several years and we just didn’t know it. Slowly Johann and I had begun cultivating skills that would allow us to create something now that we hope to be meaningful and impactful to the classical music community and beyond. Johann (Creative Director) has become an absolute mastermind behind the production side of things and his creativity and eye frequently astound me. I have taken on the role of running the business side of things, client acquisition, and creating meaningful partnerships that will hopefully continue to support and sustain our business model. We focus on creating engaging and more interactive live music videos that make artists feel that their art is represented in the way that they intend it to be seen. Producing content that the artists we collaborate with are truly proud of and desire to put out into the digital sea, is at the core and essential to what we do at Conduit Studios.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Yes! Well what isn’t there to love about most of San Diego! I have come to truly enjoy so much about the area as I have been here off and on for about four years. I think I would if I were to build an itinerary for a week it would look something like this Monday: Settle in and prepare for a wonderful dinner at Mister A’s to get a whole view of the city at nightime which is absolutely stunning. Tuesday: Maybe do the Torrey Pines State Reserve hiking trail and refuel with some Ramen at Tajima! Wednesday: Explore Balboa Park and go for an exceptional dinner at Barbusa in little Italy. Thursday: Head up to Temecula to do some wine tastings at some fabulous wineries, or do some local amazing san diego breweries depending on what they prefer (Ballast Point, Green Flash) Friday: Head to Liberty Station in Point Loma to do some exploring and end up at The Smoking Goat in North Park for dinner Saturday: Gear up for a big night with a dinner at Born and Raised and go out for drinks at Noble Experiment downtown. Sunday: Have a great breakfast at one of Breakfast Republics many locations to dissuade the hangover and send my dear friend on their way home!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank my business partner Johann, my wife Michelle Law, and all of the artists we have had the pleasure of recording and collaborating with in order to create this business and get it off the ground. Many hours of work has gone into creating something we hope to be impactful on our community, and our world. Spreading art in times of disarray is a gift that we feel incredibly fortunate to be part of.
Michelle Law, Jennifer Wilson