By Jenn Stanley for Boston Compass (#131)
January 20, 2021
Miranda Serra G. doesn’t seek permission or legitimization from others. She refers to obstacles as “insightful challenges,” and is uncomfortable with accolades. All this makes it that much cooler that Boston Music Awards named her studio producer of the year, the first woman ever to hold that title.
“Working through the confusion of being a woman in this field used to mean taking risks and sometimes being treated unfairly, now it means being seen for my totality,” says Serra G., who started as an intern at Zippah Recording a decade ago. Zippah’s Brian Charles says that her natural talent and enthusiasm made her an invaluable asset from the very beginning.
“One person has offered me truly unsolicited mentorship, Brian Charles,” says Serra G.“I’ve only ever felt truly seen by a few people, he’s one of them.”
Charles says it was all in his best interest because she’s made Zippah a better environment for everyone. “I’m proud of the producer and engineer that she’s become, and I’m grateful for the time and work that she’s put in to make the studio better.”
She’s recorded and mixed some of the most dynamically dark and brain buzzing albums to come out of the local scene in the last few years, like Kal Marks’ 2018 Universal Care, and Kira McSpice’s latest album, Attack.
There is an endless well of creativity open to those who view limitations as a portal to new infinities. Logistical challenges of covid-19 restrictions have Serra G. leaning into unconventional capture, a move that has set her apart this year.
“The prospect of exciting and unfamiliar space serves my creative process. Some of the most ear-bending work I’ve done has utilized apparent obstacles as resources,” says Serra G.
Obstacles like social distancing and shuttered studio space that led Serra G. to record with McSpice and her band in a warehouse over three nights in August. The depth of sound on the album drags listeners into the mental and physical anguish of a migraine’s third and most intense phase. McSpice’s searing cries reach us as clearly as her more delicate harmonies, weaving between sonically sculpted claustrophobia and expansiveness that defies oppressive tropes equating female pain with frailty.
Her refusal to equate her self worth with her work allows her to follow her impulses freely, and whether on purpose or not, toward success. Her studio producer of the year win opens doors, giving other women in the industry a reference point. The recognition has been encouraging, she says, and she’s grateful if it represents a collective willingness to change. “Boston subculture is super transgressive, and I’m excited for that to be seen and heard to scale.”