The legendary New York studio Power Station at BerkleeNYC, formerly known as Avatar Studios and the Power Station, officially reopened on Wednesday with a reception showcasing its $15 million renovation, which includes high-end video capture, professional lighting, 360 cinematic virtual reality, and spatial audio and broadcast live streaming capabilities. Singers Cyndi Lauper and Nona Hendryx, both of whom recorded classic songs at the studio, attended the event.
Over the years, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Paul Simon, Tony Bennett, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Herbie Hancock, Bob Dylan and countless others recorded classic albums at the Power Station. Like many major New York City recording studios, it felt the crunch of the city’s real estate market, but in 2017 it became part of the long-running Berklee School of Music and was renamed BerkleeNYC. With funds from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment and the city’s Economic Development Program, it will continue to host both free and tuition-based educational programs, performances, and resources for local musicians. This fall, Berklee welcomed the first class of graduate students to its New York campus for its Master of Arts degree program in Creative Media and Technology.
After the unveiling of a mural featuring legendary artists who recorded in the space, Nona Hendryx spoke about her impression of the renovated space, saying “This place has been reborn, revitalized, transformed, which is just amazing. You cannot recreate the studios here–it’s just impossible.” Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, actress, and activist Cyndi Lauper discussed her memories of recording in the studios, saying, “To sing in the Power Station, to play in the Power Station was so huge. The kids–the youth–they need a place like this…you’ve given them a future.”
Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME), said, “With tonight’s event, Power Station at BerkleeNYC celebrates the past, present, and future of this iconic recording studio located in the heart of the creative capital of the world, the New York City theatre district. We are proud to have supported the preservation efforts of this legendary facility, forever connected to the city’s rich music history, and which now has an expanded role in preparing students to become a part of New York City’s future creative economy.”