COTTAGE DWELLERS: Luciano Giarrano (left) and Damon Moon hold down the fort.

Allister Reynolds

COTTAGE DWELLERS: Luciano Giarrano (left) and Damon Moon hold down the fort.

Indie artists find sanctuary at the Cottage 

DIY studio/live space thrives off the beaten path

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The Cottage (1300 Skyhaven Road, 770-815-2084) sits at the end of an unassuming wooded driveway just around the corner from the bars and clubs of East Atlanta Village. Since the spring of 2011, lead engineer/producer Luciano Giarrano has managed the DIY studio/live space, keeping it independent of any one scene or genre despite its proximity to indie-centric neighborhoods such as EAV and Little Five Points. Live sets happen everywhere here, from the unfinished basement to the detached garage to the living room and the backyard.

"It reminded me of my home or my bedroom [and] how I began recording," Giarrano says. "It triggered memories of when and how I grew a love for music. That feeling is common to so many musicians that I hoped the Cottage in some small way could recreate that and thusly impact the level of creativity."

Giarrano helps artists translate their musical visions or ideas, making technical decisions that complement a song, for instance, while keeping the record's bigger themes in mind. "I like the term 'facilitator' — someone who makes progress easier — more than I like the term 'producer,'" Giarrano says.

Giarrano's domain has become a sort of refuge for Atlanta bands such as Iron Jayne, Gold-Bears, and Christ, Lord, among others, to track new material outside of their own bedroom studios or more costly, established studios.

"I wanted the Cottage to be a place where creative people that in many other circumstances might not come together, do," Giarrano says. "Cross genre, cross subculture, cross personality — in those circumstances, interesting and important things can happen."

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