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Shuttered factories, abandoned warehouses and boarded up store fronts are being re-purposed as galleries and performance spaces by people with passion and vision. Art From the Ground Up was created to provide a showcase for some of the most innovative members of Pittsburgh’s emerging arts community.00000176-e6f7-dce8-adff-f6f7706f0000Art From the Ground Up is hosted by Bob Studebaker and is a monthly series highlighting small grass roots arts organizations and individual artists that take non-traditional approaches to the creation, presentation, and even the definition of art.Know an organization Bob should check out? Email him with your suggestions.

How Music Adds Emotion: Pittsburgh Songwriter On Creating An Album

Erica Dilcer
Singer-songwriter Heather Kropf, in addition to engineer Jay Dudt and producer Jeff Berman, explain how her album "Chrysalis" came to fruition.

When talking about working on the album “Chrysalis,” producer Jeff Berman sounds like he’s describing a painting.

“Sculpting out the motion of the piece,” Berman said. “The overtones of that piano. The way that interacted with the rhythm section and helped us sculpt the landscape, we created a musical environment for that tune. The guitars add another part that would add a certain internal motion.”

He worked with singer-songwriter Heather Kropf on the album. Kropf said she primarily focused on writing the songs as a way to cope with some health issues. Once she decided to do the album and layered her songwriting with the music, she said it added a level of emotion her words – and even a live performance -- could not.

“There’s something about an album that’s different for me than a live performance,” Kropf said. “You get more room to play.”