“We’re always classically – sadly – ahead of our time.”
Andrew Yankiwski, Precursor Productions’ grand poobah, has always had a finger on the pulse of the future.
When he and his former business partner Chris Wiebe first moved into the little house in St. Boniface 18 years ago, Yankiwski recalls, “It was the ugliest ’80s-type hair salon interior you can imagine.”
“The idea was to be here for one year as just a personal studio project – for our own music. Finally, to have a place that wasn’t a bedroom or a jam space or apartment to work in.”
Now, Precursor Productions has moved into “audio post-production for film and television, interactive audio and the occasional forensic audio job. You name it, we do it.”
He bought the building in 2012. After three years mired in the city’s permitting process, he began building the lofty live/work space he had been dreaming of for two decades.
Business, an industrial-inspired audio production playground, in the front. Party, a modular minimalist dreamland, in the back.
“It’s inextricably linked with my life, so it kind of makes sense that the physical space be that way, too.”
Wired for entertaining, Precursor’s annual Halloween romp is gaining legendary status. Though the smears of makeup have been washed from the walls, traces of the horror remain.
“It’s a sex doll. That’s one of our painting outfits, and we spun for the big $50 mask at Spirit of Halloween, which was a painful purchase. I’m sure we can recycle it.”
Multi-purpose modular salon
“These Barcelona chairs ... when it’s time to relax on Friday night, we take two or three of them, and we build a couch out of them. My girlfriend and I watch stuff on this wall, because we’ve got the (projector). She goes to bed, I take two of the chairs away, I put cubes on either side, so I have my little snack and my little glass of wine, and I’ve got my video game controller.”
“One person asked me, ‘Will you play Thus Spake Zarathustra?’ I was like, ‘Probably not, but thank you for recognizing that that would be an appropriate piece of music.’
“One of our students found it abandoned at a jam space here in Winnipeg about 10 years ago ... This thing was acting as a table for their cigarettes and beers and things like that. At the time that this thing was new in the 1970s ... it would have been like a Mercedes Benz
of mastering machines.”
“I firmly believe in daily naps. I haven’t still fully gotten to the point where I can take one every day, but my vision of success for the future is actually that I can get up here and have a nap every day.”
“We had a bunch of masks that were given to us by (Chris Wiebe’s) stepmother whose friends had started an importing business ... We painted them a glossy black and repaired them. I guess they’re to ward off evil spirits.”
Published in Volume 73, Number 9 of The Uniter (November 8, 2018)