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990902- Canton woman to sing at State Fair The Baltimore Guide
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990604- She writes the songs, and sings them, too Prince George's Journal

Where Violins and Vector Analysis Meet— Peabody celebrates Alan Kefauver and the 20th Anniversary of Peabody’s Recording Arts and Sciences Program with a Symposium on the Future of the Sound Recording Industry

By Geoffrey Himes

If you taught violin during the 1983- 1984 school year and you’re still teaching today, not much has changed. It’s still the same instrument played with pretty much the same technique.

If, on the other hand, you’ve taught recording for 20 years, as Alan Kefauver has, much has changed. When he began the Peabody Recording Arts and Sciences Program in 1983, almost all recording was done on analogue tape; now most recording is done to digital hard drives. Almost all the equipment is different, and most of it is smaller and more powerful. A recording professor has to relearn his subject matter every three years or so. A strings professor would face a similar situation only if the violin suddenly changed into an instrument with seven strings, a miniature body, two knobs, a brass neck and a bow made of magnetic tape.

“My wife will tell you,” Kefauver says, “that I’m up every night reading magazines and manuals, trying to stay on top of it. I’m always calling my former students to find out what’s happening out there. And you can never learn too much about computers.” As a result, the program often resembles the department at a science school more than one at a music conservatory. And yet, the most crucial talent of any recording engineer—the ability to recognize the best music, to distinguish better sounds from the merely good—is timeless. It’s the same skill—a good ear—that any symphonic, jazz or bluegrass musician must have. That talent is pretty much the same today as it was in 19th-century Vienna, when sheet-music transcribers and ballroom architects were as obsessed with preserving and presenting music as today’s audio engineers and acoustic designers are. These two competing pressures— the drive to keep up with everimproving equipment and the need to capture the timeless values of the music itself—make audio engineers a hybrid breed. And it makes the training of audio engineers a hybrid program. No American school has made an earlier or fuller commitment to a truly balanced recording curriculum than Peabody.

In September, 1984, Kefauver launched the conservatory’s innovative Recording Program, an unusual approach that demanded that each incoming student audition for a music-performance slot at Peabody and then successfully complete that program. At the same time, the student would have to pass electrical engineering courses at Johns Hopkins’ Whiting School and Kefauver’s own special classes and practicum in recording. At the end of the five-year program, the graduate would have a rare combination of music training, science education, and hands-on studio experience.

“My idea,” Kefauver explains, “was that a graduate of this program could perform on either side of the window. When a violinist says, ‘I want a darker sound,’ it almost takes another musician to understand what that means. It’s like the chicken-or-theegg argument—what comes first, the music or the science? Most musicians can’t run equipment, and most engineers can’t follow a score. My students know enough electrical engineering to design a unit and operate it and enough music to perform in front of it.“

“Anybody who’s going to work with music in a studio needs to be a totally qualified musician,” argues Peabody director Bob Sirota. “So to be a recording major here you have to pass your performing audition, just like any other student. You have to have the ears that training gives you. That’s very different from other recording arts programs. The core is still the traditional courses; everything springs from that. Another way of saying that is we’ve too long let people who aren’t musicians run our business.”

“In the 20 years of the program,” Kefauver explains, “we’ve had 590 applicants; 260 were accepted, and 100 graduated. The rest of the school has a graduation rate of 90%. Ours is lower because this program is really hard; it’s self-weeding. But my guys get real jobs that make real money when they get out.”

“When I was coming out of high school,” remembers alumna Anna Maria de Freitas, now a vice president at Soundprint, “going to Peabody was a hard decision, because I was very interested in science and math and I didn’t want to give up the analytic part of my life and commit myself solely to the flute. So when I heard about the recording arts program, I was very excited because it gave me a chance to marry these interests. I’ve always been someone who had to do a lot of different things to keep balance in my life.

“The Peabody program gave me both right-brain creative skills and left-brain technical skills,” she adds. “When I stayed on at Whiting to get a masters in electrical engineering, I’d be sitting next to a totally left-brain engineer whose circuit board was very neat and tidy. By contrast, mine looked like an octopus, but it worked and it was a very creative solution to the problem. Marrying those two sides of the brain is very important. That’s why when I hire a studio engineer, I almost insist that they have a music background, and most of them have had some connection to Peabody.”

This unusual blend of skills has led Peabody’s recording-program graduates into some very interesting jobs. Like de Freitas, David Patschke has produced award-winning documentaries for the Soundprint radio series. Lawrence Manchester has engineered the soundtracks for such movies as The Red Violin and Frida. Sheldon Steiger has produced records for Joe Jackson and has composed music for such films as American Psycho. Harold Chambers is the senior music-production engineer at WQXR-FM in New York. Xiadong Zhou is the senior audio engineer at Beijing Radio in China. Lisa Weinhold is the principal flutist at the Alabama Symphony. Angela Taylor runs her own record company in Baltimore and is an audio engineer for ABC News in Washington. Matt Lyons is a former engineer at Polk Audio now teaching at Peabody who is design engineer and part owner of the Adcom company.

Atau Tanaka is a co-founder of the art-rock Sensorband {cq} and has done research on interactive music technology for Apple and IRCAM as well as his day job as Researcher at the Sony Computer Science Lab, Paris, in Future Music Systems. Tony Warner is head of Audio-Visual Design for the international design firm RTKL. Neil Tevault is the technical director for music and entertainment programs at National Public Radio. Jason Harlow helped design the noise-canceling headphone for Bose. Brian Schmidt is an engineer at Dolby Labs and works on streaming system for internet music among other things. And so on.

“One of our music graduates who worked for me in the studios before the program actually started, William Moylan, runs the recording program at the University of Lowell in Massachusetts,” Kefauver points out.

“Another graduate, Bernd Gottinger, runs the audio program at SUNY at Fredonia. It tickles me that some of my graduates have become my competition at other schools. It’s funny how their curricula become more and more like Peabody’s as the years go by. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

Many of these alumni returned to Peabody on January 29 for a day-long “Peabody Recording Arts and Sciences Program 20th Anniversary Celebration, honoring Alan P. Kefauver.”

They were joined by many current students and staff from the school. Also on hand were an impressive array of audio-industry heavyweights who had befriended Kefauver over the years and had now come to pay tribute— everyone from Grammy Awardwinning producers George Massenburg and John Eargle to Charles Thompson, the overall technical director at National Public Radio, from Matthew Polk, the co-founder of Polk Audio, to Bob Goldstein, the founder of Maryland Sound, from Josiah Gluck, the associate music engineer at “Saturday Night Live,” to jazz producer Michael McDonald. “The students are talented enough when they’re here,” Kefauver insists, “that I’m not surprised when they go on to do ‘Saturday Night Live’ or the soundtrack from Red Violin. I expect that.”

The day began with a brunch at the Mount Vernon Club, that gem of 1840s neo-classical architecture. It had the air of a college reunion with folks strolling around with mimosas in their right hands and blue-andwhite name tags on their left lapels as they periodically cried, “I haven’t seen you since ….”

It also had the air of a techno-geek convention as you overheard people heatedly arguing about the relative merits of this microphone and that pre-amp. In the midst of it all was Where Kefauver, flushed with the slightly embarrassed pleasure of someone who has to absorb compliments and thank-yous all day long.

At 2 p.m. the action moved to the Cohen-Davison Theatre, a new hall created as part of the Institute’s recent renovations, for a panel discussion on “The State of the Art: Looking Ahead to the Next 20 Years.” Panel moderator Matthew Polk set the mood with his declaration, “An ancient Chinese curse was, ‘May you live in interesting times.’ I’m wondering, ‘Who did we in the audio industry offend?’

“What is going on around us is truly amazing,” he continued. “Since the founding of the recording arts program, 85 years of analogue recording technology has been completely overturned by digital technology. Now it’s happening to video before our very eyes. There have been tremendous advances in the state of the art of recording, reproduction, content delivery.

“So here we are, all of us striving to create a great audio experience, and yet most of the world seems content to listen to their music in the form of highly compressed MP3 bit streams. Does anyone care about what we do or are we unrecognized geniuses disconnected from reality?”

Polk was describing the very odd situation we find ourselves in today. On the one hand, the technology for capturing and replaying a musical performance has never been better. With 5.1 surround sound, the experience is so convincing spatially that you can close your eyes and believe that you’ve pulled up a chair between the second violinist and the violist in a string quartet or between the saxophonist and the trumpeter in a jazz combo. And yet most people under 30 download their music from the internet, where the performances have been compressed into MP3 or other files.

“Once you’ve made an MP3 file,” Kefauver said beforehand, “you’ve already lost information that you can’t get back. If most music ends up being stored this way, we’ll be losing a lot of our musical heritage; it’s already being lost.”

The challenge for Kefauver and his program is to keep abreast of the ever-accelerating cutting-edge of innovation without losing a sense of what makes music worth recording and replaying in the first place. In other words, they need the expertise to create the best sound possible, but they also need to keep in mind that music “is an emotional art,” in Thompson’s words. They need to sustain that emotional connection with the listener if they are ever to answer Polk’s question, “Does anyone care?” We live in an era when recording equipment has become so widely available and affordable that any musician can buy it, set it up in his basement and make an album. In a world such as this, what is the role of the highly trained audio engineers graduating from Peabody?

“It has never been easier to say you’re an audio engineer,” said alumnus panelist David Patschke, “but it’s never been harder to be a good one…. Fifteen years ago when desktop publishing and Photoshop software became widely available, everyone thought they could be a graphic designer and there was a fear that there would be no need for professional designers. But lo and behold, there are still professional graphic designers out there, because people realized they need people who are trained and know what they’re doing. The same will be true of audio engineers.”

“We’ve made it possible for everyone to make an album,” Nashville producer George Massenburg noted after the panel, “and everyone has. We’re overwhelmed by product and we’ve lost the ability to tell the good from the bad.”

Josiah Gluck gave an example from his work on “Saturday Night Live.” He’ll be given an album from a new band and be told that the TV sound should resemble the CD’s sound. And his reaction will be, “I don’t know how to make something sound that bad.”

“There’s no real apprenticeship,” he added, “no real learning about how to do good sound, where to place the mike, how to make a saxophone sound like a particular player playing that saxophone on a particular day. These kids come in and say, ‘We don’t want to be a slick corporate band,’ when actually they don’t know how to make it sound any better. They hide their lack of ability and lack of experience behind their rhetoric. Then, if that record somehow becomes a hit, that lack of professionalism becomes the new standard.”

“There’s a reason that CD handed to Josh is so crappy,” Massenburg added. “The problem has been the incremental dumbing down of audio. It’s comparing two pieces of equipment and just picking whatever’s cheaper or louder or more convenient and eliminating any other considerations. Incrementally, the sound gets worse and worse until the outcome is your crappy CD.”

Decisions about equipment and technique are made at each step of the chain between the live performer and the live listener—in the actual recording of the performance, in the transfer of that recording to a consumer commodity (a CD, DVD, a download file, a radio signal, a liveconcert mix, etc.), in the system that plays back that commodity and in the arrangement of the room where the sound is heard. There are so many places the sound can go wrong that it’s a miracle it ever emerges with any quality at all.

The Peabody recording program covers every phase of that process, both in studio and concert performances. Kefauver teaches all the recording courses; Matt Lyons teaches the equipment design courses, and Neil Thompson Shade teaches the acoustics courses. “Alan does tape,” Lyons says; “I do boxes, and Neil does rooms.”

Lyons and Shade both run audiodesign and acoustic firms respectively in addition to their teaching at Peabody. “It’s good to have practical examples of how to apply the theory you’re talking about,” says Shade. “In acoustics class, we derive the reverberation time equation to describe the build-up and decay of sound in a room. When the question inevitably arises, ‘Why do I need to know this?’ I can describe my experience designing an auditorium and how I use the results of that equation. That makes it seem more real.

“On the other hand, teaching keeps me honest in my professional life. A lot of the design work I do on a daily basis isn’t intellectually challenging; it can become rote. Students are always asking questions that you don’t have answers to, and it’s good to be stimulated.”

This versatility of faculty and curriculum in the Peabody recording program yields alumni who can make a decided difference in the quality of music reproduction. But in a world where many people listen to music on tiny, tinny TV speakers or on cheap, flimsy headphones, does anyone care about that difference? What is the role of expert audio engineers in the 21st century?

Panelist Eargle, who won the 2000 Grammy Award for Best Engineered Classical Album (Zdenek Macal’s Dvorak Requiem), suggested that a big part of the problem is that we live in an increasingly visual world. That’s inevitable, he concedes, because the visual cortex in our brain is 10 times the size of our audio cortex. But with music increasingly married to film, television and video, audio considerations often become an afterthought.

“When the two centers of the brain,” he points out, “are excited at the same time by entertainment, for example by television, you’re apt to look at the picture very carefully. Any part of the picture that isn’t right, any flicker, will bother you, and yet you will sit there and tolerate the worst possible sound. In other words, we’ve become slaves to television. “Every major loud-speaker company today is making more money on automotive products and video products than they are on those fancy lovely, five-foot loud speakers selling at a high-ticket price to the audiophile. The high-end part of the market has become so attenuated that it’s practically a cottage industry. What saddens me is all the great hi-fi salons that I used to go to 25 years ago, where I could sit down with friends and lose myself in the music, are all about video now.”

“As engineers and classical musicians,” alumnus panelist Tony Warner suggested, “we represent a very small fraction of the general public. Most people don’t sit and evaluate music the way we do. Most people listen to music in their cars, while they’re cooking, on their clock radios. To say that their quality of life is somehow inferior because they’re not experiencing music the way they need to be is to miss the mark. We need to accept how people use music in their life and figure out how we can better that or in 20 years we’re going to be sitting on this stage again wondering how we missed the mark.”

At a certain point this discussion of the crisis in audio began to sound very familiar. It began to sound like every discussion one has ever heard about the crisis of classical music or the crisis of jazz. The arguments are the same: We have this wonderful experience—it might be Bartok string quartet, a Charlie Parker solo, or a 5.1 surround sound system—that people would really love if they could just be exposed to it and learn how to appreciate it. Instead we are faced with smaller and grayer audiences. What do we do?

“Hasn’t there always been within the industry a two-tier system?” alumnus panelist Lawrence Manchester asked. “Hasn’t there always been a cheap, convenient, easily accessible delivery system, whether it was the Walkman, cassettes or now the iPod? Hasn’t there always been an expensive high-end system, whether it was hi-fi stereo, half-speed mastering or now 5.1 surround sound? Hasn’t that always been the case? Won’t that always be the case?”

“Why are we all doing what we’re doing today?” Polk afterward asked of his fellow baby-boomers on the panel. “Because of a nasty, cheap device called the portable transistor radio. It allowed teenagers in the ‘60s to hear the music they wanted to hear instead of having to go into that giant Philco set in the living room and having their parents tell them to turn that awful music off. Sure, the transistor had horrible sound, but it created a whole new generation of music lovers, which led to a whole revolution in music technology.

“Today people are fascinated by a device that carries 10,000 songs in a compressed format. Once the novelty wears off, they’ll still love music but they’ll want better sound and that will lead them to better audio. It’s just like people who buy a cheap model as their first car and graduate to better and better cars.” Massenburg — a Baltimore native who went on to produce records for Bonnie Raitt, James Taylor, Little Feat and Linda Ronstadt—countered by claiming that the high-end tier of audio is endangered today as never before. The record companies and the audio manufacturers, he maintained, have pretty much abandoned investment and marketing of audiophile systems.

At a time when multi-channel recordings are not only feasible but also provide an unprecedented sonic experience, he contended, they’re not being made. A whole generation of multi-channel performances could be lost before the industry rediscovers the format, unless producers and engineers take the initiative to stockpile the recordings to build a catalogue for the future.

Michael McDonald, who has engineered CDs for Fred Hersch and other jazz artists, insisted that the high-end tier was alive and healthy in the most logical place to look for it—amid the classical and jazz audiences composed of the older, better educated, more affluent listeners most likely to care about audio quality. The small jazz labels he works for are eager to pursue SACD and multi-channel sound because that’s the way they can differentiate themselves from the big companies and cement their ties to a specialized audience.

McDonald’s experience implies that high-end audio will have to take the same path as jazz and classical music. It will have to abandon the dream of becoming a broad-based mass phenomenon and concentrate on a small but devoted audience. You have to serve that audience very well and you have to make it easy for newcomers to join the club.

“It’s an illusion to call anything broadcasting anymore,” claimed NPR’s Charles Thompson. “Everything is niche. Niche marketing is driving places like XM radio with its 100 channels, cable TV with its 100 channels, Amazon giving you your personality profile. Ultimately what we can affect is our portion of that. Whether we’re making a rock record or a classical record, whether we’re presenting live jazz on the radio or on TV, what we can do it make those experiences sound as good as we can. What happens after that is called distribution, and we don’t have control over that. But we do know what we do have control over.”

“Part of the answer,” Massenburg offers, “is you have to do what you do very well. Our job as technologists is to retain the artists’ intent. There’s a place in the world for that; it’s not a big place, but there’s a place for it.” Back in the late ‘60s, Massenburg ran Recordings Inc., just about the only decent studio in Baltimore, and Thompson and Kefauver were Peabody undergraduates who got bit by the recording bug. Thompson was working in the school library, and he soon realized that the tape archives, recorded in lo-fi mono, weren’t very good. Though he was still an undergrad, he started agitating for the school to build a real studio that could record and mix in stereo. Charles Kent, the school’s director at the time, was very interested in technology—he had bought one of Robert Moog’s first synthesizers for the school in 1965—and gave Thompson and Kefauver the OK to create the studio themselves. Thompson was already apprenticing for Massenburg on Cold Spring Lane, so he had a role model for building equipment from scratch. When Thompson graduated in 1969, he was hired as the first director of the Peabody Recording Studio, with Kefauver, still an undergrad, as his assistant. When Thompson got drafted into the army in 1970, Kefauver took over as director. He’s been in the studio ever since.

“I’m a French horn player,” he says. “I don’t play much any more, but for many years I played professionally— in the pit at the Mechanic, as the seventh horn in the Bruchner symphony at the BSO, with the circus, anything that paid. There’s nothing like six weeks of Fiddler on the Roof, eight shows a week, to make you appreciate academia. At one point, in the early ‘80s, I was in the pit at the Mechanic, running the program here and recording the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra five times a week for broadcast. I had to give that up, because I never saw my family.

“In 1978, I met a remarkable man, Harold Boxer, Music Director of The Voice of America in Washington D.C who wanted to start an Audio Institute at The Aspen Music Festival.. He asked if I would go out to Colorado with him to record some of the festival’s performances. And while I was there, he added, would I talk to some students? I went back to Aspen every summer, and the students would always say, ‘Where can we go to college and study recording?’ There were trade schools, but the only college program was at the University of Miami and there was nothing at a conservatory. What we needed was something like the Tonmeister program in Germany and Austria, so I got hold of their curriculum. “If I hadn’t had a courageous dean, Irving Lowens, on my side, this program never would have happened,” Kefauver continues. “He thought it was a good idea, and he helped me get an academic program started. At first there were some piano and other faculty who thought students couldn’t put enough time into their instruments if they took math and science courses, so they wouldn’t teach recording majors. That’s changed. Once people realized we were going to be sensitive to their needs, they began to cooperate.” On a weekday in January, Kefauver sits at his favorite place—in the padded swivel chair behind the giant console in Peabody’s Studio 220. He’s a round Buddha of a man with saltand- pepper hair and a bushy mustache. On this day he wears a maroon shirt, gray slacks, glasses and the skeptical smile that hints at Gluck’s description of his mentor as someone who “does not suffer fools lightly.” The console is a million-dollar machine, a Sony Oxford OXF-3 board with 120 inputs and 96 outputs, a state-of-the-art tool that can handle multi-channel digital recording. It was purchased and installed as part of Peabody’s major renovations of 2003- 2004. The console is wired to all four of Peabody’s concert halls—Friedberg, Griswold, Cohen-Davison and East—and can record performances from any of them.

“This console is going to be here for a while,” Kefauver promises. “You have to be careful to distinguish innovations from fads. Students come in and say the latest hit record was made with so-and-so’s pre-amp; it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread and we have to have one. Then it’s my job to investigate and make an evaluation. Was it really so-and-so’s preamp or was it a really good engineer who just happened to use that preamp? If it really was the equipment, we’ll get it.”

Through the glass window above the console, one can look out from the control room into the main room of Studio 220. It’s there that up to 20 musicians can gather for a recording session. This room too was completely redone in the renovations, and now its walls are covered by blond-wood quadratic diffusers and gray-cloth abflectors to create as neutral and even a sound as possible. The diffusers and abflectors were designed by Peter D’Antonio of RPG Acoustics and installed by Peabody students under his guidance.

Studio 220 is the jewel of the Peabody recording program, but it’s just one of four recording studios at the conservatory. Down the hall is Studio 203, where the five-year-old, digital two-track equipment is mostly used for mastering. Downstairs is Studio 2002, a two-year-old digital studio that handled the main brunt of the load while Studio 220 was being renovated. Also downstairs is Studio 3036, which gives students a chance to work on vintage analogue equipment, which is still preferred by some engineers.

All four studios are kept busy. “We do 800 events a year at the school,” Kefauver explains, “and we record them all. There are twice as many recitals in the second semester as in the first, and in April we have as many as six recitals a day. Basically, if it moves, we record it. And everything gets put in the archives.”

Kefauver tries to save everything he records on both digital tape and digital hard drives. One of the great ironies of the digital revolution, which was supposed to make data storage easier, is that it often makes it harder. A storage medium is only as good as its playback mechanism and with those mechanisms changing so frequently, it’s not always easy to find a working machine to handle your old tapes and discs. And the discs themselves are suspect.

“Sometimes we have to archive the machines with the tapes,” Kefauver notes, “so we have something to play them back on. Tape is still the most stable medium we have; if I put a reel of tape on a shelf, I know it’s still going to work whenever I pull it back down. The one thing we know about hard drives is that sooner or later they crash. It’s scary the way tape is disappearing.” “You have to be concerned about the quality of information on a disc,” agrees Lyons. “No one knows how a hard drive will hold up over a hundred years, because they haven’t been around that long. Hopefully record companies, recording studios and music schools will see the financial advantage of their archives and start to take better care of them. “Storage capacity keeps increasing,” he adds, “but the problem is how to fit that information through the narrow pipeline of the internet. That leads to compression, and as an acoustic scientist you also have to be concerned about the loss of information that entails. It’s as if someone said, ‘We can preserve a painting by taking a digital picture of it and only keeping the necessary bytes.”

Students in the Peabody recording program have to pursue three different courses of study—the usual conservatory path of mastering a particular instrument, ear training and ensemble playing; the standard Hopkins courses in electrical engineering; and the special classes and internships designed by Kefauver and his staff. The classes cover every link in the recording and playback chain.

But even as they’re studying that theory, students are already applying it. As freshmen they begin recording Peabody concerts as assistants to upperclassmen. They don’t get paid for class projects, but they do get paid for working on Peabody recitals and concerts. Moreover, they are required to work an average of 10 hours a week—both to build up their experience and to guarantee that every Peabody event gets recorded.

“I spend my days in a recording studio at a control board,” explains New York producer Sheldon Steiger, “working with the same kind of equipment I used at Peabody. I’m trying to get the best sound possible from the musicians and from the equipment, and how I do that is a result of the hands-on experimenting I did at Peabody. Being a classically trained musician helps me immeasurably in bridging the gap between the intention of a musical performance and the actual result. The excitement of a performance is more interesting to me than knowing what button to push, and I got that at Peabody.”

“To be a good musician, you have to have life experience,” de Freitas insists. “If you listen to someone who sits in a practice room eight hours a day, they may be an excellent technician but their music has no life, because they don’t have the life experience. The recording program forced us to work as team and to develop the social skills to work with temperamental musicians, and that gave us life experience. The radio production I do now is also collaborative, like being part of a symphony orchestra or a recording team.”

In the second year, the students can record a small recital—such as a solo singer or solo pianist—as part of a team; in the second semester they might move up to a duo or trio. By the third year, they’re handling ensembles, not just classical but also jazz and pop. By the fourth year, they’re handling projects on their own. And in the fifth year, they have to organize and complete a major recording project in the jazz or pop fields entirely on their own.

“My years at Peabody were exhausting,” remembers Manchester. “The day started at 7 a.m. so you could be in theory class at 8:30 and it didn’t end till 11:30 at night. You didn’t have classes on weekend, but there were always rehearsals for one thing or another. At the end of the day I was pretty whipped, but I’m not complaining, because I loved every minute of it.”

“And I apply the education I got at Peabody in so many ways,” he adds. “Because I was a musician at Peabody, there’s no need for a middle man when I’m working with another musician in the studio, because we both speak the same language.

“When I’m working on a film score, both the composer and the director rely on me to capture the music in a way that reflects their artistic vision but at the same time works on a technical level so it syncs up with the visuals and sounds really good. So when they say, they want it to sound full and warm here, that could mean many things but I can translate that into musical terms and tweak the knobs to make it happen.”

“What I learned from Alan,” recalls Gluck, “was to not be afraid of the equipment. Treat it with respect, yes, but get in there and do it. We use equipment that can be measured to the most precise parameters, and yet we use it to capture music, which is the most emotional and personal of the arts. It’s to Alan’s credit that I never lost sight of the art while carrying out the science.”

©2005 Peabody News, ©2005 Angela Taylor
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