Violin + Piano

Recently recorded a recital by Roslyn Green accompanied by pianist Gergely Szokolay at the Emmanuel Howard Park Church on April 26, 2011. Using two AKG 414's in a M/S technique, I engineered the hour long recital. Here's clip for your enjoyment.

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KUPE / Outside the Box

For the past three years, I've been volunteering with KUPE (Kids Understand Practically Everything) and the Outside the Box music program at the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. The program provides free music lessons to children ages 9-13 without affordable access to theory and instruction. It's a wonderfully rewarding program full of talented and dedicated instructors, including myself. The past semester saw 4 of my students pick up and race off with drum sticks, learning the backing beat to Canadian urban artist, Drake, and his song "Find Your Love." At the end of the 8-week program, the students get to record their progress; here's the track:

[soundcloud width="100%" height="81" params="" url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/13408254"]

Music Parlor

Some friends started a bi-monthly music night at Central in Toronto's Mirvish Village. I recently played there with Megan Bonnell and the chaps from Sandman Viper Command. You can read about it here.

Nixon in China

For my first ever opera experience, I was kindly invited by a good friend to a pre-showing of John Adams' contemporary opera, Nixon in China. I donned my black tie and cardigan, dress shoes and pea coat and arrived just in time to be ushered into an elevator and into a box seat overlooking the pit orchestra and situated on the left side of the theatre.

While I know practically nothing about opera, I do know a thing or two about great sound and stunning acoustics - both of which the Four Seasons and Adams' opera have in spades. The acoustics both in the atrium, presidential club and main theatre can be almost overwhelming in their rich spaciousness. I'm a sucker for clear, natural reverberation and I was very much impressed with the intermingling of operatic vocals and dynamic orchestral lines from the pit below me. I wasn't exactly a fan of the opera's narrative; the use of repetition and heavy analogies of mundane interactions was both easily understood and somewhat lost at times. That said, I truly enjoyed the experience and sensations of the theatre's warm acoustics and I'm looking forward to future encounters with more classically oriented opera in the future.

The whole experience of refinement, from self-presentation to the timelessness of opera to the expensive cocktails and mingling during intermission lends itself, at least from my perspective, to a sense of drive and determination to improve and grow artistically and expressively. These buildings provide a place and purpose by which we are able to reach and captivate; sometimes emotionally, sometimes sonically and other times not at all. Regardless the experience was inspiring and full.

Lastly, the highlight of the night was really the Hendrick's gin & tonic I had during intermission. I've begun a campaign to launch an exclusive event involving my current passions; music, entertainment, spirits and socialites.

 

EyeWeekly had some interesting things to say about the opera...you can read their review here.

Music Theatre

I've recently produced some demo recordings for a friend interested in applying for performance roles in musical theatre.
She has a connection with Mirvish Productions, so having some high quality recordings should provide an essential piece in her pursuit of theatrical stardom. Here are some clips from the session, recorded and produced by HSA.
[soundcloud width="100%" height="145" params="" url="http://api.soundcloud.com/playlists/551954"] Alicia by airick

Eden Mills

Incredibly relaxing music making in Eden Mills with Peirson Ross last night.Began the evening with a beer around the fire pit under an overcast sky and light snow, followed by hearty chili and corn bread before setting up instruments in a rustic stone brick house belonging to Peirson's keyboardist, Mr. Williams.
We jammed over a new track Peirson's working on, Birds and Bees, whose melody has been absorbed somewhat into my blood stream - it pops up in my head every time I think back on the session. Megan sang some beautiful vocal harmonies and I provided some rhythmic elements courtesy of a floor tom, snare & high-hat and sizzling crash-ride combo. Time quickly evaporated as we explored different compositional structures and arrangements, and I dabbled in a new guitar tuning I'm sure I'll revisit (Ab major). On nylon strings, this tuning really meanders and I discovered a slightly slower, somber waltzing melody. I'll be sure to record it and share in the immediate future.
The night turned into early morning and I had to work early this morning so we ended with a few runs through Megan's driving 'Lake Superior' song, with Pierson delaying and 'verbing out some dreamy vocal lines and playing with layered textures. Overall it was a beautiful evening that's always difficult to transition from, back into temporal reality. The drive home at 3:30am also made it a little tougher.

Back In Twenty

'Back in Twenty' is a short film by Rebel's Own Productions, which was shot on location in and around the Collingwood, Thornbury and Ravenna area of the Niagara Escarpment. The plot centers on two students coming up from the US for Canadian Thanksgiving who find themselves in a tense but comedic robbery close to their final destination. The production involved some great talent from Toronto, Montreal and the Collingwood area. Film production was championed by former Concordia film student graduates, who have gone on to form their own companies; BIS films, specializing in promotional video productions, and Bideshi Films, who focus on documentary pieces.

Head Space Audio was brought in to handle sound and I spent 5 long days booming and recording dialog, ADR, foley and SFX for the production. Here's a shot from the set, which was largely filmed in a rustic convenience store in the hamlet of Ravenna, close to Blue Mountain and Collingwood.

Auralization - Vorländer

RWTH Aachen University, Germany - acoustic virtual reality

- physics + acoustic engineering + psychoacoustics + electroacoustic sound reproduction

- simulation, auralization, spatial sound reproduction

Binaural Hearing (p.86)

- localization

- plane wave: disruption, reflection and diffraction at head and torso (dependent on direction)

- contralateral ear = ear shadow

- causes frequency-dependent dampening

- head-related transfter functions - impacts frequencies > 200Hz

___________

MPEG Surround & Mobile Tech

Multi-Channel Goes Mobile, AES 29th International Conference (Sept. 2006)

- merging binaural tech with virtual sound displays

- decoding & rendering processing for "upstreaming" content into binaural soundscape

StereoLab - Margerine Eclipse

- dual mono recording

Casey O'Callaghan - RICE University

- philosophy and perception of sound

Noise - Jacques Attali

- French Minister of Culture

Binaural Beats

- "entertainment"

- causing the brain to fall into synchronization

- results in a mental shift, hypothetically

- therapeutic applications

In-ear microphones

- Sound Professionals - SP-TFB-2

http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cgi-bin/gold/item/SP-TFB-2