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Daniele Buccio

(Henry )

(b Canton, OH, Aug 18, 1905; d West Redding, CT, July 31, 1978). American composer, violinist, bandleader, recording engineer, and producer. After graduating from Johns Hopkins University, he performed as a light classical violinist in the United States and Europe. During the 1930s he studied conducting with Maurice Frigara in Paris. After a near-fatal car accident in 1940, he organized his own dance band, the Light Brigade, which recorded for RCA and Columbia. After he disbanded it at the turn of the decade, Light devoted himself to management, working for several record companies before becoming president of Waldorf Music Hall Records in 1954. He founded his own label, Grand Award, in 1956 and had success with Dixieland and honky-tonk piano albums. In 1959, he founded Command Records on which he released Persuasive Percussion, the first in a successful series of high-fidelity albums that used stereo technology to great advantage. Over the next two decades, he continued to produce hit albums drawing on the latest technological savvy and packaged with covers usually designed by Josef Albers. Musicians who appeared on Light’s albums include the Free Design, Doc Severinsen, Dick Hyman, Bobby Byrne, and Bobby Hackett. In ...

Article

Anne Beetem Acker

(b Bermuda, July 10, 1957). American audio engineer, musician, and owner of Keith McMillen Instruments, based in Berkeley, California. He received his BS in acoustics from the University of Illinois, where he also studied classical guitar and composition. In 1979 he founded Zeta Music, which designed and sold electric and electronic violins and basses. In 1992 he organized a research laboratory for Gibson Guitars. He developed a computerized composition, notation, and performance system, and also helped devise ZIPI, a MIDI-like music control language. At the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies at the University of California, Berkeley, he researched audio networking, synthesizers, and string instruments. In 1996 he became director of engineering for the audio processing and distributed music networks division of Harmon Kardon. In 1999 he founded Octiv, Inc., an Internet audio signal processing company, which produced the ‘Volume Logic’ plug-in for iTunes that allows digital audio remastering to improve the sound produced by computers and MP3 players....

Article

Jonas Westover

(b Utica, NY, Oct 20, 1944; d New York, Nov 14, 2016). American disc jockey, producer, and party planner. He spent his youth listening to records with a racially mixed crowd and then relocated to New York in the early 1960s. Moving to a loft (known later as “The Loft”), Mancuso became involved designing sound systems for clubs around the city, including Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage. He began to host invitation-only parties in the mid-1960s for which he spun a wide range of musical styles; many of the guests, including Tony Humphries and Frankie Hawkins, would become DJs themselves. Later parties took on titles and became special events, including “Love Saves the Day,” which took place in 1970. In 1974 Mancuso and Steven D’Aquisto developed a shared record pool for local DJs. His parties continued at The Loft until 1985, when he began to search out new locations offering more space. After ...

Article

Gary W. Kennedy

[Van Noorden, Philip Van Loon Guybo Schaap ]

(b New York, April 8, 1951). American disc jockey and record producer. His father, Walter Schaap, a scholar and a translator of French jazz texts, collaborated in 1937 with Hugues Panassié and Charles Delaunay in creating a bilingual jazz periodical, Le jazz hot. In 1970 Phil Schaap became an announcer for Columbia University’s radio station WKCR; later he also worked at the radio stations WBGO and WNYC and had a syndicated program, “Jazz Session.” This radio work is characterized by his encyclopedic and anecdotal knowledge of the material he plays; he is especially known for his daily WKCR program “Bird Flight,” on which he discusses and plays recordings by Charlie Parker. Schaap organized jazz performances at the West End Café in 1980. He has taught at the New School for Social Research and at Princeton University, and he has written liner notes for new and reissued recordings.

As a record producer Schaap has been involved in tape vault research, the restoration of archived materials, and the production and packaging of material to be reissued. In this capacity he strives for the best possible sound and incorporates such ancillary material as alternate and incomplete takes, or assorted studio chatter, within the chronological presentation of originally released material. Though this exhaustive approach generally reflects contemporaneous trends in jazz issues, and has been much praised, it has also engendered some criticism, particularly following Schaap’s reorganization of Duke Ellington’s classic Columbia LP ...

Article

Thomas Owens

(b Jersey City, NJ, c1925; d Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Aug 25, 2016). Recording engineer. In the late 1940s he created a recording studio in the living room of his parents’ home in Hackensack, New Jersey, and began recording as a hobby. An optometrist by profession, he became the principal recording engineer for Blue Note in 1953, and the following year he began working for Prestige (to 1969) and Savoy as well. After abandoning optometry, in July 1959 he moved into a newly built home and studio in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. He also made numerous recordings for Cadet, CTI, Elektra Musician, Enja, GRP, Impulse!, Kudu, Milestone, Muse (ii), Reservoir, Riverside, and Verve.

Van Gelder’s skill at getting a proper mix of instruments directly onto the master tape (long before multiple-channel recording existed) was exemplary, and his clean, crisp, well-balanced drum-kit sounds were especially noteworthy. Perhaps his most distinctive aural signature was the tight, boxy sound of his small Steinway grand piano. Although his output slowed from the frenetic pace he set during the 1950s and 1960s, he continued to work, and in the late 1980s he changed to digital technology....

Article

Marina Henderson

(b Odessa, 5/Aug 18, 1907; d Paris, Feb 11, 1984). Russian stage, costume and film designer, resident in France from 1920. He studied in Paris, taking painting and sculpture at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and architecture at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In the course of a prolific career he was responsible for more than 600 productions: some 150 films (including Michel Carné’s Les visiteurs du soir, 1942), 300 plays and 200 operas, staged in most of the leading European houses. He worked with the director Peter Brook in both opera and theatre.

Wakhévitch’s designs were characterized by a bold, sometimes coarse, painterly style, the sumptuous use of strong colour, dramatic chiaroscuro lighting effects and – reflecting his architectural training – confident, if conventional, handling of complicated stage space. Typical productions were the barbarically Russian Boris Godunov (1948, Covent Garden; directed by Peter Brook), the dramatic, enduring ...

Article

Manfred Boetzkes

[Bernardo delle Girandole ]

(b Florence, c1531; d Florence, June 6, 1608). Italian architect, stage designer, engineer and painter. He studied with Vasari and in 1574 succeeded him as director of all the elaborate productions staged at the Florentine court; the theatre that he built in 1586 in a hall in the Uffizi became the centre of all such festivities. For the Medicis he designed palaces, villas (including Pratolino, outside Florence), fortresses, canals and harbour installations in Florence and Tuscany.

Buontalenti had worked for the court before his appointment as director, designing costumes and special machines for transformation scenes in intermedi directed by Vasari in 1565 and Lanci in 1569. He gave the new theatre in the Uffizi an advanced system of revolving periaktoi that were a great improvement on the clumsy machinery of his predecessors, enabling the scenery to be changed virtually as often as wanted. The capabilities of the stage were demonstrated by the productions of the comedies ...

Article

Manfred Boetzkes

(b ?Cesena, c1605; d Vienna, July 21, 1655). Italian stage designer and architect. His first known works as an artist were the tournament theatre and stage designs for Marazzoli’s Le pretensioni del Tebro e del Po (1642, Ferrara). These show the influence of Alfonso Rivarola (‘il Chenda’), whose pupil he may have been and whom he may have succeeded as stage designer and engineer at the Teatro SS Giovanni e Paolo, Venice, about 1640, where he probably staged operas by Monteverdi. He was active there in 1643 and 1651 and may have built the small Teatro SS Apostoli (opened 1648), for which he directed and designed until 1651. With his brother Marc’Antonio he was summoned to Vienna by Ferdinand III in 1651, and until his death, assisted by his son Ludovico Ottavio, he was responsible for the décor of the operatic and festive productions at the imperial court....

Article

Manfred Boetzkes

(b ?Mantua, 1636; d Vienna, Dec 12, 1707). Italian stage designer and architect, son of Giovanni Burnacini. He went to Vienna in 1651 as his father’s assistant and pupil. After his father’s death (1655) he at first succeeded him as stage designer at the imperial court, but on 30 June 1657 he was dismissed by the new emperor, Leopold I, in favour of G.B. Angelini. Re-engaged from 1 January 1659, for nearly five decades he designed all the stage sets, machines and costumes for the theatrical performances, sacre rappresentazioni, festivals and memorial ceremonies of the Viennese court. He also did architectural work, including the building of the new court theatres, 1666–8.

Burnacini’s unique scenic imagination stamped Viennese opera in the 17th century – the works of Bertali, Cesti, Draghi and the Zianis – with an unmistakable imprint. Surpassing even the masterly theatrical machinery of his father, he developed a spectacular style of courtly stage design, particularly in the great ‘homage operas’ of the 1660s and 70s (e.g. Cesti’s ...

Article

Sue Carole DeVale

(b Newton, MA, Nov 14, 1850; d Forest Glen, MD, May 31, 1930). American ethnologist. He studied biology at Harvard (AB 1875, PhD 1877), and later studied at Leipzig and the University of Arizona. He was field director of the Hemenway Southwestern Archaeological Expedition (1889–94), and, commissioned by Mary Hemenway, tested the value of the phonograph for fieldwork in March 1890 by recording songs of the Passamaquoddy Indians in Maine. These were soon followed by his Zuni (1890) and Hopi Pueblo (1891) recordings which were then analysed by Benjamin Ives Gilman. He was responsible for the Hemenway Exhibition at the Madrid exhibition of 1892 commemorating Columbus's discovery of America, and consequently received many honours. As a result of his work in Madrid, Hemenway later commissioned recordings by Gilman. From 1895 to 1918 Fewkes worked as an ethnologist at the Bureau of American Ethnology in Washington, DC, becoming chief in ...