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Gary W. Kennedy

(Clark, Jr. )

(b Buffalo, Dec 18, 1920; d Alexandria, VA, May 17, 1996). American disc jockey. He began his broadcasting career as a freshman in college, then won an amateur announcing contest in Washington, DC (1939), and worked in that area until 1942, when he was drafted. While stationed in the Washington area he worked part-time at WWDC until his discharge in February 1946 and full-time thereafter. He broadcast his first show, “Music USA,” for Voice of America (VOA) in January 1955, a program he continued until his death. Conover worked as an independent contractor, not as a government employee, and his contract stipulated that the music on his program be of his own choosing. “Music USA” presented mainly jazz and reached into the Eastern-bloc nations, where it had a profound and at times revolutionary musical impact; VOA estimates that at the height of the Cold War his audiences comprised over 100 million listeners. An irony behind his position as a VOA announcer, and unquestionably the world’s most famous jazz disc jockey, is that VOA broadcasts are not allowed to be heard in the USA; one wonders what impact he would have had on American audiences. He first visited Warsaw in ...

Article

Ryan Dohoney

(b Paris, France, Oct 20, 1950). American composer, keyboardist, electronic musician, and improviser of French birth; naturalized American; daughter of jazz pianist and drummer Errol Parker. She began studying piano and harmony at age 7 and composing at 12. Lauten received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the Institut d’Études Politiques in 1971. The following year she relocated to New York City, where she participated in the burgeoning punk rock scene. Through guitarist Denise Feliu, Lauten met the poet Allen Ginsberg, who would have a significant impact upon her spiritual and musical life.

Lauten’s compositional and improvisational practice is exemplary of the musical aesthetics of downtown New York in the 1970s and 80s. A practitioner of both US popular music and European classical music, Lauten blended the two styles with minimalist experimentalism. Lauten’s studies in New York City brought her into contact with the varied denizens of downtown musical life. She studied Indian raga with ...

Article

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

Jonas Westover

(b Utica, NY, Oct 20, 1944). 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 1995 Mancuso began to hold the parties in a variety of other locations, sometimes outside of the United States. Two CDs, both entitled ...

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

Moby  

Stephanie Conn

[Hall, Richard Melville ]

(b Harlem, NY; Sept 11, 1965). American Electronic musician, composer, and DJ. Growing up in Connecticut, Moby (a childhood nickname) studied classical guitar and music theory before founding the suburban punk band Vatican Commandos at age 14. He later learned to play bass guitar, keyboard, and drums. While studying philosophy at University of Connecticut he played with post-punk band AWOL, leaving in 1985 to become more active as a DJ and electronic musician and eventually moving to New York City.

He is critically recognized for his creative combining of electronic house music and judiciously chosen samples; he has also achieved worldwide popular success and brought the genre to mainstream attention. His 1991 single “Go,” which included a sampled theme from David Lynch’s cult TV series Twin Peaks, reached the UK top ten. His breakthrough album Play (1999) sold 10 million copies worldwide in the first year and yielded eight hit singles including “Porcelain,” “Natural Blues,” and “Why does my heart feel so bad?” ...

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

Jeff E. Winner

(b Brooklyn, NY, Sept 10, 1908; d North Hills, CA, Feb 9, 1994). American composer, electronic music pioneer, electronic instrument inventor, and pianist. After attending Brooklyn Technical High School, he studied theory, composition, and piano at the Juilliard School of Music. Following his graduation in 1931, he became a pianist for the CBS Radio orchestra. In 1934, at age 25, he wrote his first hit, later recorded by Louis Armstrong.

In 1936 he assembled a six-piece “Quintette” from his CBS colleagues, including Bunny Berigan, and Johnny Williams, father of movie score composer John Williams. Following successful live radio performances, they began recording on 20 February 1937. Scott’s compositions for this band represent his attempts to rejuvenate Swing music with minimal improvisation and busy, tight arrangements. He dubbed the style “descriptive jazz,” and the Quintette was popular until he disbanded it in 1939. Though Scott didn’t score cartoons, these compositions are familiar to millions because they were adapted into classic Warner Bros. ...

Article

Mike Levine

[DJ Spooky, That Subliminal Kid; Miller, Paul D.]

(b Washington, DC, 1970).

American composer, DJ, multimedia artist, and author. His debut full-length solo album, Songs of a Dead Dreamer (1996), is now widely regarded as a formative influence on “illbient,” an instrumental hip hop subgenre. Continuing in this experimental electronic direction, he released Riddim Warfare (1998), a critically acclaimed album featuring collaborations with Kool Keith and Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore. He has been active across various media. His Rebirth of a Nation (2004), a large-scale multimedia performance piece that remixes D.W. Griffith’s seminal and controversial film Birth of a Nation (1915), was commissioned by the Lincoln Center Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, Weiner Festwochen, and the Festival d’Automne à Paris. That same year, under his birth name Paul D. Miller, he authored the book Rhythm Science (Cambridge, MA, 2004), a manifesto discussing remix culture. He also released a feature-length DVD, ...

Article

Craig Havighurst

[Edward Lawrence ]

(b Bethesda, MD, Nov 25, 1961). American disc jockey, bluegrass fiddle player, country music historian, and host of the Grand Ole Opry. Raised in bluegrass-rich Montgomery County, Maryland, Stubbs began playing fiddle at age four and was inspired by his father’s passion for family history to develop his skills as an interviewer. After high school, Stubbs spent ten years as fiddle player in the Johnson Mountain Boys, a top traditional bluegrass band of the 1980s. Stubbs began broadcasting for WYII in Williamsport, Maryland, in 1983, moving a year later to WAMU, a bluegrass-oriented public station in Washington, DC. In 1990 Stubbs earned his own WAMU show, which he would anchor until 2007. He moved to Nashville in 1995, accepting an invitation from country legends Kitty Wells and Johnnie Wright to play fiddle in their band. Within a few weeks, he won an audition for an announcer slot on the ...

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

Will Fulford-Jones

[Andrew ]

(b Windsor, April 6, 1963). English disc jockey and remixer . He was a builder in the early 1980s, then came to prominence in 1988 through Boy’s Own, an irreverent football, fashion and club fanzine popular with the dance club community and which, as Junior Boys Own, became one of Britain’s most eclectic record labels. In 1989 he became a disc jockey at Shoom, the London club that helped begin the UK boom in acid house. He came to prominence soon after with Loaded (1990), his remix of the Primal Scream track I’m Losing More than I’ll Ever Have, and his subsequent production of that group’s Screamadelica album (1991), which mixed traditional indie elements with danceable rhythm tracks and gave rise to a burgeoning indie-dance crossover movement. After working with other similarly-inclined indie artists such as James, New Order and the Happy Mondays, he formed the challenging techno Sabres of Paradise cooperative with Nina Walsh, Jagz Kooner and Gary Burns, before adopting the name Two Lone Swordsmen. He continued sporadically to work as a disc jockey....