February was a very exciting month with some serious upgrades and new clients!
In February, we made two major upgrades: First, in optics. Our A and B cameras now have 400mm zoom lenses for great reach and closeups. Trivia: did you know that camera operators manually focus their shots? These new lenses (and indeed all of our lenses) have linear focus controls, meaning pulling focus is predictable from the muscle memory of the operator.
The second major upgrade is two-fold: remote control and power for the cameras. In our February streamlining effort, we eliminated the need to plug into outlets or ever having to swap out batteries, by switching to power via ethernet. Doing this has the added benefit of giving the technical director full control of the cameras back at the video booth. To do the upgrade, I had to both make cables, and find a computer to control the cams. The real challenge was the computer, but when I looked in the closet and saw my late Dad’s old Windows 7 laptop gathering dust, I put it to work! It took the better part of a week to dial it in, but I’m super-excited to say the system works and we used it last weekend producing Chorus Austin’s Fauré Requiem live-stream!
Also in February, we continued our collaboration with distinguished baroque organist Renée Ann Louprette, this time post-producing her home recorded Tiny Bach Concert submission on her Paul Fritz Organ Builders Op 48, from Tacoma, Washington. A wonderful performance of Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in G Major, BWV 541 in its seldom heard three movement form, including the last movement of Trio Sonata No. 4 between the Prelude and Fugue. This video will be available when released on the American Bach Society’s YouTube channel.
The documentary style production of Paul Klemperer’s Creative Aging Project started last month and here is a behind the scenes snapshot from the formal interview shoot. Next we will edit it down to distill the main messages, then capturing his team as they compose, arrange, rehearse and perform in documentary style production.
In February I was delighted to find in my mailbox a copy of Houston Symphony’s Aurora and Ad Astra CD from Pentatone Records.
This disk contains the premiere recordings of HSO’s composer-in-residence Jimmy Lopez Bellido’s violin concerto Aurora, and symphonic piece Ad Astra. It is a wonderful performance of music in a style that I don’t often listen to, and perhaps he is forging a new style altogether with these space themed compositions. Bellido plays with his musical ideas and seems to toss them about in an engaging way for this listener. The Ad Astra is a quasi-tribute to NASA, with movement names such as Voyager, Apollo, Hubble etc. Native Peruvian Bedillo and Spanish violinist Leticia Moreno talk about the music in a Houston Symphony video. In 2019, I got a call from Grammy Award winning engineer Brad Sayles asking if I could rent out the heart and soul of the Tonehaus THOR24 system – 16 channels of mic-preamps/converters and half a dozen microphones for the recording. I was thrilled to be a part of this production in any way, and made a short documentary of my trip to Houston and some behind the scenes which you can see here.
This month, I am booked once again with the SXSW organization for production sound. A lot has happened since the last time I worked there in 2019. We interviewed many Hollywood stars like Jordan Peele and Charlize Theron, but for me the highlight was original Star Wars actor Mark Hamill. Oh, and also seeing Shameless’ Lip Gallagher (Jeremy Allen White) walking down Congress Avenue, not intoxicated. Let’s see who we meet this year!
Despite the busy month ahead, I am continuing with streamlining and improving the system, keeping up with production work, and offering another Flash Sale. This month receive a video interview shoot using available light and a wireless lav, for a small honorarium. Please inquire for details and estimated cost including editing (extremely reasonable). Here is an example of what you might be able to expect, featuring artist/performer Carl Smith as he talks about some things as we embark on an album project together.