Winter Solstice/Fall 2022 Wrap Up

After the slow, slow, slow summer, things got ridiculously busy. So busy, I couldn’t even get two newsletters out. Suddenly I found myself freelancing A/V and production sound jobs, creating content for clients, taping concerts, and live-streaming. I did write-ups on many of these activities, so when you see a link, go ahead and click through to read behind the scenes. In the last days of September I produced an audition video for a soprano at St Martin’s Ev. Lutheran church, which you can read about here. The first week of October I was freelancing as technical director for the live-stream portion of an annual corporate conference on digital security. Back to back with that job, I produced a live-stream for my friends at Iron Guild Gym, who hosted their first ever Strong Man Competition. Quite different than any production I’ve done in the past, read more about the marathon 10 hour live-stream here. Then, I snuck in a 24 hour vacation with the family, with a surprisingly relaxing ride on the rails up to Fort Worth.

Back in town, the early music vocal group Ensemble VIII’s opening season concert was video taped, and the very next day the Tonehaus team live-streamed Chorus Austin’s season opener. In the never ending quest for improvement, I tried renting a super high quality lens that I’d never used before, and it ended up being both a joy to work with, and yielding a markedly visual improvement, and has now become a staple in nearly half a dozen productions since then.

Next up was capturing Austin’s newest period orchestra, the Philharmonie Austin, in an ambitious A=430 concert, fully period Beethoven program. The Symphony Number 5 and Piano Concerto Number 4 with Anton Nell playing a Paul McNulty 1805 Walter & Sohn fortepiano. This production wasn’t terribly different than normal, except we had the luxury of spending six days setting up, and flew microphones a DECCA TREE (!) and rigged lighting. There were many noteworthy things that came together for this unique event, which you can read more about in the behind the scenes linked here. Finally, to close out the month, abstract expressionistic artist and free jazz performer Carl Smith released 4 short films that I put together from an interview I shot way back in February.

Before October came to a close, I spent 2 weeks with Steinway Artist Esteban Alvarez. We turned his house into a television studio! The request was to shoot an instructional video course… live. What a fun way to spend that time – both learning how to approach playing piano by ear, and digging into the technical prowess of the TriCaster to create a seamless live multi-camera cut! Stay tuned for a writeup on this.  

See all these images and more in the gallery.

In November I seemed to have stopped taking behind the scenes pictures, but I videotaped the venerable Alex Coke/Carl Michel sextet at the lovely KMFA Draylen Mason studio using 3 cameras, and collaborating with KMFA’s in Stacey Hoyt to create an alluring lighting look. I did a production sound job miking up 13 interviewees.

Did you know it is good practice to transfer your data every 5 years? Yeah, so I spent the better part of a a week transferring 28 terabytes of data that was living on 10 drives – some 7 years old – so it was with relief and peace of mind to get that all on new drives.

Laredo Philharmonic, my one time favorite ‘pick-up orchestra’ gig, ended for me in 2017 when I hit the road with House Hunters. And then it ended for everyone with the tragic loss of music director Brendan Townsend two years ago. I was surprised and excited to get a call from one of the former members who was “getting the band back together.” It was a treat to get back down there for the Messiah and happy to say that some wonderful music was made.

On the heels of that, it has been non-stop productions of student recitals and Christmas concerts and I was so excited to hear from Texas Lutheran University again to put together a video of their annual Vespers, which is VERY impressive. This was their 16th year at St Martins, and I pulled off what I think is a very nice capture of this performance.

I hope you’ve had a wonderful Fall as well. I know everything is challenging and things have changes so much in the past few years. I hope you are rolling with the punches and can’t wait to see you again soon. I wish you the best for the holiday season and the New Year, may it be our best one yet!

I do occasionally get to play these days and I enjoy it immensely!