Spring 2010:
                                                     click here for news archive

My apologies...

Due to some protracted difficulties with transitional hardware and software compatibility issues, it’s been impossible for me to update my websites for quite some time now. But I’m back, finally, so here’s the latest...

Current/Recent Music Projects:

The very talented Will Galison is nearing completion of his new album, the follow-up to his highly successful “Got You On My Mind” CD, released in 2004, which I was also fortunate enough to mix and master, as well as record much of. That one was (is) a great album all around, with superb songs and performances by Will and his then-collaborator Madeleine Peyroux, who has since gone on to a very successful solo career. In addition to the album’s great all-around reviews, I was especially, personally gratified to have some very favorable things written specifically about the sound, particularly in the highly esteemed Stereophile magazine.


This time around it’s a solo album by Will himself, and I’m just mixing and mastering (it was recorded at Steve Gaboury’s LiveWire Studio here in NYC). I think Will’s songwriting has truly taken a quantum leap, putting him for my money in the same conversation with James Taylor, Paul Simon and other great songwriters. I’m not exaggerating, and I rarely use superlatives of this kind where projects I’m involved with are concerned. Don’t miss this one when it comes out later this spring.

Pan Morigan has been working for some time now on a solo record of her unique, trademark eclectic mix of pop, ethnic, world music and...well, just ‘Pan’ style that has distinguished her work for the many years we’ve worked together. She’s made some big strides forward, self-producing this time, and branching out with great success into new styles, particularly jazz, as is evident on “Night” and other tracks. She’s enlisted the help of some superb musicians again this time, including guitarists Ben Butler and Marc Shulman and drummer/percussionist Ben Wittman. There’s no doubt in my mind that her many fans will be extremely pleased with what she’s been up to.

My good friend Richard Feldman, a gifted singer/songwriter/pianist, has been zeroing on completion of his solo record, featuring all original songs and an exceptional band comprised of Shawn Pelton on drums, Lincoln Schleifer on bass, Marc Shulman and John Harrington on guitars. We recorded basic tracks at one of my favorite (but most affordable) downtown studios, Kampo A. Rumor has it we may even overdub an orchestra onto this particular party. Can’t wait for that...

My old high school buddy Bob Elliott is doing a solo project of original tunes, again featuring the talents of Marc Shulman (he’s like, everywhere, right?) on guitar along with Tony Conniff on bass, Buddy Williams on drums and some great horn charts by Josh Schneider.

Bob, Marc and our old pal Andy Kreeger (on bass, but a Citibank exective in real life - and no, “It” Wasn’t His Fault) also reunited in 2005 as “The Marc Shulman Blues Band”, a vintage reissue (!) of our band from the wayback machine in high school days, for, quite appropriately, our (no, I’m not telling you which ‘th’ year) high school reunion. Somehow, inexplicably, they’ve asked us to do the next one as well, which will be in September ‘10. We must not be all that bad...(I’m on drums by the way). Plus, I’ll be drumming with Marc’s older brother Jay’s reissue band (The Offbeats) at another high school related even in May. I’m filling in for the original drummer who’s in Maine and can’t attend. Such a hoot to dust off the sticks and whack away at a drum kit again...

Long-time friends and clients The Western Wind Vocal Ensemble have been busy as well lately (as usual), with several different projects going on simultaneously. A particular highlight among them is one individual piece: “Basket Rondo”, composed especially for this six-person acapella group by the distinguished composer Meredith Monk, who has, among many other notable things, performed for His Holiness, The Dalai Lama. Now there’s a gig you don’t get every day. “Basket Rondo” is a fourteen minute vocal-only extravaganza with only one actual word in any language: “Anton”, which starts the piece and makes a brief mid-point reappearance. Otherwise the entire piece in...uh...‘Monk-ish’, I suppose: non-linguistic syllables that create extremely complex rhythmic and melodic textures that evolve in ever-shifting patterns. Or something like that... In any case, it’s a fascinating piece that we recorded entirely at my studio, and turned out to be what may stand for quite some time as one of the largest, most complicated mixes I have ever attempted. Due to some decisions made early on (largely by me) regarding live versus overdubbing choices and the importance of maintaining a consistent room ambiance in all phases, the song occupied 36 tracks in its original state. More visits into my bag of  tricks resulted in that track count more than doubling for the mix, with consequent heavy loads on my G5 based Pro Tools HD rig. It all worked out in the end, but it was one of the reasons why I have since migrated my entire Pro Tools setup to an 8-core Mac Pro (equipped with a Magma PCIe to PCI expansion chassis). Finishing touches on this mix will take place there, much to the relief of your truly and my poor (not so) old G5.

Speaking of gear, that Mac Pro is just one big new toy, along with some new mics, and lots of new plugins and other software for Pro Tools, Logic and DP. Please see the Recorders page for more on that. All kinds of big things are happening in Video Production as well, so check out that link for more info. And that just happens to neatly segue us into:

Video and Filmmaking Projects:

Yep, I’m doing films and video too now. Big-time. Woohoo!

I’ve added a very large, comprehensive array of camera gear, lenses, lights, editing software, audio-for-video tools, shooting accessories like a 35mm adapter, Steadicam, Dolly and Jib, and much, much more. Once again have a look here for the full story.

Last winter/spring I designed and constructed a complete video/audio facility for The General Board Of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church (try saying that three times fast - it might not twist your tongue, but I bet it’ll take you a while). Then, when it was complete, I shot, lit, directed, ran sound, co-produced, edited, mixed, and authored a DVD (wait - am I forgetting something? ...ah...never mind...) of a 12 minute documentary on their missionary work around the world. It was met with great appreciation by its target audience at a Church convention in the Midwest. And it was one heck of a lot of fun to do, and very rewarding in its content and message. I’m not an active Christian (although I was brought up in the Congregational Church), but there’s no mistaking goodness in the hearts of people when you see it. These folks do remarkable work with incredible generosity.

Last summer I shot and edited three complete performances of “Bar La Barca” for the Western Wind Vocal Ensemble (see the Music Projects section above for related news) at the Flea Theater in NYC. The production was beautifully lit and directed by Valeria Vasilevski, who also co-wrote the show along with Eric Salzman and Adriano Banchieri (the latter back in 1609). It came out beautifully, and two different DVD versions have been created so far, with more to come, including at least one where the visuals will be married to re-recordings of the music in a studio environment (mine, just in case you were wondering).

Since my last news update I’ve also been doing a lot of acting in various feature and short films. I started acting classes in late 2004, then auditioning for films in early 2006, and have been amazed on an ongoing basis at the number of people who actually want to hire me as an actor, in spite of my newcomer status (not that I have to *tell* them about that, of course). Check out http://thethirdagebegins.com/thirdage/ for some examples of my acting prowess (or the lack thereof if you so conclude - but I have it on pretty good authority that Santa Claus will be very angry with you if you do). I have a starring role, and have considerable screen time in most episodes, but less so in the first and seventh.

I’ve also been doing a great deal of writing and co-writing of numerous scripts for them, and for my own projects. I co-wrote the horror feature “Aversion” in 2008, and a dramatic short film of my creation as writer/director will be coming later this year. I’ll be adding information on my acting site as well as creating a new filmmaking one to cover these newer aspects of my career in the very near future.

That’s it for now!

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Ted Spencer Recording