Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Fitting tribute to Adam Long in Tape Op Magazine interview

Eating Ogoni fish pepper soup with Adam Long during a break in a Radio Kudirat session.

The wonderful Tape Op Magazine has published an interview with St. Louis songwriter and music journalist Kevin Renick that includes a really nice appreciation of Adam Long, the cofounder of Poetry Scores who has played a large role in all of our recordings.

Renick scored the gig of a life when he handed a cassette demo to a movie director at a public event and his song actually ended up in the completed film, Up in the Air, filmed in St. Louis. Apparently Renick made some money out of the deal and has plowed it back into his recordings.

We're not surprised to hear it, but this evolving songwriter and recording artist says he hit a turning point when he worked with our own Adam Long.

I worked with a guy named Adam Long, and that's where the real turning point came. That's a song called "Call it a Life." Adam Long is actually a Grammy-nominated engineer. He's done a bunch of Broadway cast albums. He's got a home studio and he absolutely gets what I'm trying to do - the sort of introspective, contemplative vibe that I'm trying to capture. He was just magical to work with. I'm going to do most of the next record with him.

(Clearing throat.) I remember living in New York, coming home to St. Louis and doing a session with Adam. At that time he had gone kind of overboard on astronomy. His apartment, where Kevin Renick would later have this epiphany, was a graveyard of telescopes. Adam had an astronomy nerd magazine out and was showing me the next $400 telescope he was going to buy. And I asked him why he was paying room fees to record in other people's studios instead of turning his apartment into a home studio? He put down the nerd magazine and started to buy equipment instead. Now he gets mixes original Broadway cast recordings in the former telescope graveyard.

Back to Kevin Renick. He really understands our guy. Check this out:

With Adam, he just sees more deeply. He was very proactive. He would make suggestions. He wouldn't just listen to what we were doing. On "Lost Time" there is an instrumental section in the middle where my partner, Ted Moniak, started doing these little ambient reverberations on the guitar and Adam picked up on it and started tweaking some dials, getting some echo in there. It was just an amazing thing 'cause I've always said that I want music that can give you chills.

Truth in journalism! I can assue you this is true, because the same thing happened to me. When we were doing overdubs on the poetry score to Stefene Russell's atomic bomb poem, Go South for Animal Index, Adam really went to town on some tracks where we turned some experimental tricks on harp compositions by Amie Camie. As Kevin said, Adam "picked up on it and started tweaking some dials, getting some echo in there". This is what we got out of it.

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