Participants: Steve Berkowitz, Greg Calbi (moderator), Evan Cornog, Michael Fremer, Kevin Killen, Craig Street
Most of us listen to recorded music far more than we listen to live music. Music is everywhere: in elevators, shops, cars, restaurants and bars, on our computers and, for some of us, in every room in our home. But what of the listening experience itself? Considering the Zen concept of mindfully doing one thing at a time, what pleasures await the person who just listens? Conversely, what do we miss when we degrade the listening experience? This roundtable will address the factors involved in maximizing or minimizing the impact and effects of what we hear, from the conception and recording of music to the listening format and environment of choice. In a modern day twist on McCluhan’s "The Medium is the Message," the panel will discuss the effects that music delivery media have on our perception and reaction to music.
Steve Berkowitz is Senior Vice President of Sony Music's Legacy Records. A multi Grammy and Handy Award winning producer, he has worked at Columbia Records/CBS/Sony for 21 years in music marketing and A&R. Prior to this, Steve was an artist manager, tour manager, guitar player, booking agent, retail record buyer, recording studio owner, DJ, truck driver, NCAA Basketball referee, roady and soda jerk. Over the years he has worked with artists Tony Bennett, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Earth Wind & Fire, Michael Jackson, Branford Marsalis, Fishbone, John Mellencamp, Henry Threadgill, Max Roach, Jeff Buckley, The Cars, Ministry, Derek Trucks, and many more . He has supervised the release of more than 3,000 albums. Steve lives in Manhattan with his wife, Monique, and sons, Nick and Ben, and each morning rises expecting to hear something wonderful he's never heard before.
Greg Calbi is a managing partner and mastering engineer at Sterling Sound in New York City. Mastering is the final stage of music production, during which final enhancement is added to the music to best project what the artist is trying to achieve. Calbi started out in the mastering business in his early 20s at the famed Record Plant, New York, where he worked on such 70's classics as John Lennon's "Walls and Bridges", David Bowie's "Young Americans" and Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run." At Sterling Sound, he was active in the late 70's New Wave scene, working with groups such as The Ramones, The Talking Heads and Patti Smith. In his wide-ranging career, he has mastered music by Paul Simon, James Taylor, U2, Norah Jones, Bad Brains, The Beastie Boys, John Mayer, and Emmylou Harris, among many others. He has worked across all musical genres in mastering nearly 7,000 albums.
Evan Cornog is the author of three books of political history, The Power and the Story: How The Crafted Presidential Narrative Has Determined Political Success from George Washington to George W. Bush, Hats in the Ring: An Illustrated History of American Presidential Campaigns (with Richard Whelan), and The Birth of Empire: DeWitt Clinton and the American Experience, 1769-1828. He served as Press Secretary to New York Mayor Edward Koch, has worked on the editorial staffs of The New Yorker and Wigwag Magazines, and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Wigwag, The American Scholar, Slate, Columbia Journalism Review, The Daily News, and The Lancet. Dr. Cornog is now Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and Publisher of Columbia Journalism Review.
Michael Fremer is a senior contributing editor at Stereophile magazine, a contributing editor at Home Theater magazine, and editor/owner of the online music review website, www.musicangle.com. He has also contributed to The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, Consumer Digest, and The Bergen Record, among other publications and periodicals. Fremer was featured in the History of Audio documentary on The History Channel, and has appeared on MTV, The Today Show, and CNN talking about the high-end audio listening experience, home theater, and the unlikely resurgence of LP vinyl records. In 2006 he wrote, produced, and hosted the DVD, 21st Century Vinyl: Michael Fremer’s Practical Guide to Turntable Set-up. A second DVD, It’s a Vinyl World, After All: Michael Fremer’s Guide to Record Cleaning, Storage, Handling, Collecting & Manufacturing in the 21st Century, is currently in production for release December, 2008.
has spent the last 29 years compiling an impressive list of credentials among the premier pop artists in the music industry, including Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, Kate Bush, Jewel, Bon Jovi, U2, Bryan Ferry, Lorenna McKennit, and Duncan Sheik. He began his career at Dublin's Lombard Studios, a jingle/album/demo studio. Killen quickly ascended to engineering his share of demos and jingles, a valuable experience which influenced his whole career. As junior engineer, Kevin was exposed to cutting edge recording techniques from many genres, and experimentation fusing musical traditions. Killen moved to New York in the mid 1980s and has continued to expand the roster of artists that he works with. He has received 5 Grammy awards for his contributions to the albums of Shakira, and recently mixed his first country artist, Sugarland, scoring a number one hit.
Craig Street is a record producer who has worked with a host of artists, including Norah Jones, k.d. lang, Cassandra Wilson, Chris Whitley, John Legend, and The Gypsy Kings. Born in Oakland, California, his interest in music was nurtured by an audiophile father and a house full of song. He has worked as a musician, photographer, radio producer, dj, and plasterer prior to becoming a record producer.