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Posts Tagged ‘music’

Flash mob dances to JAMA Z’s Audi e-tron music, Sanlitun, Beijing

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015

I am proud to announce cooperation with Audi China to provide official theme music for the Audi e-tron series, under my EDM acronym JAMA Z! It started with a viral video introducing the robot in Shanghai:

The second video in Audi China’s e-tron campaign featuring a flash mob of dancers in Beijing’s famous Sanlitun TaiKoo Li area! See if the e-tron robot can match the dancers moves…

Later, videos were posted to teach you how to do the dance moves, and of some well known Chinese dancers here & here, creating their own dance moves to the music. Take a look and keep your eye out for surprise appearances of the robot!
(Note: These videos will load very slowly outside China and will have advertisements before)

Audi e-tron dancers Sanlitun Taikoo Li BeijingAudi e-tron robot

Trent Reznors new approach to creating music

Saturday, March 17th, 2012

“You know, I spent years of my life listening to Pink Floyd’s The Wall when I was however old I was, thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, whatever. I didn’t have access to that much music. Music was an investment. If I spent eight, ten dollars on an album I was gonna listen to it even if it sucked. I was going to listen it until I liked it, you know? I read the liner notes, I read the etching on the vinyl, on the inside ring. I lived with that material, it became part of me. And I don’t mean just that, but the consumption of music was different.

Today, where you’ve got an iPod that’s filled with music you didn’t pay for, and everybody’s… it’s just a different consumption model, between youtube and the internet and people sharing files. Competition for your attention; people spend less time with music. And hence, as an artist that spent years on records, it’s somewhat defeating when you spend a year and a half on an album to get it just right, and it either leaks or comes out, and gets judged and dismissed in the first half a day, forgotten a week later.

That was a long setup for me saying – I thought it would be interesting to look at an album more like a magazine. Let’s do it, not carelessly, but let’s NOT look at it as the next thing that’s my big statement for the next four years of my life. Here was a very intensive and creative six-to-eight weeks of my life I had, as an album. Here it is. It’s free. That’s what The Slip was. It’s fun to do, it was interesting to see if it could be done. I’m proud of that record, it was fun to make. The self-imposed pressure was also matched with [the fact that] if it sucked I didn’t have to put it out.”

– Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails. Read more from the source of this quote here.

Cheng Lin receives Green China award for our song ‘Only One Earth’

Saturday, May 7th, 2011

Last December, I completed arranging, programming, production and engineering for a song by Chinese artist Cheng Lin.

The song is about preservation of the environment, as we have ‘Only One Earth’. It was reworked from an old version in partnership with Green China, an organization recognizing philanthropy relating to preservation of the environment in China as they want to use it as a theme song for their TV shows.
We wanted it to have a more progressive feel so it has an urban style groove, and I’m proud of Lin for moving away from typical Chinese pop production with this song. Elika Mahony assisted on background vocals, and Bruce Gremo performed Shakalute and Xun, Chinese clay flute which many feel sounds like an Owl or some natural sound in the second verse amongst the modern production which is nice.
Lin even shot an interview and recording footage in the studio for the song…

A lot happened since then and the song had to be mastered (by Chris Athens, Sterling Sound, New York), but it’s been released as of the end of April, and Lin received an award from Green China during a TV awards ceremony for people who have brought awareness to protection of the environment in China for Earth Day. I really appreciate Lin recognizing our contribution on the song during the show, in English no less so we could understand!

You can listen to the song ‘Only One Earth’ here:
Cheng Lin – Only One Earth

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Check out the awards ceremony here (Warning, it’s long, unedited, but at 2 hours 13 minutes, Lin performs the song, and you can see Elika & I in the audience):

(note: the original clip is unavailable at the moment, so this is a shorter one)

Some of the wealthiest in China are investing in Green China, so no doubt big things are bound to happen quickly. Apparently they will have Al Gore at a ceremony later this year to receive an award for his work.
I’m proud to be a part of such an effort, and it’s great to see within days of releasing a song that it is featured on TV and getting attention already.

One week until Beijing!

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Today marks one more week before our big move to Beijing China. I’ve never felt ‘prepared’ and I still don’t.
I can still hardly believe we’re actually doing this to be honest, even though I know it’s the right thing to do for us.

I’ve been appreciating the luxuries and conveniences that we’ve had in Vancouver because we won’t have those things in China, but I’m looking forward to the adventure that awaits us there, and other things that will potentially improve our quality of life.

First thing I will be doing when we arrive is setting up the new sound studio with some equipment and cables that I had custom made in Vancouver that I’ll be bringing to make it functional so I can get back to work finishing projects that have started for my waiting clients. We also have to get some appliances to make our place livable, but our things won’t be there for months, so that should make life interesting.

I’ll miss our friends and family that we’ve enjoyed visiting with the last few weeks, but the calling for China’s strong, and I need to get back to work in the new studio.

I’ll be back to North America at least once a year or possibly every 10 months or so depending on how things go.
To get in touch when I’m outside the country, you can leave  a message on my normal mobile number, or use the new Pro Soul number: (213) 908-1284.
Email is best though, and you can message me for my new number in Beijing.

And remember, if you want to work on a project or visit, we have a guest room.

Very excited and curious about embarking on this adventure living in a totally new culture and environment.

Jarome China summer palace

Music for Infants

Thursday, July 15th, 2010
As you may know if you’ve read my blog before, I recently adopted a baby boy from Vietnam.
Of course as a music producer, the first music he heard had to be something I had composed, and appropriately I had some music created just for infants for a video project I was involved in that never got released.
So I thought I should share a sample of it I call ‘Wonder Funtime’:

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.
I am no expert when it comes to music and children, especially infants, but I did some research and used my instincts to come up with some music that I hoped was appropriate for young ears and delicate minds.
I’ll let you be the judge if I succeeded in that effort. Not sure what I’ll do with this music as I still own the rights, perhaps I should put out an album or license it for something…
Of course Evan loved it and was quite mesmerized.
He loves sound of all kinds, so the bells and vocal like horns seemed to appeal to him.
Next I think I’ll introduce him to some jazz.
Evan Binh Minh 7 months

Opening new music studio in Beijing, China

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

As i mentioned in my last blog, I’m moving to Beijing China, and setting up a fantastic, world class studio there.
It will be called Pro Soul Studios Beijing, in affiliation with my record label, Pro Soul Alliance.

It’s large a 3 room facility, professionally built by foreign expertise flown into the country along with specialized materials to soundproof and acoustically treat the rooms properly. It has full false floors and walls with large air spaces for soundproofing, but still lots of light from tall windows.
There’s even a built in guest room and kitchen/lounge in the middle.

Here are a few photos, then I’ll get into the technical details below for the gear heads…

The studio is in a building in an area that is a cool artist live/work residence neighborhood with art studios, restaurants, a French bakery, and a nice lagoon:
Shangri-La Culture & Art Community, Feijia Village

The studio has a funky traditional Chinese courtyard style entrance:

Studio entrance

studio entrance

The largest recording room, Studio B.
Tall soundproofed windows allow lots of light in, but no outside sound.

Large room studio B

Large room Studio B windows

Entrance to control room and studio A

Entrance to control room and studio A

The control room, below, has a custom desk with outboard gear rack panels on the left and right, and a Mackie xBus 200 touch screen console. These photos are old now, fabric on panelling has been replaced:

studio control room

Control room window with Mackie xbus console

Control room window with Mackie xbus console

Unfortunately I don’t have a great photo of Studio A, the main recording room, but it is a nice spacious room with lots of light from windows on one side:

Studio A recording room

The studio even has a guest residence upstairs, a kitchen, and large outside patio if you want to visit China to work on your music project:

Studio guest residence

studio kitchen

On to the studio equipment setup. In addition to my existing range of classic analog and cutting edge digital equipment, the new studio in Beijing will have the following new equipment that will make it the most powerful, highest quality studio I’ve had in my 20 years as a music producer and audio engineer:

  • A Mackie xBus 200 HD touch screen mixing console and computer controller capable of 192kHz resolution, configurable I/O via rear panel cards, penny & giles motorized touch sensitive faders & surround outputs.
  • 2 RME Hammerfall PCI cards allowing 32 channel high quality digital audio /MIDI channels between the computer and the console with zero latency (no delays!)
  • Apple Mac Pro 2.66 Quad Core Intel Xeon computer with 1.5 Terrabyte drive and 8Gig ram
  • 2 LCD computer monitors, 22″ each
  • Enhanced surround monitoring system with new mogami cabling and other small additions.
MackieXbus200

Mackie Xbus 200 mixer console and computer interface

The hardware mentioned will allow an incredible amount of flexibility in input and output routing, monitoring, and expansion as needed.
I’m arranging all the special cabling and other details required, and bringing equipment to Beijing from Canada to get the studio operational in the next 2 months.

I’ve put a huge amount of time, trouble and great expense to make this one of the best, top quality music and sound design studios in Beijing.
It wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of some of my Beijing friends, you know who you are, Thank you so much!

The studio should be open for production by sometime in August 2010.

I expect to soon be booked full time months in advance in the near future, so please contact me now if you want to work on a project.
Check back here for more details and updates.

My latest production: Elika’s Edge of Forever

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Over the last year I’ve been working on some very exciting new music with Elika Mahony that I have co-written, produced and engineered.
I’ve always felt the music Elika has done in the past has not shown all of her musical potential and talent, it only represented one aspect of her musical influences and interests. So we’ve been on a musical journey to more completely represent and express Elika’s creativity and interests through the music. That journey is ongoing but we have the fruits of our initial efforts in three new songs, Edge of Forever, Missing You, and Listen.
(click on the song links to read more about each song on Elika’s blog)

Each explores different musical styles combining progressive electronic elements with Latin, Persian & Middle Eastern, New Age and pop styles. I think they all merge together very well with Elika’s beautiful voice and pleasing melodies. These songs will also be enjoyable to new listeners who may not connect with Elika’s previous music.

Another goal of these new songs was to convey more of Elika’s feeling and emotion in the vocal performance with more nuances and latent facets of her voice and I think through great effort and striving she has accomplished fantastic results.

We decided to release the songs in batches as an ‘EP’ CD rather than have you wait for the full album to be completed.
Get the full details and links to download the songs online here: www.elikamahony.com/music/edge-of-forever

Let me know what you think. Elika Edge of Forever artwork

New Release: Meditations of the Spirit in Chinese

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

A Chinese CD, ‘Meditations of the Spirit’, which I collaborated on with Elika Mahony, and produced and engineered has just been released and sold out in less than a month!

All the songs are in Chinese with a few bilingual songs.  The lyrics are from the profound and highly spiritual Baha’i writings, and some compositions are translated versions of songs from Elika’s Fire and Gold album.
The project involved highly talented musicians and artists – the very talented Cheng Lin graciously agreed to sing on the CD and Jin R plays her original beautiful Yang Qin compositions.  Phil Morrison and Keith Williams generously added their gift of talent to the CD too and Siria Rutstein, the youngest of the group, contributes her magical voice to the mix.  Jimmy adds a few of his compositions and Flamenco guitar player, Eric Harper, adds to one of  the tracks.  We also have 2 talented ladies singing in Chinese – Zhao Li and Lily, with Elika Mahony singing one of the songs in Chinese and a part in Arabic on another.

You can find more information about the songs here and can order them on that website.
To make orders in North America and other parts of the world, click here.

Chinese CD cover

We’ve been in discussion with the publisher to do another album like this due to the great response, but that is probably a few years off as this was an exhaustive project.

More adventures in China, Happy Chinese New Year!

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I’ve been in Beijing for the last month doing music projects, having meetings, and researching opening my music company Pro Soul Alliance in China. Now i’m in Hong Kong with my wife Felisha for a while before going back to Beijing.

It’s been an incredible experience, and I’ve learned more than ever before about China, and have done a lot more exploring on my own than before and am getting more confident interacting and doing things in this vastly different and immense culture.
I thought I would share some of my experiences with photos:
I’ve been working with some talented musicians you may know, and some new artists many people haven’t heard yet…

Elika Mahony, Jarome, Siria, Anna

Elika Mahony, Jarome, Siria, Anna

We’ve been working very hard! Elika just released 3 exciting new original songs we worked on last year, and we also launched a new Chinese Spiritual CD, and are working on a music video amongst other things…
Now Elika has a computer dedicated to the studio so she can record ideas right away before they are lost. Here she is with 3 computers:
Elika with 3 computers! (One is her new one)

Elika with 3 computers! (One is her new one)

We have lots of amazing tea to keep us going though, Tea is serious business in China!

Chinese Tea

Food is amazing in China, it is an important part of the culture. In cities like Beijing you can get any kind you want, and the food is amazing along with the presentation:

My $1 salad

My $1 salad

Desert, complete with dry ice. What presentation!

Desert, complete with dry ice. What presentation!

You find the strangest things in the food stores though…

instant mashed potatoes in a cup

instant mashed potatoes in a cup

There are all kinds of cheap and interesting ways to get around:

Man powered rickshaw

Man powered rickshaw

And never ending scenes of guys carrying way more than should be physically possible on a bike:

Man transporting wood on bike

Man transporting sticks on bike

Public pay phones sure look funny, they have very short domed covers, so if your tall, you’ll have trouble:

Public phones in Beijing

Public phones in Beijing

There are beautiful lanterns everywhere here, especially during Chinese New Year (which is today!):

Lanterns in street, Beijing

Lanterns in street, Beijing

During Chinese New Year, companies give Mandarin Orange Trees as gifts and they’re everywhere, it’s so cool:

    Mandarin Orange tree

Mandarin Orange tree

They have some fancy malls with all you can eat Vegetarian buffets with over 100 items, and movie theater (where we saw new Confucius movie with Chow Yun Fat, our first film in China), they have fancy lighted stairs:

Lighted steps at the mall in Beijing

Lighted steps at the mall in Beijing

There are so many amazing things to see and experiences to have, kind and warm hearted Chinese people. It can be very mysterious too when the fog rolls in and wind blows like it did in Hong Kong when we visited the giant Bhudda & temple nearby:

Felisha at a beautiful Buddhist temple in Hong Kong

Felisha at a beautiful Buddhist temple in Hong Kong

Felisha at the giant Buddha in Hong Kong

Felisha at the giant Buddha in Hong Kong

Hope to share more soon when I have a chance.
Happy Chinese New Year! gōng xǐ fā cái, Gung hee fatt choi! 新年快樂

Great iPhone Music Apps, TechnoBox 808, 909, 303

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

I’ve been checking out some of the music apps out there for the iPhone, and my first thought was wouldn’t it be cool if someone could create something to emulate amazing but expensive music hardware like the innovative Tenori-On, and the Roland TR series machines. Well I searched, and there they were!

For Tenori-On like music making, there is TonePad, and SoundGrid.

For you classic techno music kids out there – If you liked the Roland TR series machines, or ReBirth on the computer from Propellerhead, check out the impressive TechnoBox from Audiorealism: 808, 909, 303 machine emulation and a cool new graphic interface.

I just think it’s amazing that for $5, you can get the sound and abilities of 3 hardware devices that would cost thousands of dollars to buy used on a phone.

I love technology!