FILMS | CLASSICAL | POP/ROCK/ALTERNATIVE | FOLK | JAZZ | WORLD | CHORAL | DVD | GOSPEL | ALBUMS I GOT FIRED FROM

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The soundtrack for this film was composed by Bruce Retief and it received an Annie Award nomination along with Brave (Pixar), Dr Seuss' Lorax (Illumination), Hotel Transylvania (Sony) and Ice Age (Blue Sky). I tracked the percussion and some vocals at Stellenbosch University Studios and then we went to The Bridge Studios in Los Angeles to record the strings and winds. Afterwards we went to San Francisco for final mix at Skywalker sound. Multiple Grammy Award-winning Leslie-Ann Jones did the music mix. I left a changed man. Here are some production photographs.

This score was composed by Trevor Jones (Last of the Mohicans, Mississippi burning). This series was shot on location in France and South Africa. The challenge with this score were that actors are actually singing in the movie, so we had to record it before the time and had to play back the recordings while shooting for sync purposes. I enjoy going to set because of the catering mostly, but I'm very grateful that I don't do location work - those engineers are tough! Final mix on this happened at Abbey Road. Here are some production photographs.

The previous Triggerfish film, Zambezia, was recorded in Los Angeles with a seasoned orchestra. Mixing was done at Skywalker Sound with the Grammy-awarded engineer Leslie-Ann Jones doing the music mix. So I was quite surprised when I was asked to do all the tracking in South Africa and to do the music mix as well. I think our attempt came out very well. Final Mix was done at Goldcrest in London. The score was composed by Bruce Retief. I just need to give special mention to the guy who prepared the scores, Andrew Hoole. He is the only Australian I know that is not from Australia. Here are some production photographs.

One of my assistants (let us call him X) helped setting up the previous evening and I asked everybody to be there at 07:00 the next morning. The next morning there is no sign of X. About 11:00 I get a call from X. He is currently in George (over 400 kms away). So this is how this happened: He joined 3 of his friends for a beer after the setup. One of them has never been to "Die Dekke" in Groot Brak (a bar in a coastal town just under 400 kms away) and the others thought it a good idea to go show him what nice bar that is. They got in a car in the wee morning hours and drove off. The person who was driving was the one who's never been there before. The others fell asleep. Upon reaching George the driver realised he must have missed the town and pulled over and joined the sleeping crowd. At 11:00 the sun was baking them out of the car and that is when X called me. His exact words were that "we should get started so long without him, he'll be there just now"...

Even in the absence of X (or maybe because of it) everything went fine. SKOONHEID was the first Afrikaans film to receive Un certain Regard selection at the Cannes Film Festival. The music was composed by Ben Ludik. Here are some production photographs.

Hunter's Heart was my first film project - I assisted the veteran Abbey Road engineer Andrew Dudman. The score was composed by Oscar-winning composer Trevor Jones (Last of the Mohicans, Mississippi Burning). We had some gear challenges with the headphones arriving from Germany just before the session started, but the kind folks at Beyerdynamic forgot to put the cables in the boxes. Since it was a public holiday my options were very limited and I managed to craft right through the night 40 cables from parts sourced at my local supermarket - my work-around included pins, modelling clay and silicone and the improvised headphones performed well over the next few days.

Did the music mix for this film. I had a lot of fun mixing the pop tracks, since it was composed and produced for 5.1 surround delivery by Ben Ludik.

I Now Pronounce You Black and White is a romantic comedy by director Oliver Rodger. Jan-Hendrik Harley composed the soundtrack. I did the final mix and decided that from here on I'm only going to do music mixing. Playing around with dialog and ambiences should be left to the people who are into that kind of thing.

I was responsible for the mix for the title track of this film, written and performed by Heinz Wincler and produced by Ben Ludik.

I did the mix of Joshua na die Reën's rendition of "Voshaarnooi". Produced by Ben Ludik. See the music video here.

A locally produced Afrikaans film with the title, The Last Tango. One of the tracks I recorded for Zanne Stapeleberg and Kathleen Tagg's project Soul of fire was used in the soundtrack. That is all I know. And I think someone dies at the end or something.

A film by director Octavio Maya, shot in the state of Chiapas, Mexico (Las Guacamayas, Las Nubes). The soundtrack was composed by Miguel Almaguer and I recorded the string parts of the score in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

A feauture film by director Katinka Heyns with the score composed by Ben Ludik. The orchestra was the Stellenbosch University Camerata and it was conducted by Peter Martens. Elzeth Germishuys was the pianist.

Classical

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I recorded this album in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My African blood is not used to the cold - the day I left it was -26 degrees.

I recorded this album in Kalamazoo, Michigan. My African blood is not used to the cold - the day I left it was -26 degrees.

This was one of the biggest projects I've ever done. We spent a whole month in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, recording all the Richard Strauss lieder for voice and piano. The project was done in Garmisch-Partenkirchen since that is where Strauss lived. There is not a studio in town so we had to take all the gear and we recorded in the practice venue of the local brass band. It is a beautiful town and I enjoyed our stay very much.

``magnificent playing at a live recital in South Africa from June 2013 is matched by profoundly apt recorded sound - Jeff Simon, The Buffalo News.

``Liszt could hardly have received a more sumptuous or ingenious tribute than that offered by Antonio Pompa-Baldi - Bryce Morrison, Gramophone.

Antonio Pompa-Baldi is an award-winning concert pianist and professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music and is feared by pianos everywhere. I put up some microphones and Antonio made the magic happen, so all credit to him...

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I was very weary of recording singers. Many years ago my first attempt at recording a soprano was interrupted by a health inspector investigating allegations that we were slaughtering a pig in an urban environment. Michelle however, restored my faith in the human voice and we had a lot of fun doing this album. It got 5 stars in Diapason Magazine and was awarded the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (German Record Critics' Award). See the album details here.

This was the first artist that TwoPianists signed. We were quite green but it turned out a good one. Got some good international reviews, won a SAMA Award and made the Grammy submission list. This was also my first time on the Grammy submission list for Best Engineer. See the album details here.

Second albums are always much more fun. By that time everybody knows each other so it is almost like a little reunion, but since it is not a true reunion there is not any of the "you got fat" and "you're still ugly" kind of talk. With this recording we experimented with some new microphone techniques that were permanently incorporated in future setups.

So once in the quaint village of Garmisch-Parkenkirchen, Germany, Michelle offered me ride home in het super turbo-charged sports car. Once inside thoughts of 'life insurance' and 'last will and testament' started crossing my mind as Michelle got me home faster than ever before. If she ever gets tired of performing you might see her in pole position at your local race-track.

Lori says my accent sounds "friendly". This is the first compliment I had about that. Where I grew up we only use English for self-defence which caused me to have the weirdest accent imaginable. While tracking a film score a while ago one of the violinists asked the lady next to her if I'm Russian? You get the idea. If you combine my accent with the pig-latin inspired accent of producer Luis Magalhaes you'll be forgiven if you mistake one of our production meetings for the get-together of an international crime syndicate.

If Lori wasn't such a good pianist she would have had a television cooking show. I've had the privilege to be served dinner at her place in Kalamazoo (yes it does exist!) a few times and was mightily impressed by her cooking. Please don't show up at her house asking for food, that would just be weird... If I were you I would rather buy her album and go ask her to autograpph it making sure that I arrive around supper time. That will be slightly less weird...

Talking about food in Kalamazoo, MI: I really enjoyed Schwarma King and Sarkozy Bakery.

I just remember there was a lot of laughing in this production. Frank's Michael Jackson covers on the violin unfortunately did not make it unto the album. Rumour has it that Frank plays the electric guitar in a cover band in the dark underbelly of Austria's night life: 80's Clubs. In a curious development I was asked by a person wearing a Bon Jovi t-shirt who claimed to be some kind of "legal representative" to stop spreading such rumours.

So the producer warned me this is going to be a tough production since it is intense and difficult music. We had three days booked in the studio. So on day one in walks this soft-spoken and humble guy who made Prokofiev his bitch in one take. He wanted to finish the disc in one session but we convinced him to take an early afternoon and finish the next day.

This was my first serious classical production. I've had to privilege to assist the 5-time Grammy-awarded engineer Wolf-Dieter Karwatky. Everything recording I've done after this was in some way shaped by this production. Released by Universal. Here are some production photographs.

After discovering the hard way how record companies operate Luis and Nina started their own label, TwoPianists Records. They re-released the above album under their own label and from there things grew rapidly.

This album won a SAMA (South African Music Award) for Best Popular Classical Album. I wonder if you can measure someone's love of music? If this is possible, Dr. Stewart Young, the producer, would be very high on that scale. He would just drift off into the music and when he snaps out of it he would look at you with sympathy if it seems that you did not enjoy it as much as he did.

This started a a personal project amongst friends and I was very happy with how it came out. We've played with the idea to release it in surround as well but unfortunately that did not pan out nor went the full circle (get it? - an attempt at technical joke).

This is one of my personal favourite albums - not in a technical sense, I believe I could have done much better*, but the performance is out of this world.

*BBC Music Magazine was happy with it, gave the technical aspects of the recording 5 stars.

For this live recording (TwoPianists' first live project) we had a lot of trouble with tuning on the old Steinway D piano. In the interval the tuner had to work furiously to get it in tune. The free wine in the foyer ensured that nobody complained about the longer than usual break. The product came out beautiful - what Konstantin does to a piano is illegal in 17 countries...

The recording was scheduled to take place in a church in Simon's Town but the fish factory next door and whatever the Navy was doing on their little ships in the harbour made too much noise so we had to relocate to Kommetjie where the local priest graciously allowed us to use the chapel for the day to record the album.

Marinda Snyman was a wonderful organist and human being and it was my privilege to record this album. I hope she is having fun playing the big organ up there...

We had a lot of fun doing this album. It was the first time I got to work with one of my favourite cellists Marion Lewin.

A compilation disc for TwoPianists records. Technically since I've already claimed credit for the discs where all these recordings came from I cannot claim any credit for it now, but I need any help I can get to look more important.

Pop, Rock & Alternative

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This was a fun project on which I worked with Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the first time. Indebted to Jimmie Earl Perry for taking me along to New York for the mix sessions with Grammy-nominated engineer Fabrice (Fab) Dupont at Flux Studios. Fab was complaining all the time "too bright" and it would change forever the way I record albums.

Recorded the guitars for a few tracks on this one. I was buying some screws in the hardware store when I heard it on the radio for the first time. The sales clerk was much less impressed than I expected him to be. I've since changed hardware stores.

Since everybody kept on firing me half-way into productions I decided to do an album on my own cost with a very talented lady I met at a barbecue. We had time to experiment and this was a very valuable production to me.

I can't remember much about this album except that it was done over the December holidays, the height of summer in the Southern hemisphere. The studio air-conditioning was being serviced and we had to find all kinds of creative ways to keep the gear and ourselves cool.

Atlas is one of the most interesting people on earth. Various governments had to pass new laws to keep up with him. An example: He once was the cause of a serious debate amongst law enforcement officials for being involved where a plane was flown so low that some believed it stopped falling under the jurisdiction of the aviation authorities and was now the problem of traffic police. Do not attend any party with this man, no matter how mild it looks. He has the ability to turn your grandmother's morning tea into something where you wake up the next morning in your underwear at the bridge of a oil tanker with some Russians calling you captain while pointing furiously at the approaching coastline...

I think The Citizen or some other conspiracy ridden bad publication gave this disc an unflattering review. It did however mention some "tasteful accordion playing" by yours truly - now you know I play the accordion - ladies the cue forms to the right.

These guys came in and played with our synths, I tried to assist but they were much smarter than I. I don't deserve this credit though, but since the purpose of this page is to impress people I'm going to grab onto anything that makes me look important.

Jazz

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What a privilege to have recorded Kyle Shephard as one of my earliest jazz recordings. It was one of those productions where what was in front of the microphone was so good I couldn't screw it up, even if I tried. Got a SAMA nomination on this record and some good sales worldwide. I met Kyle at a recording for somebody else. I later heard a rumour that during the mentioned recording I accused an American of re-colonising after he tried to change the way an African choir sings. My legal team advised me to deny all such allegations. But I hate it when Americans try to colonise...

This was a completely unplanned recording. We've decided an hour or so before the concert that we'll record it. Plugged in a few microphones as fast as I could and it turned our very well. It got a SAMA nomination for Best Traditional Jazz Album.

So while driving to the Artscape Opera House I was listening to a local radio station, Fine Music Radio, which broadcasts from the opera house. They were playing a track from this album. Once I got there I went to the studio which is separated with soundproof glass from the foyer and by using hand signals communicated to the DJ that "you've just played a track I've recorded, what a coincidence". The DJ responded with a friendly nod. I was expecting more of a gesture of awe and reverence so I assumed he did not get my message upon which I retried to convey my message which led to the situation escalating into an unsavoury affair where security was involved.

A very nice disc on which one of my Kyle Shephard tracks ended up on. This is how you inflate your credits... Don't judge me, learn from me...

My good friend Ramon Alexander's solo project. This man is responsible for the development of so many musicians who are performing at the highest levels today. He is also one of the funniest people I know and if I ever have a daughter he would not be allowed within a mile from her.

Everybody had a nickname on this production. Some of it made sense and others not. There was 'Eagle' because his toes points down like the claws of an eagle. To keep this site family friendly I'm not able to describe any other production nicknames.

Gospel

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I enjoyed doing this album a lot and learned the value of proper pre-production. The guys were so well prepared and we could spend our time trying to get the best recording and not try out ideas to make something acceptable.

A track I did for the band Surrender ended up on this compilation - would have liked to have it mastered, but somehow the final mix found it's way to the album...

Soundtrack

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The soundtrack for a quite controversial theatre production.

The CD release of the soundtrack of the film 'Wonderwerker' composed by Ben Ludik.

World Music

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A very nice latin style album. The producer went back to New York before the production was done. I remember doing the final mix over Skype while hurricane Sandy was going on. I just remember hearing the rumble of the storm in the background. One of the tracks of this album ended up being used in the film "The Last Tango".

After seeing him perform in Zambia, representatives of Stellenbosch University brought Clement to South Africa to record his own album. It is in a kind of African folk music style. Since it is not written down the session musicians had quite a challenge to make sense of it all but they did pull it off.

There was a Fatwa issued against this album. Truth.

Some deep relaxation music. I suspect this relaxed one of my assistants at the time up to a point just short of being declared legally deceased. He could also have ben born that way...

Folk

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A very gifted songwriter with the most unusual descriptions of the interpretations he wanted from musicians - I remember he once asked for "young" chords on the guitar. The funny part is that the guitarist seemed to understand the request.

This album got a SAMA (South African Music Awards) nomination for Best Alternative Music Album: Afrikaans. It forms part of the Music van de Caab community project at Solms Delta Wine Estate.

The second CD of the Music van de Caab project produced by Adriaan Brand (of the Springbok Nude Girls).

This was one of the most fun productions I've ever had. I remember hurting some muscles because of too much laughing. Francois van Coke (Fokofpolisiekar, Van Coke Cartel) also did a collaboration of this album. Here are some production photographs by Shaun van Wyngaardt.

I never thought I would mix an electronic dance album in Afrikaans. Well seems I did. This turned out very nice and was nominated for a Ghoema Award.

Choral & Vocal

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TUKS Camerata, Choir of the University of Pretoria. Tracked by Dawid de Villiers and mixed by me. Nominated for a SAMA Award.

Somerkersfees by the Stellenbosch University Choir, the World's top amateur choir as ranked by Interkultur. I love the conductor's (Andre van der Merwe) approach to recording. Although this album is not presented as a 'live' recording, the tracks were all recorded at concerts which speaks for the quality of performance of this choir.

There are a lot of Afrikaans Catholic Churches in South Africa, especially the Nothern Cape. This was an attempt to provide reference material for those churches which does not always have organists or trained musicians.

Cape Town Youth Choir: Chariots

An American choir who visited SA. They did some wonderful community engagement projects while here. We hope to see them back soon.

The 20 year anniversary album of Libertas Choir. Includes a collaboration with Anna Davel.

Rachmaninoff's popular Vespers translated into Afrikaans.

This was an exciting project since it involved a lot of audio restoration. I got old records and tapes from the archive of historic recordings of the choir and Tim Lengfeld transferred it to a digital format. We embarked on a lengthy restoration process. There are amazing tools available today and I was amazed at how well we could recover original ambience that was previously lost under the noise floor.

My first through-the-night production. There was this big choir convention. In what seemed to be a good idea at the time I promised the organisers that I would have 500 copies of the recording of the previous evening's gala concert early the next morning. Many things went horribly wrong. At one time I locked myself out of the studio, but not out of the building, so I had to call an assistant at three in the morning to come slide a studio key under the door of the building so that I could get back into the studio. (I owe you big time!) We did deliver on time just before all the choirs left.

The Fidentia Financial Group paid for the production of this album. Thank goodness I just received my payment a week before the CEO was arrested on fraud charges and the company went down.

This album was nominated for a SAMA Award in the category Best Popular Classical Album

University of Pretoria Choir, known as TUKS Camerata. Conducted by Johan van der Sandt.

Stellenberg Girls' Choir. Conducted by Andre van der Merwe.

There is a long tradition of German art songs (Kunstlied) - there are some real nice works and then there are others which you can use to coerce a downed allied pilot into giving up state secrets. The works on this album does not fall in the latter category and celebrates the Art Song tradition in Afrikaans. I remember somewhere in the production a sampling rate error crept in so the soprano ended up singing a little faster and higher than intended. Don't worry, all discs in circulation are fine if you are not in the habit of obtaining CDs from a landfill in Asia...

This album was recorded at the Afrikaans Orthodox Church close to Robertson. Visit the website

DVD

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The performances on this DVD was recorded from a tent in the Namib desert. I must confess one evening while a band was playing I fell asleep since I was lying on my inflatable mattress inside my tent - it turned out to be one of my best recordings ever.

Recorded this DVD at the Artscape Opera House. I remember being very hungry. After mentioning this to my girlfriend who performed in the show, she brought forth a hot dog from her handbag. That is when I realised this is a one-in-a-million kind of girl. Ask yourself: Can your girlfriend pull a hot dog from a handbag at a moments notice?

Other

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Winand is an organ virtuoso. A few years after this album we somehow became squash partners and are in a continious fight for dominance. I'll post a youtube video soon where Winand is anialated on the squash court. I must just anialate him first and record it on video... It might take time - keep watching this space.

A collection of albums featuring 100 Afrikaans poems. I only did the mix, it was recorded by Gerhard Grobler. Visit his website

These guys were a very cool bunch, I still have contact with the ones that are not in jail.

Niel Rademan en Elna van der Merwe.

Productions I was fired from

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My first album I got fired from. I got fired from this production nearing the mix stage.

Another album from which I got semi-fired from, I think the producer was fired too...

I was fired from this album before it was done... I'm starting to see a pattern. I also played keyboards and accordion on this album. I'll blame the fact that I got fired on the accordion playing.