My involvement with the music project “Soundbreaking” dates back to it’s infancy, when I worked as the project’s still photographer in 2005. That was the first time I met and photographed legendary music producer Sir George Martin at the EMI museum in the UK. Our interactions were always cordial, and I enjoyed his sense of humor. He was well grounded and down to earth, and I so admired his contributions to music. Over time, George continued to do Interviews and demonstrations at other locations, including Abbey Road Studios and AIR Studios. A video reel was created to get musical artists on board for the “Soundbreaking” project, and the acquisition of funding began.
I interacted and photographed George Martin many more times over several years. Without George’s help, this project would never have been born. He continued to be involved until the end, inspiring us with his vision and genius. God bless you, George.
In 2008 production began on the PBS series, “Soundbreaking: Stories from the Cutting Edge of Recorded Music” series. Interviews began with some of the older musical artists, like Pete Seeger and Les Paul. I photographed them both in their homes, which gave me more personal insight into to who they were. Unfortunately, both have since passed, but their spirit and genius is kept alive in their interviews in the series.
In addition to musical icons, songwriters, producers, recording engineers, and presidents of recording companies were interviewed for the project. So over the next four years, I continued to photograph people for the related book project and capture B-roll for the series. My travels took me all over the UK, New York City, California, Vancouver BC and Canada, Nashville, Philadelphia, Florida, Boston, Maine, New Jersey, etc. I photographed people in recording studios, sound stages, their homes, buses, and on one occasion, a green screen-converted motel room. In total, I photographed over 100 people for the project.
What makes “Soundbreaking” so interesting as a music series is how different perspectives on the music business are explored. The series covers the evolution of recording and music-making technology, as well as the talented artists who pushed the envelope with limited resources. The series even breaks down and analyzes the Iconic songs that touched us all.
Photography, like music, is a universal language. Both cross boundaries to inspire us, to captivate us, and to draw out our emotions. “Soundbreaking” celebrates music from many genres and demonstrates that, while music technology is always changing, the human emotions music evokes are eternal. Be inspired and watch the PBS Special, “Soundbreaking.”