Classical Recording Techniques: Music and Meaning in Audio Recording

Date/Time: Saturday, September 7, 2019, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: Women’s Audio Mission Studio, 542-544 Natoma St., #C-1, San Francisco, CA 94103

Cost: $30 for WAM members, $45 for non-members.


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This three-hour seminar will focus on how recording engineers and producers can best represent the musical essence of an artist’s or ensemble’s work when recording acoustic instruments. We will evaluate the challenges of recording a variety of acoustic instruments through live demonstrations in the studio as well as a group listening session and discussion on performance and recording styles in classical music from Gregorian chant and small acoustic ensembles to larger groups and orchestras. Students will develop a toolkit for making recording decisions based on musical context and learn how recording choices can affect artists’ ability to communicate with the audience.

About the Instructor:

Lolly Lewis has been producing music in San Francisco since 1980. She was Director of Recordings at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, has served on the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival’s Audio/Recording Institute, and has operated the independent production company Transparent Recordings for nearly forty years, specializing in live recording, producing, and editing. Notable projects include the opera Tania, a premiere recording of orchestral music by Harlem Renaissance composer Florence Price, a Berlioz series with San Diego Symphony, and a program of chamber music works by composer Mario Davidovsky. In recent years Lolly has been particularly focused on period instrument performance and has produced six albums with the New Esterházy Quartet, most recently the monumental Schubert G major string quartet. She is currently producing a recording of the complete Beethoven violin sonatas on period instruments.

Lolly ran the San Francisco Symphony’s COMMUNITY OF MUSIC MAKERS project (2011-2016) and produced over 50 workshops for amateur musicians at Davies Symphony Hall. When that program ended she founded the Amateur Music Network to continue to support the music community and is their Executive Director.

As a member of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Lolly sang on numerous recordings including several Grammy-winners.

Women’s Audio Mission’s courses focus on increasing the gender balance in audio production and technology sectors since less than 5% of the population employed in these sectors are women. There are limited spots available in our classes and they often sell out, so we ask that if you are not woman-identified (transgender or cisgender), non-binary or gender non-conforming, that you reconsider enrolling in the class. We will not turn anyone away, but please be mindful that if you take up a seat in class, that is one less woman or non binary-identified individual that we can serve. We thank you for your understanding in advance and for joining us in our mission to advance women and girls in music production and the recording