Team Player - Phil Amalong, producer
Phil, the producer for H&D, is a pianist himself, but also much more than that! He arranges, composes, produces, engineers, markets and everything else, which is what pianists today have to do, it seems, to be able to survive in this quickly evolving industry.
Phil is completely comfortable with technology as well, and as one of the key players at Zenph helped produce the famed Rachmaninoff, Gershwin, Glenn Gould re-recordings among others.
For this project, which straddles Classical and World Music, and which would require a healthy dose of technology and experimentation, Phil was the perfect foil. I was looking for someone with musical experience and knowledge, but also someone who would have an opinion and possibly push back. While my vision of the program was very clear, I'm always inspired by healthy disagreements and discussions. Phil helped me focus on details that would have otherwise escaped my attention.
Phil also opened my mind up to the subject of mixing, which I had never had to deal with before. With my Harmonia Mundi recordings, we went straight from 2 mikes to "tape", which bypassed all the mixing elements. We spent a lot of time listening to set the microphones, but then it was just getting to work! We ended up doing a kind of compromise this time - it gives us some options further down the road, with video, surround, etc.
Fortunately, Phil knew all about that, plus was familiar with Manifold, having worked there before. We developed a great working rhythm! And, speaking of rhythm, I inspired Phil to contribute to the recording in a way more than just a producer, but actually providing a drum line! You'll have to wait to hear that!