AES executive director Roger Furness has announced the culmination of the first phase of the Audio Engineering Society Oral History Project. Initiated in 1997 by long-time AES member Irv Joel, the project was envisioned as an opportunity to provide insights into the creative and technical mindsets of the founding fathers of professional audio for future generations.
"Irv Joel's stature in the industry provided him with unique personal access to each of the brilliant innovators featured in these DVDs," Furness said. "Working single handedly to coordinate and videotape over 100 one-on-one interviews, he has created an anthology of conversations with the pioneers who shaped our industry"
Early in 2007, Joel enlisted pro audio veteran Harry Hirsch to edit the voluminous material into a series of DVDs. Working with Final Cut Pro, Hirsch, a well-known studio owner, designer, musician and recording engineer, devoted himself to gleaning the most salient and informative material from the original material, and to shaping them into compelling narratives.
Premiered at the AES 60th Anniversary Celebration sponsored by the New York Section on March 11, excerpts from the AES Oral History Project provided tantalizing anecdotes by legendary Columbia Records engineer Frank Laico (Dylan, Miles Davis, Streisand, Sinatra); Louis Goodfriend, first editor of the AES Journal; Norman Pickering, pioneer in phonograph cartridge design, and Les Paul, the godfather of multi-track recording.
"Collectively, the twenty men and women profiled in this collection of AES Oral History DVD's have been responsible for some of the most meaningful and lasting innovations in the field," remarked Bill Wray, co-chair of the AES Historical Committee. "Sadly, a number of these pioneers are no longer with us, but Irv Joel and Harry Hirsch have performed an invaluable service by creating this permanent record of their insights and experience."
The initial twenty AES Oral History Project DVDs are available now at www.aes.org $15.00 each for AES members, $20.00 for non-members.