Last night I had an exciting time watching on TV some contemporary musicians being recorded on equipment like that which my father, Stan Watkins, must have used at the Bell Labs in the early 20s. It was part of a series being broadcast on PBS at www.kenw.org. A recording engineer, Nicholas Bergh, with whom I have been in correspondence for some years, has reconstructed the original equipment and today’s musicians were being recording on wax discs just as the original recordings were made. It was different for them to have to do it in one take, but they were amazed by the clarity of the recordings. Check out this link to see more of the project.
That in itself was amazing to me, and very special, but there was another surprise. I have been working all week with the Albuquerque Film & Music Experience, and this year the award for music went to T Bone Burnett. Now, I had never heard of T Bone before this year (not being up-to-date in the music world) but he is well known by everyone else for his film scores as well as playing, composing and you-name-it.
So you can imagine my delight to discover that the American Epic series is produced by Jack White, Robert Redford (a great supporter of AFME) and – yes – T Bone Burnett. Not only that, but in the background of some country-western singers, there he was, tapping on a tambourine! If I hadn’t seen him at AFME, I would not have recognized him in the Epic scenes. What a thrill.
Wouldn’t I love to talk to him about that experience, but we AFME volunteers were strictly forbidden to talk to the stars. So perhaps I will be able to find another way at some point.
Meanwhile, a film about Stan Watkins is in the pipeline and I have talked myself hoarse during interviews. The pilot short is nearly ready to go on a crowdfunding site, so keep your eyes and ears open. I would love support from all of you for this project.
This blog was rather more voluminous than I had intended, but I was so amped up!