Welcome to issue #49 of Tape Op.
As we go to press (actually this issue is already at pre-press) hurricane Katrina has battered the coastlines of Louisiana and Mississippi and caused massive flooding and destruction to the city of New Orleans. For the last two years we've hosted the TapeOpCon in this city, making many friends in the area in the recording and music scenes. New Orleans is one of America's unique cities, one of the birthplaces of jazz and rock and roll and a cultural center of unique art, food and a different lifestyle from the rest of this increasingly homogenized country. At this point we've heard from our friends at Piety Street Recording that they are all safe in other cities waiting to return to survey the damage, we've heard our pal Andrew Gilchrest is okay, and conference event planner Jon Kardon is staying at his sister's home. But many of our friends are unaccounted for at this point — Sara and the Big Blue Marble band, Chris and Daniel from the Living Room Studio and many other studio owners and musicians. We worry and wait.
I'd never been to New Orleans until three years ago planning for TapeOpCon. Since then this city has become very special to me and close to my heart. All of us at Tape Op are concerned and offer our support in returning this city to life.
Many people have contacted me asking where to donate. Please visit the Red Cross — they have donation systems in place and are equipped to help. www.redcross.org As of this time we have no idea what we will be doing for TapeOpCon in June 2006. At times the art and commerce of recording music seems so secondary to caring for friends and the rest of humanity. All our love and support goes out to the residents of Louisiana and Mississippi impacted by hurricane Katrina.
PS: August 2005 saw the passing of two of our greatest sonic pioneers, John Loder and Bob Moog. John Loder, the founder of Southern Records and Southern Studios who engineered and mastered some of the most important independent recordings of the last three decades, died of complications that arose from a brain tumor on August 13th in London. Bob Moog, inventor of the Moog synthesizer and champion of the Theremin, died of brain cancer at his home in Ashville, North Carolina on August 21. Both were true innovators who inspired a generation of musicians and engineers, and both will be missed dearly. -Geoff Farina
PPS: We recently also saw the passing of Clancy Eccles, one of reggae's unsung "rock steady" production heroes.
We'll miss him. -LC