Toronto AES September Meeting on Zenph Re-performance of Glenn Gould's 1955 Goldberg Variations

gouldAES Toronto has scheduled its next meeting for Sept. 22nd at Humber College. The topic will be the Sony recording sessions of the Zenph Re-performance by legendary pianist Glenn Gould.

When: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015

Time: 7 p.m.

Where: Humber College, AX Building, 3199 Lakeshore Blvd. West, Toronto

Event description

Glenn Gould‘s extraordinary career was book-ended by recordings of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations. The release of his 1955 mono, analogue debut recording on Columbia Records placed him immediately among classical music’s superstars. His 1981 stereo, digital recording was released just a few weeks before his death.

At the turn of the 21st century, Zenph Sound Innovations, Inc. developed software that analyzes a recorded piano performance and stores it as high definition MIDI data for playback on a robotic piano such as a Yamaha Disklavier Pro concert grand. Toronto AES member Jim Hayward was the catalyst for bringing the Zenph/Gould project to Toronto. Some Toronto AES Section members will recall a presentation by Zenph at the Japan Center in 2006.

Later that year, a “re-performance” of the famous 1955 version of the Goldbergs was recorded in the Glenn Gould Studio at the CBC in Toronto using Zenph’s re-performance technology. From the resulting SACD the listener can choose to enjoy the same performance in stereo, surround, or binaural sound.

Peter Cook was one of the recording engineers on the session. Peter will tell the story of how the recording came about and talk about some of the technology and recording techniques used at the recording session. Jim Hayward will be on hand to deliver additional commentary.

Attendees will also be able to hear the high resolution recordings – which earned a perfect 5/5 for sound and 5/5 for performance from Absolute Sound and was named “Recording of the Month” by Stereophile – played back in stereo, surround and binaural sound.

For more info, check out the speech given by producer Steve Epstein at the press presentation of the Zenph re-performance of Glenn Gould’s 1955 Goldberg Variations in the Glenn Gould Studio.

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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