Stephanie Blythe
innova Recordings


Meyer Sound, world leaders in acoustic research and audio engineering, announces a new recording venture with the debut release of “as long as there are songs,” a collection of American popular music performed by legendary American mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe and pianist Craig Terry.  

Stephanie Blythe, Craig Terry and audio pioneer John Meyer set out to create a dramatically different listening experience in which audiences have an exceptionally accurate sense of being “in the room” at a live performance. This recording is as authentic to the original performance as is possible with today’s recording technology – a natural, unprocessed sound which stands in stark contrast to the high compression and limited bandwidth techniques used on nearly all standard commercial recording releases. Listeners will hear the full extent of the artists’ performance as this recording incorporates the full breadth of dynamic range, articulation, ensemble, sound tone and expression.

Since the mid 70s with the recording of “Gould conducts Gould,” John Meyer has been devoted to building audio technology that faithfully reproduces and delivers sound of the highest quality to audiences worldwide. His 2007 recording of Zakir Hussain’s “Golden Strings of the Sarode” was nominated for a Grammy. Meyer Sound’s patented cutting-edge Constellation acoustic system enabled the creation of a custom acoustic space for the recording, ironically, one in which Blythe and Terry could record “old school” in the same room without close-field microphones or headphones. Full takes were recorded natively at 24/96 resolution capturing the energy and passion of the artists performing as if for a live audience. In yet another departure from conventional contemporary vocal recording, engineer John Pellowe used no post-process filtering or compression during either the capture nor mastering process. Blythe and Terry’s musical artistry allowed producer Evans Mirageas to incorporate a third of the songs as entire, unedited takes and make only minimal edits to the remainder of the material.

Blythe’s uncanny ability to channel the spirits of the vocal legends who popularized the greatest American classic songs is well known from her recent Kate Smith Songbook Project. Writing for The New York Times, Zachary Woolfe stated it beautifully….“Nearly unmatched in a classical repertory that ranges from Handel to Wagner…Ms. Blythe was in some ways an even better Kate Smith…infusing the material with nuance and sophistication, filament-thin pianissimos and formidable walls of sound.” Blythe’s creative partnership with the remarkable Craig Terry continues on this recording, as the duo breathes new life into such classics as Always (Berlin), Any Place I Hang my Hat (Mercer/Arlen), When You Wish Upon a Star (Washington/Harline) and The Man that Got Away (I. Gershwin/Arlen).

“The Meyers’ incredible spirit of generosity combined with their ultra-sophisticated technology allowed us to create a recording with a sound that is honest, generous and real – a disc that magically transports listeners from their car or couch to the feeling of being at our actual live performance,” said Stephanie Blythe. 

Creating technology that faithfully reproduces and delivers sound of the highest quality to audiences world-wide has been John Meyer’s goal from his start in 1967 building sound systems for Steve Miller’s Monterey Pop Festival performances to his work with the Grateful Dead, the late Luciano Pavarotti, Metallica, Rod Stewart, Celine Dion, Montreux Jazz Festival, Cirque du Soleil and many others.

Founded in 1979 by husband-wife team John and Helen Meyer, Meyer Sound Laboratories holds over 40 patents for a range of technologies that have shaped the professional audio industry. In addition to designing and manufacturing their products at their Berkeley headquarters, Meyer Sound is engaged in advanced research and collaborations with universities including UC Berkeley, NYU/Courant Institute, UC Irvine and USC.

“My job is to give artists like Stephanie the tools that bring her closer to her audiences,” says John Meyer. “We used Constellation to create the ideal acoustic and technological environment, using the highest possible recording resolution, then let Stephanie and Craig perform without interference. The result is as close to the experience of live performance as a recording can get.”

Cal Performances Director Matías Tarnopolsky’s initial introduction of Stephanie Blythe to the Meyers set the project into motion and he continues to play a guiding role as the recording venture develops. Meyer Sound Cofounder and Executive Vice-President Helen Meyer remarked, “I’ll never forget Stephanie’s worried expression when Matías first brought her into the Pearson Theater and then how quickly that initial look of concern changed to amazement as we demonstrated the magic of Constellation. With one swipe of John’s finger on an iPad, our intimate theatre miraculously took on the sound of a world-class recital hall and it wasn’t long after that we began exploring the idea of creating recordings together.”

A stellar team of long time industry leaders was assembled to produce the recording. John Meyer led the team as recording consultant. Veteran arts professional and former head of A&R for Decca Records, Evans Mirageas served as executive producer. Meyer Sound engineer Miles Rogers and Grammy award-winning John Pellowe served as recording engineers.  Ian Watson, formerly with EMI and Decca Records, served as music editor. Founded in 1982, innova Recordings is the record label of the American Composers Forum and is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.

Recorded on site at Meyer Sound’s Pearson Theatre in Berkeley, CA in December 2012, the recording is now available on innova Recordings.   

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