Fifteen years ago, George Martin — who began his career as a producer of classical recordings – created a series of classical anthologies for an L.A. independent label. To celebrate the event, the company invited a select few guests to a dinner for Martin in Beverly Hills.
He joined us like someone out of a dream, but familiar, as we’d come to know him from countless TV interviews about his work with the Beatles. Dapper. Elegant. Intelligent. Soft-spoken but precise in conversation. And, of course, a careful listener.
Everyone at the table sat in awe, and hung on his every word. At one point, he began to talk about the way records were mastered at EMI’s studio in Abbey Road. Turning to me, he leaned in and asked rhetorically, “And what principle do you think governed the mechanics of mastering?” I opened my mouth but just shrugged. “Gravity,” he said with a faint smile, and then he went on to explain how simple gravitational physics were employed to run the studio’s mastering lathe at a consistent speed.
A master class, in more ways than one. George Martin proved that mastery again and again over time, most dramatically in his work with the Beatles, which encompassed some of the greatest imaginative leaps in the history of recorded music. Few other figures so refined and redefined the role of producer as he did.
Read more at Variety.com