July 26, 2017
In the deep summer heat, here in the north San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles, I’m grateful for family, friends, and opportunities to make music in the studio and elsewhere.
My family had lots of events from June until last week: a grand kid was Bat Mitzvah, which is a ‘coming of age’ event involving about 3 years of study for Jewish kids, then the next week, an uncle turned 95 in New Jersey, and we flew back for a marvelous weekend connecting with the family there. That part of our family has some quite formidable musicians: the legendary old time musician Dan Gellert, his brilliant daughter, a writer, fiddler and emerging star, Rayna Gellert, my cousin Chris Rogers-superb jazz musician, arranger, performer, son of the great horn player Barry Rogers, descended from one of the finest cymbalum players in America—and other too- film makers, inventors, dedicated education specialists, and …us.
Then a week in Mexico at the family seat there—which involved a lot of tamales, swimming, exploring, and playing with dogs.
Back at work now, some interesting things ahead: recording choirs all summer for the HB Barnum/Mietek Szczesniak / Life Choir project, planning the final stages of the WW cd, scheduled for March 16, 2018, with some more tracks coming in advance. We have a few clients who are also recording here, so never a dull moment.
Also working on consolidating an agreement with the superb author and film music historian Jon Burlingame to finish and release the book my father, Fred Steiner, wrote on the life of Alfred Newman, one of the great film composers of all time. My dad wrote a definitive and carefully researched book, but he passed before he was able to do the final edits and publish it.
Now, and hopefully with the help of the Newman family (including, David, Tom, Randy, and Maria) I believe we will be able to see this fine work finished and released. I expect it’s not only a history of this great composer, but also a window into a time we won’t see again.
Studio is rocking-enjoying the new sound library from VSL, and some other new additions—a mic or two, and of course, guitars….
Yeah the garden is in fine shape this summer, albeit in need of weeding! We’re digging a pond, at last. I have always wanted a pond, and always wanted frogs to live near me, ever since I was a resident of Topanga Canyon many years ago. My native gardens are now enormous, and I decided it’s time to put in a pond—no koi—mama doesn’t want to work that hard—but goldfish, mosquito fish, and tadpoles… downside: raccoons and hawks might be interested, and frogs may find their way to the pool, but I think we can forestall disasters with careful planning, optimist that I am.
The yellow orioles are still hanging around my hummingbird feeders, so fall isn’t even close!
Back to the studio....
Enjoy these slow and hot days of summer.