Meet Alec

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I had the pleasure and privilege of interning for the legendary Quincy Jones Productions this summer.

As a member of the NYU Gallatin School Class of 2018 studying Music & Performance in the Culture, I have a great ear for emerging talent and am seeking music industry internships. I’m most passionate about rap, hip-hop, jazz, EDM, rock, indie pop, and alternative. Download Alec Wayne Boyer Intern Resume

These are the emerging, unsigned artists I am currently championing (scroll down for links to music from my band, My Daughter’s Nephew):

Pat App:
https://soundcloud.com/patapp/smooth-vibes-prod-wun-two-x-flamingosis

https://soundcloud.com/patapp/beautiful-minds

Ro Ransom:
https://soundcloud.com/roransom/talk-too-much

https://soundcloud.com/roransom/donuts-ft-kensei-abbot

Of course, I also have my own band, My Daughter’s Nephew, with my friend and writing partner, Daniel Urquhart. Here are a couple of tracks from our latest EP, By the Lake:

Read about how Alec contributed to the original score for the Sonoma Academy production of Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses.”

Watch Alec’s latest performance highlights, including the Winter  Instrumental Ensemble, for which he played drums, bass, guitar and mandolin.

View clips of Alec’s guitar, bass, drums, mandolin/banjo/ukelele performances.

Read about Alec’s musical education and training.

View Alec’s Senior Speech, delivered at Sonoma Academy on November 6, 2013.

My Internship at Quincy Jones Productions

It was definitely a pleasure and a privilege to intern for the legendary Quincy Jones Productions (QJP) during the summer of 2016. QJP manages all of Quincy Jones’ assets, as well as a roster of artists. I even got to meet the man himself during an album release party for QJP artist, Jacob Collier!

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Me, in front of a pair of Quincy Jones’ many (many!) gold and platinum records.

During a typical week (I worked Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays), we would review a list of in-process tasks and projects, and get status updates on them during our team meeting. My daily tasks included snail mailing, emailing, and creating itineraries in Master Tour (tour operation software). For instance, several team members and artists (including Quincy Jones himself) attended the Montreux Jazz Festival and I helped coordinate their travel itineraries. This year, there was a tribute to Quincy Jones and QJP artists Alfredo Rodriguez, Jacob Collier, and Grace and Richard Bona performed.

Along with the second summer intern, Jonathan, I helped with the set up and (end stage) planning of a major album release party for  Jacob Collier. Jacob is a twenty-one year old musical virtuoso prodigy genius from London, UK. At the time Jonathan and I arrived at QJP, he had just finished mixing and mastering his debut album In My Room. The event was scheduled for June 22nd at the YouTube Space at the Google offices in Playa Vista.

Our primary involvement began one week prior to the event, when we compiled the guest list, sent out invitations, and made a spreadsheet of RSVPs. We placed all of the rental orders for the musical gear that Jacob needed for his set, and then picked it up on the day before the event. We helped set up the YouTube space and then, on the day of the show, worked check-in at the show. This day was noteworthy because on this day, I actually got to meet Quincy Jones! I wish I could have interacted with him more, but I had good interaction with the Jacob and he played a great set.

One of the most time-consuming projects on which I worked was Jacob Collier’s Patrion Campaign, a Kickstarter-like web site for artists through which Jacob raised funds for the production and release of his record. In exchange for supporting him, fans received various awards based on the the amount they pledged. For instance, someone who pledged as little as $20 would get a CD, and someone who pledged as much as $8500 got a private concert! Jonathan and I logged all of the patrons Jacob had acquired, plus their contact information, as well as their pledge level and corresponding reward—which could change over time if the patron made multiple contributions!

Another project on which I worked was compiling a timeline of jazz history for internal use. I researched jazz history and used my own knowledge of the genre to assemble a fairly comprehensive timetable beginning with turn of the 20th century (late 1800s) through the 1960s and 1970s. Though Quincy Jones is well-known for his work with Michael Jackson, producing mega-hit records such as “Thriller,” (still the best- selling album of all time in recorded music) and “Off the Wall,” he is a major figure in jazz—he’s produced and arranged for everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Ray Charles and Frank Sinatra. Fun fact: Quincy arranged Sinatra’s signature hit “Fly Me to the Moon,” which was actually played on the moon during the first moon landing!

One of the most fun and creative assignments I was given—because it enabled me to use my music production skills and artistry—was to edit a live recording of a performance by Alfredo Rodriguez, a solo piano performance inside a cabaret club that corresponded to a video, in order to improve the overall sound quality and upload to various online platforms, such as SoundCloud.

My most challenging project was to conduct an audit of one of QJP’s artist’s social media presence, along with suggestions for how to build his following across platforms, including Twitter, Soundcloud, Spotify, Facebook and Snapchat. The presentation went so well, I was asked to deliver it, in person, to the artist, who was very receptive and grateful for the feedback.

I’m very grateful for the experience and for the opportunity to have worked with the amazing team at QJP!

Recording Doug’s Original “Levee Worm Blues”

I’m very sad to report that on Monday, September 16, 2014, my musical director and mentor, Doug Gallagher, passed away. Doug was one of the most influential people ever in my life, and I feel proud that I got to record his original song, “Leevee Worm Blues” with him.  –Alec

In January 2013, Sonoma Academy’s musical director, Doug Gallagher, took a group of us on a 10-day trip along the Blues Trail, from New Orleans to Memphis. It was pretty much the trip of a lifetime and you can read all about it here.

Our group at Fats Domino's publishing house in New Orleans

Our group at Fats Domino’s publishing house in New Orleans

On that trip, Doug was inspired to write an original song called “Levee Worm Blues” that we first performed during our Spring 2013 Concert. I always wanted to record it, and I finally got Doug, as well as lead guitarist Jordan Day and bassist Spencer Metela, in the studio today (Northern Lights in Santa Rosa, CA).

I slowed it down a little and added drums, with me on the kit. Doug sang his own backing vocals. Overall, I’m really happy with it and grateful for the experience of having recorded it. Here’s a short video about our session.

 

Here is an .mp3 of the final, mastered track, now available on iTunes.

Alec Contributes to Original Score for “Metamorphoses”

Alec collaborated with his writing partner, Daniel James, on an original score for the Sonoma Academy production of Mary Zimmerman’s “Metamorphoses.” The two worked over the summer to create musical motifs and themes for the ten vignettes, based on the Greek and Roman tales of Ovid, using Pro Tools and Logic, while the musical director, Benjamin Mertz, also worked on the score. In the fall, Alec student-taught the elective class with Benjamin for the ensemble (called an “exploratory” at Sonoma Academy), then both Alec and Daniel joined the ensemble in the final weeks approaching performance. “From the beginning, writing with Daniel, through working with the ensemble, to seeing our music performed live during the play, this has been the most collaborative experience I’ve ever worked on,” says Alec. Following a sold-out run of the play in November 2012, Alec, Daniel and Benjamin intend to record the original score in Spring 2013.

My Trip on the Blues Trail

Just got back from an amazing 10-day trip to the South, from New Orleans to Memphis on the Blues Trail, seeing and recording music along the way.

Our group at Fats Domino's publishing house in New Orleans

Our group at Fats Domino’s publishing house in New Orleans

We started in New Orleans where stayed at the Hotel Villa Convento (AKA House of the Rising Sun). It was pouring rain when we got there, and spooky foggy when we got up the next day. We walked out to the end of a point at the inlet of the Industrial Canal onto the Mississippi River that locals call The End of the World, which was really cool.

After a great breakfast in the French Quarter (grits!), we went back to the hotel to work on some of the music we’re going to be recording. We started with St. James Infirmary Blues, Let the Four Winds Blow and Natchez Burning. We were joined by Wendell Brunion, a local trumpeter who plays a lot with Dr. John. Then we took a tour of the lower 9th ward, Fats Domino’s publishing house, and the site of the Battle of New Orleans.

Delfeayo Marsalis & his Uptown Orchestra

Delfeayo Marsalis & his Uptown Orchestra

That night  was my favorite concert of all of them, which was Delfeayo Marsalis and the Uptown Orchestra at Snug Harbor. He’s a trombonist who grew up in New Orleans (his dad is Ellis, and his brothers are Branford and Wynton). Of course, we also went to Preservation Hall while in New Orleans to see some great, traditional jazz and had coffee and beignets at the Cafe du Monde.

Then we went on to Natchez; it was a nice town, kind of reminded me of Petaluma (a local, historic town here in Sonoma County). We stayed at this hotel called the Eola; really amazing to see the Rhythm Night Club museum and learn about Natchez burning, memorialized in the Howlin’ Wolf song.

Delta Blues Man Charley Patton's gravestone in Indianola, Mississippi

Delta Blues Man Charley Patton’s gravestone in Indianola, Mississippi

In Indianola, we visited the BB King Museum, which was great because we  learned a lot about the music and the history of the delta blues, and we saw Charley Patton’s grave. Charley Patton is called “The Father of the Delta Blues.” Unfortunately, no music on this stop.

On the way to Clarksdale, we visited the Delta Blues Museum and had lunch at Morgan Freeman’s club, Ground Zero. By now, we were really getting a sense of how history, and struggles in the segregated south, influenced this music.

The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi, pretty much the coolest place ever

The Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale, Mississippi, pretty much the coolest place ever

We went on to Clarksdale to stay for two nights at the Shack Up Inn, pretty much the  coolest place ever. It’s this collection of  sharecropper shacks, the original cotton gin and seed houses and other outbuildings from a working plantation. That night, we had a really good rehearsal on the stage in main building of the Shack Up, followed by our recording session.  The recordings came out ok, but mostly allowed us to play together and figure out balances, parts, etc. Plus, the hotel guests seemed to like us.

For music, we saw and met Watermelon Slim,  a great slide guitarist and a killer harmonica player. We then saw him again at dinner and watched these two men play some great blues and it was an extremely fun night.

Memphis in the morning

Memphis in the morning

Our last four days were spent in Memphis, and everything about Memphis was amazing. Amazing music at BB King’s club every night and incredible tours during the day. We ate and shopped on Beale Street, where I bought my first vinyl records at a store called Memphis Music Records Tapes & Souvenirs: Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five’s The Message and Al Green’s Still in Love With You).

One of the highlights was our tour of Stax Records, the south’s answer to the Detroit sound of Motown. I was blown away by the talent on the Stax label, including Isaac Hayes, Otis Redding, the Staple Singers. But it also features other soul artists like Al Green, Ike & Tina Turner (I got Al Green’s Greatest Hits on vinyl here).

We saw footage of Otis Redding rocking the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967; he was killed in a plane crash in 1968 with his biggest hit, Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay, released after his death. We were told that this song wasn’t finished at the time of his death, but the Stax house band, Booker T & the MG’s, helped write it. One of our guides told us that the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in Memphis that year (1968) led to riots and the eventual end of the label.

On our second day in Memphis, we started the day with a tour of the Gibson Guitar Beale Street Retail Center, which was awesome, and then we went to the legendary Sun Recording Studio. Recording at Sun Records was an unreal experience and can only be described as such. Learning all about Sun Records and Stax Records was eye opening in terms of how they both got started.

We recorded in legendary Sun Studios in Memphis

We recorded in legendary Sun Studios in Memphis

Here’s how our group’s leader, Sonoma Academy Musical Director Doug Gallagher, summed up our recording experience (I played drums and acoustic bass) at Sun Records (I couldn’t have said it any better myself):

The nerves were high and it was a beautiful thing to come together and step past the touristy awe of being in that particular place, and to do something musical, to actually focus our attention and be musicians, to play with our hearts and minds and make something of our musical selves, as a group, as individuals, there, in that funky little room where some of the greatest musicians in rock n roll history-Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis-laid down there first tracks.

I’ll upload an .mp3 of our recording session as soon as we have a chance to mix it. We finished off our time in Memphis with a visit to Graceland…a little corny, but still awesome, nonetheless.

Overall, as a musician, I consider this pretty much the trip of a lifetime and strongly recommend it to anyone with an interest in rock, R & B, hip-hop, even just American culture, because this music is our heritage music. I will definitely go back and look forward to more recording in Memphis one day.