Sunday, June 26, 2016

In Memoriam Ken Basman

This is a post I really don't want to write. I think I have mentioned before that all my recent recordings, the Four Pieces for violin and guitar, the Suite No. 1 for guitar and the Songs from the Poets, have all been recorded by Ken Basman.

Ken, who originally hails from Toronto, has been a major figure in the music scene in San Miguel. You see his name everywhere there is jazz being played and I have always been very impressed with his guitar playing. He was also an excellent recording engineer and taught me a lot about recording, once I learned to trust his opinion! He had really acute ears and a vast technical knowledge, not to mention one of the best collections of microphones I have ever seen. The last project we did was at the end of September and beginning of October last year. With Hannah Pagenkopf, an excellent singer from Calgary, we recorded all twelve of my Songs from the Poets. This has yet to be released for various reasons, but I would like to post one of the songs here. This is "Music" on a poem by Anna Akhmatova recorded by Ken Basman:

The very sad news I have to impart is that Ken died this past week of complications ensuing from a massive heart attack he suffered a few weeks ago. We will miss him greatly. He was a consummate professional and always a pleasure to work with. He was always patient with his artists and always helpful in achieving your aesthetic ends.

Here he is in a characteristic pose:

That's Ken slaving over a hot iMac recording my Suite No. 1 for guitar. And here he is with one of his temperamental artists:


Doug Robinson said...

Nice, thanks Bryan.

Marc Puckett said...

I'm sorry to read of your friend's death and your community's loss; my condolences. Requiescat in pace.

Christine Lacroix said...

Bryan, that's so sad. And it sounds like it happened unexpectedl which can make it even harder. It seems Ken was such an important person in your life. I'm so sorry for your loss.

Bryan Townsend said...

Ken was not only a really good guy and a friend, but a professional with irreplaceable skills...

Yes, it was quite unexpected. He had a heart attack a few weeks ago, but I just assumed he would recover handily. I had a mild heart attack three years ago and it hasn't slowed me up a bit. But he had other health issues and it was a massive attack in his case and he just didn't make it.