It is the day before my last Bach Masterworks: The Great Eighteen Chorales concert, and I am already wondering what my life will be like when I don’t have this wonderful music floating in my head every day. Oh, it is not that I won’t be playing it anymore–I can certainly use the individual works for preludes and postludes at Iolani Chapel, where I play four days a week, or for substituting gigs that come my way. In fact, I played Komm, Gott, Schöpfer heiliger Geist yesterday as the postlude at Iolani’s opening Faculty chapel.
Yesterday I also went to Pierre Grill’s studio (Rendez-Vous Recordings) to preview the DVD he made of last week’s concert. People in this town may only think of Pierre as THE audio recording engineer in Honolulu, but now he also does video recording. For years we said that Pierre could make the proverbial “silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” I was very skeptical about having a DVD made, but now having seen just a few minutes of it, can tell you watching it is almost like being there in person! The organ sounds expansive and crystal clear, while the choir has beautifully-shaped lines and a well-blended tone. Because Pierre used two cameras (and four microphones) you don’t need to turn your head to see the choir, like you would have to do if you were there in person.
According to Pierre’s website, Pierre is a “multiple recipient of Na Hoku Hanohano and Hawaiian Music Awards for engineering and production of music.” He has been recording music for over thirty years, and in fact did recordings of the Lutheran Church of Honolulu choirs since the early 80s. Carl always said that the reason Pierre’s recordings sound so good is that because Pierre is a musician himself and “has a set of fantastic ears.”
I knew that Pierre played keyboard instruments, but what I didn’t know is that he is also a one-man band!