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Engineer (Now And Zen)

Born on November 12, 1956, Martin grew up in a musical environment. His mother was a classical singer, a gifted performer, broadcaster and teacher. He began piano lessons at age five, started playing French Horn at eleven, and was soon playing in youth orchestras and attending summer schools, acquiring a taste for performing and collaborating with others. His college degree (BA Hons) was in music. His working life has been spent exclusively in music-related activity. Joined The Enid in 1979, adding his keyboard, bass guitar and writing skills to a cult group that toured the UK, released numerous albums, and (very rare back then) had their own recording studio, which was a financial lifeline when in between record deals. Martin began to engineer and play sessions during this time. Worked for Soundcraft (UK-based manufacturers of good mixers and rather agricultural tape machines), gaining further technical knowledge, progressing to final testing the company's range of mixing consoles, while simultaneously writing and recording an album with two ex-Enid musicians (originally released on vinyl in 1984, then remixed and updated for CD release some years later). Worked at Utopia Studios, a major multi-studio complex (which also had a disc-cutting room), as both engineer and technician. Was headhunted by Swanyard Studios, another multi-studio venture (at the time of inception when it was only a building site), and got hugely involved in building two notable SSL studios and a Midi Suite. Between 1985-91 Martin became both Chief Engineer and Technical Director.

In 1991, Martin went freelance and designed and built his own studio - Sonic Innovation. Its first project renewed his relationship with producer Simon Emmerson, for whom he had engineered a Working Week album at Swanyard. This soon evolved into a regular co-writing and production partnership. In 1995 they took a recording setup, including Martin's SADiE hard disk system, to the Real World site to make the recordings that became the first Afro Celt Sound System (ACSS) album Volume 1 - Sound Magic. 1997-2000: Martin settled into his role of co-writer, keyboard player and co-producer-recordist (in the studio) and front-of-house sound (on live appearances), got a Grammy nomination for ACSS : Volume 2 - Release, and toured a lot in the USA, Canada, Europe and Australia. Co-productions with Simon include Maryam Mursal's The Journey and Waaberi, an album recorded in Madagascar for the group Tarika, and album tracks for Baaba Maal, Alan Stivelli and Carlos Nunez. On his own: lots of of CD mastering, writing and recording, including producer-engineering some classical chamber music albums for labels including Meridian. Notable film syncs were music cues for Live Flesh (Almodovar feature) and Stigmata (feature). 2001 saw the completion and delivery of ACSS : Volume 3 - Further In Time, a collaboration with Simon Webb on music for Shakespeare's A Winters Tale (at the Royal National Theatre (RNT) - dir. Nicholas Hytner), and more ACSS international touring. In 2002 a second Grammy nomination was received, for Further In Time, and Martin designed and built a 5.1 band studio for ACSS, (Sonic Innovation 2). Its first output was the adaptation and delivery of two music cues for Gangs of New York (feature), followed by the completion and delivery of the ACSS 4th CD Seed. 2003: Collaborating with Simon Webb again, on music for Shakespeare's Henry 5th (RNT - a landmark production, directed by Nicholas Hytner). ACSS-wise: 5.1 mixing and preparation of POD (with bonus DVD), and touring in the USA, Canada and Europe. 2004 - Research, writing, recording an initial pitch for the score to Hotel Rwanda (feature), and finally writing and delivering a 5.1 package of 12 cues for it (Hotel Rwanda). Martin also wrote, recorded and mixed the underscore for Mr Firecul (Short Film), 5.1 mixed (for Pioneer Productions) a Fratelli Bros music package for 3 x 1-hour HDTV shows. 2005 - Completion and delivery of ACSS : Volume 5 - Anatomic, writing, recording and 5.1 mixing underscore to Bosta (Lebanese feature), recording and mixing Simon Webb's music packages for Love Letters of Casanova and ITV's "Avenue Of The Stars", and 5.1 mixing a track from THhe Coldcut of That Year. 2006: 5.1 mixing a further HDTV Naked Science series (Neill MacColl's music package for 6 x 1-hour shows) and re-locating to the original Sonic Innovation studio. Started CD Mastering and Travelling 5.1 Work, and began the co-writing and production of a project with singer Dorothee Munyaneza. 2007: mixing, mastering and additional production on The Dhol Foundation's CD Drums and Roses, production and arrangement of a duet re-make of a Stevie Wonder track for use in the Theatrical Documentary Darfur Now.

http://www.sonicinnovation.co.uk/

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This Month in
Led Zeppelin History

March 17, 1969 - A four-song performance is filmed for TV Byen in Denmark (aired on May 19, 1969)
March 21, 1969 - Zeppelin’s debut TV appearance on "How It Is"
March 25, 1969 - Filming session for the Supershow
March xx, 1970 - The band turns down many TV offers worth large sums
March 05, 1971 - Led Zeppelin started a 12-date "Thank You" tour for British fans, appearing at the clubs from their early days and charging the same admission prices as in 1968. The first show was at Ulster Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland where they played songs from their upcoming fourth album, including the first public performances of Black Dog, Stairway To Heaven, Going To California and Rock And Roll.
March 12, 1972 - Page and Plant rehearse some songs with the Bombay Orchestra
March 25, 1973 - Led Zeppelin finally release Houses of the Holy after production issues with the album cover
March 28, 1973 - Led Zeppelin released Houses Of The Holy in the UK. The album title was a dedication by the band to their fans who appeared at venues they dubbed "houses of the holy". Houses Of The Holy has now been certified 11 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 11 million copies.
March xx, 1974 - The band decide to release a double album due to the amount of left over studio material
March 29, 1975 - Led Zeppelin saw all six of their albums in the US Top 100 chart in the same week, alongside their latest album Physical Graffiti at No.1. Physical Graffiti has now been certified 16 times Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for US sales in excess of 16 million copies.
March 15, 1975 - Tickets for the Earls Court shows sellout within four hours
March xx, 1976 - Jimmy speaks with reporters mentioning the new album due out called Presence
March 31, 1976 - Presence is released
March 28, 1977 - Zeppelin arrive in Dallas, Texas to rehearse before opening the eleventh tour of the US
March xx, 1978 - Robert and John spend some time hanging around the Midlands
March 26, 1979 - Robert takes lead vocal at a Bad Company gig in Birmingham
March 04, 1980 - John Bonham makes a TV appearance on "Alright Now" with Bill Connolly
March 26, 2006 - Readers of Total Guitar magazine voted the guitar solo by Jimmy Page in Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven as the greatest guitar solo of all time. The 1971 track was voted ahead of tracks by Van Halen, Queen, Jimi Hendrix and The Eagles. On the 20th anniversary of the original release of the song, it was announced via US radio sources that the song had logged up an estimated 2,874,000 radio plays - back to back, that would run for 44 years solid.
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