For day 15 of this year's Audio Advent blog series, we interviewed Adrian Green, a musician and record producer with whom we've enjoyed a close relationship for many years. So read on to learn a bit more about his work, music, and what is involved with producing the CDs we all love to listen to.
Hi Adrian, although we’ve known you for years, I’m assuming most of our readers haven’t sung with you, worked with you, or been taught by you, so would you mind briefly introducing yourself?
Let’s start with a few quick-fire questions to get to know Adrian Green.
How do you like to spend your time when you’re not singing, teaching, recording or producing?
I enjoy reading books, playing the piano, cooking, and meeting up with family and friends.
Who is your favourite composer at the moment?
I think Peter Warlock, who is an English composer from the early 1900’s. I often find that in hearing edits and masters of label projects, I discover more about the composers behind the music who I wouldn’t usually come across through my work as a Lay Clerk in a choir or a soloist.
What is your favourite Christmas food?
What is your favourite piece of Christmas music to sing and which is your favourite to listen to?
I think my favourite piece of music to sing changes from year to year, but if I had to pick… “O come all ye faithful”. There is a final verse which is usually only sung on Christmas Day and after weeks of carols, it marks for me the fact that we’ve actually made it to Christmas. Listening… I’ve no idea. There is so much great Christmas music.
And what is your current HiFi/listening system?
I do a lot of work at my computer, so I use an Arcam irDac, which works with a Rega Elex-R amplifier and Totem Sttaf loudspeakers. The floor standing speakers sound more classical and less “bass heavy” than some others out there, which suits the majority of the music I listen to for work.
You sing as a tenor in Portsmouth Cathedral Choir - what is your performance schedule like running up to Christmas and which is your favourite service?
Funnily enough, the choir schedule in December has periods of being very busy, but there are quite a few days off for us, as well, so it’s not overwhelming in terms of commitment. I think the issue with Christmas is that everybody works towards it, so those last few days of carol services can feel a bit exhausting. My favourite service is probably the Christmas Day service. Also, after this service, we all get to go home and see our families!
When did you begin singing, and what have been your favourite or most memorable songs to sing?
I was lucky to be introduced to quite a lot of choral music at an early age. Handel’s Messiah has always been one of my favourites.
You run a well-known classical record label, Convivium Records. How would you sum up a day in the life of a classical record producer?
Being a record producer is about being open and adaptable. You never know quite what situation is going to arise and that’s part of the fun of it. Most of the time, if you’re awake enough, the answers to any situation are always there. Being a producer does require a lot of patience and optimism. Things usually work out for the best in the end.
Convivium seems to support a lot of musicians recording their first CDs, or musicians recording music that is not widely available. Do you have a particular niche that you choose to focus your efforts on?
I find artistic projects very rewarding to work on. Projects with young and emerging artists require a lot of time and commitment. They can sometimes be less commercially successful initially, but they provide a platform from which artists can grow and develop. For me, recording has always been about being a part of other people’s journey.
You produce a lot of CDs of other musicians, but do you appear on any CDs yourself?
I do appear as a choral singer and as a soloist on some of our early recordings. Lately, I’ve focused more on the development of the label and less on my own solo projects. I’m sure there may be an opportunity for me to get more actively involved with recording as a soloist in the future, but for now, there isn’t the time for me to be able to pursue this more fully.
And finally, are there any recording or performing projects in the pipeline for us to get excited about?
There are plenty of projects coming in early 2022, which all deserve a mention. Details can be found about them on the Convivium Records website.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Adrian, we can't wait to see, or indeed hear, what Convivium releases in the new year!