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Thread: Brad Sundberg seminars: Making Music With Michael Jackson

   
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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    ^Hey Jamba! Did you go Saturday? We didn't get the little chapstick tidbit today
    The TWYMMF thing. Blew my MIND.
    and the 2 hour tape was actually Give In To Me my favorite part was how you could hear Michael SMACKING his gum throughout the whole thing. Hilarious. Just experiencing and hearing that creative process first hand was something else.
    The end though. Absolutely my favorite part. I can't get it out of my head. So stunning. Incredible.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by peace.love.mj View Post
    I went today!
    You guys...my god I can't even put into words. I just got home from the city and will write something up tomorrow if you want but I just...I'm still completely in awe and living on cloud 9. If you have the opportunity to go, PLEASE DO IT. I will look at Michael differently for the rest of my life. It was so stunningly beautiful. I'm still in shock that it all even happened. Wow.
    Love does not see with the eyes but with the heart. (Shakespeare)

    MICHAEL, I LOVE YOU SO MUCH... BECAUSE YOU EVOKE THE BEST IN ME.
    "If we can dream, we can do." (Walt Disney)
    TWITTER: Shanti2511

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Hi, peace.love.mj. Yes, I went Saturday. Did you do the VIP? He ended with "Faces" on Saturday--was that the same as for you guys?

    Yes, you are right it was GITM--my mistake--I am pretty tired as it was a long day yesterday and I was busy Sunday. I will post more stuff tomorrow and I hope I get it right (!). Good you caught that, thanks. Yes, the gum smacking was funny as hell and very cute.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Jamba! I didn't. Wish I could have :/ Did you?
    Sunday he just ended with Childhood and the phone message. We were already 45 minutes over though and he wanted time for pictures and greetings and questions and all that fun stuff.
    The lady next to me took TONS of notes that she's emailing me so hopefully she'll let me share some of them here. As attentive as I was, I'm sure there's still things that I'll forget. But, I will be back later today to post some more

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Why was recording not allowed? How will the rest of the world get to hear the audio mentioned, does brad plan to release them?

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dilan View Post
    Why was recording not allowed? How will the rest of the world get to hear the audio mentioned, does brad plan to release them?
    That's what I would like to know too!

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    I can understand why he didn't allow recording...it was VERY unique and valuable stuff.
    He's writing a book, said it should be out in 2/3 years.
    Last edited by peace.love.mj; 06-07-2013 at 02:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by peace.love.mj View Post
    Jamba! I didn't. Wish I could have :/ Did you?
    Sunday he just ended with Childhood and the phone message. We were already 45 minutes over though and he wanted time for pictures and greetings and questions and all that fun stuff.
    The lady next to me took TONS of notes that she's emailing me so hopefully she'll let me share some of them here. As attentive as I was, I'm sure there's still things that I'll forget. But, I will be back later today to post some more
    Yes, I did the VIP--splurged! So for us after he ended with Childhood and the phone message, we had MJ's favorite meal, which they had at the studio on Fridays, which was also family day when the staff could bring their wives, kids. So the food was roast turkey, mashed potatoes, collard greens, corn, gravy, mac n cheese, fried chicken, and for desert--banana cream pie. This was made in the studio by the "slam dunk sisters"--MJ's very cute name for the 2 women who put the meal together. So we ate that with Brad--I was so hungry since I had only had a bagel all day! We looked at photos of NL and then ended with listening to an unreleased song called "Faces" (according to some peple there who had heard it before). It reminded me of MLK's "I have a dream" speech--very inspirational words from MJ about how the world is going to change for the better and after the speech, it went into a song. That's the first time I heard it (I think). I am going to post my recollections in a while.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Some memories of Brad Sundberg's 'In the Studio with MJ'

    Brad was with MJ for these albums--Bad, Dangerous, HIStory--and he also worked on NL wiring the place up for "orchestral quality" music. He is 49 and as a kid loved disco, Abba, and dance music. He is Swedish, and so is Bruce Swedien, and so they had that in common. They also live close to each otther in Florida. Brad has 4 daughters and one of them, Amanda, was with him during the seminar. MJ played with Amanda when she was a baby, and Amanda was at NL and rode the train with MJ the first time it was launched, and was also on stage with him for We Are the World finales.

    Brad first worked at Westlake Studios as a runner--doing errands--getting hamburgers, etc., and later became part of the team as a studio engineer. Brad was a good friend of Matt Forger and later Bill Bottrell. He played a tape of Don't Stop with a focus on the bottles half-filled with water--the drums and bottles form the beat. MJ 'played' the bottles--he said MJ was "an amazing percussionist." It was great to hear how Brad could isolate the sounds, kind of peel back the other sounds to highlight the sounds he wanted us to hear--like the bottles used as percussion for Don't Stop, sounds that sometimes get lost in the total effect of the song.

    He talked about the band members of Toto, which he said was an 'awesome band' and that MJ and Q loved them, esp. Steve Pocaro, who wrote Human Nature and also For All Time. Sadly, Steve's brother Jeff, who was the drummer, died later.

    Brad talked about Captain EO (1985) (Francis Ford Cuppola and George Lucas). He said for the dancers and choreographers, different versions of the music would be made so they could focus on the dance steps and the beat. He said at that time there was "Dolby surround sound," which later became "Dolby Digital sound." He said Captain Eo was "the first discrete surround sound movie ever made." This was before the technology moved to Dolby Digital sound.

    He played Scared of the Moon--that was so beautiful. The studio had great speakers and excellent sound quality so you could really hear the music and all the depth of it. He talked about the multitrack tape. I am not up on this, but I started to understand it a bit more. The very thick band of tape with the different tracks on it--I think there were 16 tracks at the time. Brad was an assistant engineer for Bruce Swedien during the day and at night he would sit in on 'Bad" being recorded.

    He said the Hayvenhurst studio (team B) where MJ would work with people like John Barnes (Liberian Girl), Matt Forger, Bruce Swedien, and Bill Bottrell (I hope I have the names right)--was in his opinion a 'terrible studio'--he said they spent 80% of the time fixing something.

    He said MJ was always cold and needed quartz heaters--maybe also the warmth was good for his voice. He said they always had to have the quatrtz heaters on. He also liked to have hot water, which they would heat in the microwave.

    As far as the sound--he said MJ liked the sound LOUD--"jet engine loud." They would blow out speakers all the time, he said.

    He said MJ was very congenial and if he didn't like someone, he would just disappear, go into his lounge. The team they developed was a group of people who got along well together, and that was as important as how good you were at your work. The team had to 'jell'-- be happy together--and be organic. He used that word 'organic' to describe how the music was created.

    ok, more later.
    Last edited by jamba; 01-07-2013 at 08:30 PM.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    More recollections from the seminar with Brad:

    Brad said MJ had his own language--like "smelly jelly." (I think we knew about that )

    He said MJ had long bony fingers and could make amazing finger snaps and could do it forever--his fingers never got tired.

    About "Streetwalker"--Brad said Quincy Jones HATED "Streetwalker" but he and Dileo loved "Another Part of Me." So MJ hired another studio (studio C) at Westlake Studio and hired another engineer (a Brazilian guy called Humberto ? didn't get his last name) to work on Streetwalker (this was in 87?). He said MJ was very competitive and wanted the best so he would get people to compete with each other--this happened a lot when they worked on Dangerous, when he had 3 different producers--Teddy Riley, Bill Bottrell, and Bruce Swedien. And all of them wanted THEIR songs on the album.

    IJCSLY--pillow talk. Brad said the opening where MJ talks to a girl about how much he loves her was mocked by DJ's. He said to get the "pillow talk" someone actually designed a head (made a head) it looked like a robot's head, and put it in the bed with MJ and he talked to it (??). Don't know if this is true but this is what Brad said! He also said there were about 8 or 9 versions of the Bad album because every time a single was released it was a new mix and then incorporated into a new version of the album. Interesting!!

    He said when the songs were performed with a live band on tour, the songs were 30% faster and 2 keys lower to save MJ's voice.

    When they were in Pensacola, FL, rehearsing for the Bad tour, MJ recorded a 4-part harmony for the opening of the song TWYMMF in his HOTEL ROOM! Brad said they had a trailer with the studio equipment parked close to the hotel and ran a wire up the outside of the hotel to MJ's room. (doooo-do, doooo-do).

    Here's how Brad characterized the 3 production teams for Dangerous:

    1) Teddy Riley--" a revolving door of women." LOL (Teddy replaced a guy who was there previously called Brian X (?) who worked on song that became part of Ghosts).
    2) Bruce Swedien--"a scientist' who 'did everything by the book" very organized.
    3) Bill Bottrell--moody, disillusioned with the music industry, independent. (he said Bill B.and Bruce S. were opposites in temperament and hated each other !). Bill sounded kind of spontaneous and hippie-like vs. the very organized and scientific Bruce Swedien. Brad used to like to hang out with Bill B.

    Then Brad played the creation of Give In to Me, which happened when Bill B.played the guitar and worked with the gum-cracking MJ to put the song together over a 2 hour period. It was very exciting and fascinating to hear the song and the lyrics develop as they worked together. This is also where the word ORGANIC appeared; in Brad's estimation this was v.important to how the music was born. You can hear MJ finding the song lines, the sounds he wanted, and how he asked Bill to shape the guitar chords he was playing (similar to how he directed Michael Bearden in TII when he was telling him to play a simple chord opening to TWYMMF). I think here too in this part we saw how important the word PLAY was to MJ--to play with the music in a fun way and enjoy the creative process.

    BTW, Brad really respected Quincy as a musician and said the album Back on the Block was brilliant. He said he thought Q. did not like some songs that MJ liked, such as Billie Jean, because Q. thought that musically they were too simple.(But MJ liked that simplicity IMO.)

    to be cont.


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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Thank you guys for the notes! It's priceless. I'm grateful for every bit.

    Brian X (?) would be Brian Loren?

    Bill Bottrell--moody, disillusioned with the music industry, independent. (he said Bill B.and Bruce S. were opposites in temperament and hated each other !). Bill sounded kind of spontaneous and hippie-like vs. the very organized and scientific Bruce Swedien.
    Oh now I see who Bottrell meant in that quote in J. Vogel's book where he said that "unlike some other producers of MJ at the time" he tried to keep rawer, more natural sound of Michael's vocals. Interesting.

    Damn, I should have bought tickets to NYC instead of Vegas.
    Last edited by morinen; 02-07-2013 at 07:47 AM.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Thank you everyone for your notes from this seminar.
    https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-lFEbX82qI8Y/T48d7iOIiWI/AAAAAAAAAuY/J0dA8uBBqD8/s800/MJ_01_MJ%25201992%2520Disney%2520store.jpg

    "In a world filled with despair, we must still dare to dream"

    "A star can never die. It just turns into a smile and melts back into the cosmic music, the dance of life." – Michael Jackson


    Michael J. Jackson you'll be missed.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Thank you so much for your notes, I wish I could attend the seminar in Paris.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamba View Post
    He said to get the "pillow talk" someone actually designed a head (made a head) it looked like a robot's head, and put it in the bed with MJ and he talked to it (??). Don't know if this is true but this is what Brad said!
    Maybe Brad is talking about this special kind of sound system, called the 'Holophonics', constructed by Hugo Zuccarelli:




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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    Quote Originally Posted by maviefly View Post
    Thank you so much for your notes, I wish I could attend the seminar in Paris.
    Maybe Brad is talking about this special kind of sound system, called the 'Holophonics', constructed by Hugo Zuccarelli:
    Yes, I believe Brad was calling it "a Zuccarelli head" now that I think about it. It was a "something" head.

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    Default Re: Brad Sundberg seminar, June 29th: Making Music With Michael Jackson

    They played.

    An unreleased song.

    Someone tell me about it!!!!!!!!!!

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