Organ, B.Mus. ’90
Current Location: Vinderup, Denmark
Professionally: Geoff did his B.Mus. at MUN in order to pursue a career in sound recording. After leaving MUN he did just that, completing his M.Mus. and Ph.D. at McGill University in Montreal. McGill requires that their sound recording students complete a B.Mus. before applying to graduate studies. The idea behind this requirement is that a recording engineer and producer (a tonmeister) should know as much about music as he or she does about acoustics, audio electronics and digital signal processing. After finishing his Ph.D. in Montreal, Geoff moved to Denmark five years ago. His job now is centered on listening to recordings every day and changing the characteristics of how his company’s products represent those recordings. According to Geoff, “A great deal of the experience I rely on comes from my sound recording degrees, but the musical background comes from my Bachelor's degree.” He works at Bang & Olufsen where he is the Tonmeister and Specialist in Sound Design. The majority of his job entails research into how sound is perceived by the mind, and using that knowledge to design how Bang & Olufsen products (such as loudspeakers) sound. Interestingly, one of his first projects after moving to Denmark was to design the sound for an automotive sound system which was later released as an option in the Audi A8. He is also active in the Audio Engineering Society as part of their Journal's review board and chairs the Society’s Conference Policy Committee.
Personally: Geoff lives in Vinderup, Denmark with his wife Cassia and five-month-old son, Jacob. “We're currently having a great time learning (slowly...) how to raise our son and landscaping our back yard into a small Japanese garden. My "hobby", if you can call it that, is photography. We had a darkroom in our house until we had to make some space for Jacob, but we'll hopefully be putting that back together soon – but not before the garden is done!”
Memories of MUN Music: Geoff: “I spent some years teaching at McGill, and I now do occasional part-time lecturing in places like the Banff Centre for the Arts, and the Danish Music Conservatory. Without a doubt, the most useful information I have for doing that lecturing is from the Primary School Methods course that I did at MUN. It turns out that the best way to teach graduate-level students is to use the same techniques that you use for six-year olds...”
Other memories of his time at the School of Music include reciting Monty Python repeatedly in the student lounge instead of practicing, having Dr. Cook walk out of his lessons because he hadn't practiced enough, getting told by Dr. Cook that he wasn’t permitted to sit on the floors, lugging gear around to do the sound for the student dances and the scavenger hunts during orientation week. If you’d like to contact Geoff you can do so through his website (www.tonmeister.ca).