Working to raise awareness and manage traditional East African music for future generations to listen, refer to and take pride in, not-for-profit group Singing Wells travels throughout the continent to capture beautiful melodies of the people of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and others. With a studio pair of HARMAN’s AKG C414 XLS reference recording microphones, Singing Wells captures the sounds of local musicians and offers young artists an opportunity to collaborate and incorporate traditional music into their own work.
Beginning in 2011, with a successful pilot recording in the coastal province of Kenya, Singing Wells (a collaboration between UK-based charity Abubilla Music Foundation and Ketebul Music) delivers engineers to help with audio and video recording during performances.
“The time we spend in the field must be used productively, so being able to set up quickly and capture as many high-quality recordings as possible was an important factor when considering microphones,” stated Andy Patterson, Singing Wells. “I’ve used AKG throughout my entire career for vocals, guitars, overheads and ambients in various studios and they have never disappointed.”
A matched pair of AKG C414 XLS is used on a stand to record in the field and have been featured on every recording Singing Wells has developed. From the vocals to the percussion and even the performers’ stomping feet, C414 beautifully captures the rhythm, soul and heart of the performers.
“The C414’s produce a reliable image and balance of the sound, which we complement with extra lapel and spot mics.” Patterson continued. “We are confident that in the event of failure of the other microphones, we will have an accurate stereo recording from the main pair of AKG C414 mics as a fallback if necessary. In such differing outdoor environments, I was worried we might suffer equipment failures, but the C414’s have never let us down.”
Singing Wells pays a gratuity to all artists for their recording time and in the event any money is made from the recordings, royalties are also paid.
“We see ourselves not just as archivists and seed collectors, but as cultivators and seed planters, helping to conserve and grow this magical type of performance,“ said Patterson. “The next stage in our project is to try and raise the profile of Singing Wells and the musicians we have recorded. We’ve worked with amazing artists, and anyone in any culture can surely appreciate and respect their passion.”
For more information on the Singing Wells project, please visit http://ww.singingwells.org
For more information on the AKG C414 XLS, please visit http://www.akg.com/C414+XLS-788.html
HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.