Renowned acoustician David Bell has been conferred the title of LIPA Companion by the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, which announced the honour at its graduation day on Friday 29th July, 2011.
Bell, who is a founding director of UK studio design consultancy White Mark Ltd, graduated from Birmingham University with an honours degree in Physics. His career in the sound technology industry began at EMI where he worked on the earliest digital audio projects, culminating in the release of EMI’s first digitally mastered records for the LSO and John Williams’ band Sky. He has also worked for the BBC, where he helped specify and design the Corporation’s first digital production facilities, and Solid State Logic, where he worked on algorithm development and control surface programming language creation. During this time the team created the first continuously variable digital equalisers in the world.
An interest in acoustics
and technical systems integration led to David Bell joining Harris Grant Associates as technical director. In 1997 he established White Mark Ltd with partners Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell. White Markâ€™s clear and science based approach to acoustic excellence and technical design allows it to deliver comprehensive solutions for major clients around the world.
Jon Thornton, who heads LIPAâ€™s three year BA (Hons) Sound Technology course, says: â€œDavid has had a very long association with LIPA, starting even before the building was officially opened. Together with Derek Buckingham, he was part of the original team involved in the design and build of our six-studio recording complex whilst at Harris Grant Associates. Since he and Derek went on to form White Mark, David has maintained this link, giving generously of his time by visiting at least once a year to deliver guest lectures as part of the Studio Design module taken by final year students. It is this long-standing relationship and commitment to the student learning experience that we are acknowledging by making him a LIPA Companion.â€?
LIPA Companionships are awarded in recognition of contributions to the world of arts and entertainment. All Companions are also committed to sharing their expertise with LIPA students and most have provided masterclasses at the Institute.
Commenting on this honour, David Bell says: â€œAll of us at White Mark are committed to education. Discussing topics with students and answering their questions challenges us by making us think about what we do. Standing up in front of a group of students was initially terrifying but having done it a few times I see it as a privilege and am always delighted to be able to put something back into the industry by helping to educate the next generation.â€?
LIPA is located in Sir Paul McCartney’s old school, the Liverpool Institute for Boys, which underwent a multi-million-pound renovation to turn it into a state-of-the-art performing arts higher education institution. It was founded by Sir Paul and Mark Featherstone-Witty and opened in 1995 with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for people who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry, whether as performers or those who make performance possible.
About White Mark:
Established in 1997 by David Bell, John Dunnill, Derek Buckingham and Alan Cundell, White Mark Ltd specialises in production facilities for music recording and the film and television industries. Over the last decade it has designed and supervised the construction of over 170 audio production suites worldwide. The companyâ€™s impressive client list encompasses some of the worldâ€™s most famous music recording facilities including Peter Gabrielâ€™s Real World Studios in the UK, Hit Factory in New York (for which the company won a coveted TEC Award for Best Acoustic Design), Hit Factory/Criteria Recording Studios in Miami, Strongroom in London and private studios for producers and musicians such as William Orbit and Damon Albarn. In the area of audio post production, White Mark has completed over 100 studios for more than 40 companies in Soho alone. The list includes Grand Central, Hackenbacker, Envy, Scramble, Lipsync, Molinare, Ascent Media, Wave and Boom. This impressive achievement means that a significant proportion of mainstream British television output passes through rooms designed by White Mark.
Sir Paul McCartney (centre) with newly named fellow companions of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, (Left to right) Mark Featherstone-Whitty, Steve Nester, David Bell, Caroline Ellery, Hannah Waddingham, Billy Ocean, Spencer Leigh and Chris Johnston.