Dec. 21, 2011
Brendan Muldowney '04 BS
WEST HAVEN, CONN. -- It not quite like winning a Nobel Prize. There is little secrecy about the nominees and no ridiculously early phone call from someone with a Swedish accent.
When Brendan Muldowney arrived at work last week, however, he learned he had been nominated for a Grammy award from his colleagues.
His work as the tracking engineer for Seth Glier’s “The Next Right Thing” has been nominated in the category of “Best Engineered Album – Non-Classical.”
“I’m pretty excited,” Muldowney said. “I wasn’t expecting it.”
Muldowney, who was graduated with a degree in music and sound recording from the University of New Haven in 2004, connected with Glier because both had worked with Dave Eggar, the cellist featured on the album. “He recommended me for tracking the album and then I really hit it off with Seth. That’s how it works in this business -- you talk to people and word of mouth just spreads.”
The chief engineer at Carriage House Studios, a recording studio in Stamford, Muldowney began his music career in his parents’ basement playing guitar in a band. He planned to be a performance major at UNH and spent a lot of time trying to get the sound just right.
“I had no idea you could even go to college for recording music,” he said. “But it was really cool and when I looked into it, I really liked the idea.”
Today, performing is just “not central to what I do anymore,” he says. The most important things he learned at UNH were musicianship and music theory.
“The best thing that I learned at UNH surprisingly wasn’t so much the recording studio skills as the music process and music theory,” Muldowney says. “Learning to be a good musician was the key. Recording techniques and technology are important but the computer side of the business is always changing. You have to learn about those things on the job. The musicianship is the best part of the education.”
Michael Kaloyanides, professor and head of the UNH music department, remembers Muldowney.
“Brendan took several classes with me and he was always at the top of the class with the highest grade point average and with the highest quality work. Obviously in this case, dedication to academic work paid off,” he said.
The Best Engineered Album is voted on by professionals in the music recording field. The Grammys will be awarded on Feb. 12, 2012.
“Music engineering is both an art and a science and the engineering of an album demands both artistic insight and technological mastery,” Kaloyanides says. “The record album is viewed as a work of art and the engineer is part of the team of the artist behind it. It is the job of the engineer to realize the vision of the musical artists and producers, and the awards go to engineers who best represent the ideal of a creative marriage between musical artistry and technological skill.”
A review of the Glier album by Contested, a music review site gives “The Next Right Thing” a four out of five. “Glier shines as a lyricist who sounds like he sings with his heart stuck in his throat. From revelation to breakdown and back again, Glier welcomes us into his world with reckless honesty; and if you listen very carefully, you will most certainly hear the beauty in his breakdown for yourself.
More information about Muldowney is available at www.brendanmuldowney.com
The University of New Haven is a private, top-tier comprehensive institution recognized as a national leader in experiential education. Founded in 1920 on the campus of Yale University in cooperation with Northeastern University, UNH moved to its current West Haven campus in 1960. The University provides its students with a unique combination of a solid liberal arts education and real-world, hands-on career and research opportunities. UNH enrolls approximately 6,400, including nearly 1,800 graduate students and more than 4,600 undergraduates – the majority of whom reside in University housing. Through its College of Arts and Sciences, College of Business, Henry C. Lee College of Criminal Justice and Forensic Sciences, Tagliatela College of Engineering, and University College, UNH offers 75 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. UNH students have access to more than 50 study abroad programs worldwide and its student-athletes compete in 17 varsity sports in the NCAA Division II’s highly competitive Northeast-10 Athletic Conference.