JP resident wins Grammy

March 2, 2012
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A JP resident brought home a Grammy award after last month’s music industry ceremony.

Jesse Lewis was the mastering engineer on Robert Aldridge’s opera “Elmer Gantry.” He shared the Grammy for best-engineered classical album along with recording engineers John Newton and Byeong-Joon Hwang.

“This was a huge opera project and really fun to work on,” Lewis said. “It’s easy to get really excited about amazing music and a great story.”

Lewis attended the ceremony in Los Angeles Feb. 12.

“The number of amazing people sharing their great tunes isn’t something you find anywhere,” he said. “It’s overwhelming and humbling to be amongst such deserving nominees and winners…There are so many more talented people who will never win a Grammy than who will, and it does makes me self-conscious in some way to come away with an award,” Lewis said.

The music was recorded in Milwaukee and mixed at Soundmirror studios here in JP, Lewis said.

“The tracks were great. John and B.J. did an amazing job,” Lewis said.

The recording engineers “take in the music on the spot,” Lewis explained, while his job was closer to “a little window cleaner for the sonic landscape.”

“Translating a live opera into the two-earbud listening environment is a fun challenge. Even more fun is popping this album on a big full-range sound system,” Lewis said. “It’s so tactile and immersive. We live for that and it’s fun to get to experience the opera again and again that way.”

Soundmirror, located on Green Street, has brought home several Grammys in the last few years, and dozens of nominations.

“One talented person is not enough to make a record great,” Lewis said. “There’s a lot that one just can’t control about an album, that little mysterious thing that makes it viral. There’s no formula for that.”