South Shore weighs in on ECMA nominations


  • <p>GRACE ADAMS PHOTO</p><p>John Adams at the controls of his recording studio outside of Mahone Bay.</p>

A sound engineer based in Mahone Bay is among several people in the South Shore music industry nominated for a 2021 East Coast Music Award.

John Adams of Stonehouse Sound in Clearland, outside of Mahone Bay, is up for two awards: Producer of the Year and Studio Engineer of the Year.

He joins South Shore musical artists vying for one of the prestigious Atlantic awards. Mahone Bay is well represented in the running in this regard, with two other musical artists hailing from the town, including Jennah Barry, whose album Holiday is up for Folk Recording of the Year, and Kristen Martell, who's competing for Inspirational Recording of the Year with her album Coming Home.

Jaxon "JAX" Booth of Lunenburg and Adam "Atay" Taylor, originally from Spryfield, and their hiphop group, Atay & JAX, are nominated for Rap/Hip-Hop Recording of the Year for Last Night.

While the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society is up for an Event of the Year Award with its Saturdays In the Park concert series.

Adams is no stranger to the musical limelight. As a producer and recording engineer he's worked with accomplished musicians, including Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra, Jane Bunnett, Old Man Luedecke, James Ehnes and John Cage.

His recording work has garnered him multiple JUNO Awards and his sound designs have been commissioned by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Inter Arts Matrix, Princess Productions and Baryshnikov's White Oak Dance Project, according to his website.

Asked what might give him the edge on the competition in the sound engineering industry, Adams replied his commitment toward supporting creative ventures "resonates with the artists I'm working with."

"My goal is always to, when I'm in a recording session, to create an atmosphere that's relaxed and one where we're having fun doing what we do, as opposed to it being stressful, worrisome moments for an artist.

"My feeling is, when an artist is relaxed and feeling good, and having fun, then good music will come forward," he told LighthouseNOW.

Hailing from New Brunswick, Adams moved to Mahone Bay with his wife, musician Erin Donovan, about 10 years ago, following a stint as the senior recording engineer at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in Alberta.

Win or lose at the ECMAs, Adams suggests that living in their 125-year-old home with a purpose-built studio on the property is "a dream come true."

The ECMAs are slated to be held in Sydney, May 5 to 9.

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