Interview with a Sound Architect

Founded and led by Adam A. Johnson, Architect of Sound provides custom music compositions and sound design for Film/TV/New Media as well as innovative services such as the adaptation of Film/TV music and sound for web broadcast, web-sonification, sound design for podcasting, and sonic branding for the web.

With 15 years in the world of music, Adam Johnson talks about his education before stepping into his professional life long passion. “I have a BA in English Literature with a minor in Theology and Music from Georgetown University, a Masters in English Literature from George Mason University, and another Masters in Special Education from the University of Virginia. These degrees, especially the study of literature and poetry gave me a deep understanding of the power of words, art, creativity and their roles in human life. The process of art took on an almost mystical dimension for me and I’ve been obsessed with creativity, especially the creation of music, ever since.

Most of my musical training was done through private lessons throughout my youth, compositional theory and jazz instrumental training during my undergrad education at George Washington University, and some study at Omega Studios in Rockville, MD, in audio recording and mixing after graduate school.

My “real life” training in the music/entertainment/media industry, the most valuable thus far, was gained through singing and writing for multiple rock bands such as Broken Pah and Luka Brazzi throughout the 90’s and DJ-ing nationally in DC, NY, and Miami and internationally in London in the early 2000’s., dealing with club owners, band mates, the press, agents, labels .. etc.”

Every person who has followed their passion and lives the life long dream they once captured as a child, always has at least one person of inspiration that had sparked the possibility in their minds. Adam spoke about all that has influenced him into becoming successful.

“I’ve always been naturally inspired to create music. My mother would have me sing pitches along with a tuning fork before bedtime when I was very young and I began piano lessons at age 6 which continued through high school. I bought an electric guitar at age 14 which led to an exploration of rock and jazz for about 5 years. Then, the house and rave movements of the 90s inspired me to move into electronic music production and performance in a search for new musical terrain and expression.

There have been many individuals who added to this inspiration, mostly renegade do-it-yourself musicians, teachers, professors, mentors… Perry Ferrell of Jane’s Addiction was a major inspiration years ago simply because of the in your face power of his lyrics and music … it left me feeling indestructible and believing I could achieve anything, the power of Jane’s pulled me through some rough times and definitely inspired the more aggressive music and self-confidence of my college and post college days.”

Adam has his head on straight which is a rare quality in the industry today. He has a clear idea of what he wants his future to hold for him. “My ultimate goal is to build a sustainable life through writing/composing music while also enjoying and growing with family and friends and in due time helping those less fortunate, primarily through education”

Among this Sound Architect’s credits which were a stepping stone to his success today, the public may recognize him for these works:

(Selected Music Composition and Sound Design Credits)

âÂ?¢ Aquafina/Pepsi-Co – Short Film for Web “Hug More” and “Elevator Fear.” Directors: Dina Mande and Ryan Barri of Subliminal Pictures. CA.

âÂ?¢ Exxon. Corporate Videos “Branding,” “Retailing,” and “Personnel” spots, Producer: Insomniac Design Inc.

âÂ?¢ NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomburg. Promotional Video “Primary Night Video” Producer: Squire, Knapp, and Dunn. DC. 9/2005

âÂ?¢ LexisNexis. “Corporate Spot.” Producer: Insomniac Design Inc.

âÂ?¢ Goodnight Kiss Productions. “The Hiragana Song” Producer: Janet Fisher.

âÂ?¢ DC101’s DC Weekly Show, “Law Briefs.” WMZQ and Hot 99.5, 2001-2004. Counsel: Francine Friedman, WAMA.

âÂ?¢ Waterways . Historical Documentary “Guy Bradley: America’s First Environmental Martyr.” Producer: Erik Hutchins.

âÂ?¢ Mike Flanagan Films. Horror Film “Oculus.” Producer: Mike Flanagan.

âÂ?¢ Protazen. TV Commercial “Protazen Spot.” Missing Tiger Productions. Producer: Nick Starck

Adam Johnson was nominated for the 2002 Wammie for Best Album of the Year “Music from the Underground: Various Artists” “For this album I assembled and in some cases, co-produced, thirty acoustic singer songwriters from the then exploding Arlington, VA music scene,” he stated with pride.

Obviously a person doesn’t just wake up one morning and stumble into this profession… there are many ups and downs along the way as Adam honestly professes.

“It’s been a very hard road with huge personal successes and massive failures. But, that said, I would not have it any other way. My musical mission is so inspiring and significant to me that it brings true meaning and fulfillment to all my days. I have worked nonstop on furthering my music career for a decade and a half and I’m gaining steam all the time. I feel as if I’ve just recently broken out of the gates and am only on the initial stretch. I’m amped about new audio technologies and how the collision of the Internet and television is opening new opportunities for sonics, such as web-sonification and composing for streaming web video.”

For all those aspiring to prove themselves to this hard and often harsh business Adam has a few words of wisdom for you.

“Focus daily via thought and activity on your chosen goals, be completely organized, prioritize and don’t waste time, network-network -network, take calculated risks, don’t be cheap … sometimes you need to spend cash on quality gear or marketing, pick your partners very carefully, avoid and/or crush negativity, get sleep (a tough one but very necessary), dream big, be socially aggressive, embrace technology, branch into new areas of expertise, work your love and love your work.”

If you would like more information on this Sound Architect or his projects, feel free to contact him.
adam@architectofsound.com
www.architectofsound.com

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