May 25, 2011, 10:38

This soundtrack was originally created for IBM’s Interactive Media division located in Marietta, GA back in the 90’s:

Memo From the Clouds by Mike Bielenberg

Anyone who’s ever attended a Vienna Boys Choir concert knows what an amazingly pure sound an ensemble like that can create. My vision for this track was a melody sung by a boys choir (for a serious feel), that was supported with electronic drums to give it some modernity.

Fortunately, Atlanta has their own renowned boys choir at the Callanwolde Arts Center. A few phone calls and a small donation later, I had 20 boys, their moms and a choir director scheduled to arrive at MicroGroove Studios in Decatur, GA for a recording session.

These was long before Auto-Tune or Melodyne so back then studio singers actually had to have a sense of pitch. Anyone who’s ever been recorded knows what a bright light that can be on any deficiencies in tone, pitch or rhythm. That’s why some LA studio singers in the 80’s earned as much as $1,000.00 per hour (payable in cash, check or cocaine).

Within just a few takes, the engineer and I both realized that most of the kids’ sense of pitch wasn’t going to cut it. So at that point having the whole group sing the part together was really just for show so that those nice soccer moms could photograph their kids in a recording studio.

The funniest part? Most of those moms detected the pitch problems as quickly as we did and said, “Is that my kid singing out of tune?…Get him ought there!”.

Ultimately, a gifted choir-member named Speare Hodges wound up carrying most of the production music track via overdubs. The fantastic guitar-playing was done by Steve Cunningham playing a Fender Telecaster run through a Voodoo Valve pre-amp.


Mike Bielenberg is a professional musician and co-founder of, a production music marketplace where media producers and business owners can license high-quality, affordable music from a online community of musicians.

Comments are closed.