About TortoiseClimbing

Perspective

Depending on your philosophy of how, or why things happen, you might think of the creation (or coming into existence) and subsequent evolution of TortoiseClimbing™ as:


Here's insights into how it happened. You be the judge.

Background

Singing was the major catalyst.

David began singing in elementary school choruses.  Remember when public schools included music education in elementary, then junior (now reorganized as middle) and high schools? Following that he took voice lessons in college and privately afterward. He continued singing in choruses and doing solos through college, and afterward. 

After college David participated in various singing activities, including:


TortoiseClimbing Beginning

In approximately 1990, based on a desire to create something more lasting than performances, David started investigating possibilities for recording. Then a personal friend asked David to record some duets with him.  (He recorded at Bias Recording Studio mostly with partner Mr. Bob Dawson, but occassionally with partner Mr. Bill McElroy.)

After recording several duets, David began recording his first album at Bias with Mr. Bill McElroy as his chief audio engineer and associate producer. The relative geographic convienience of Bias' studio to where David lived didn't hurt. (Bill was one of two partners who established Bias. For details on Bill McElroy see Bill McElroy.)

That first recording of solo ballads was made dominantly with piano accompaniments, but also a few Karaoke tracks. The selections are dominantly from shortly before, during, and after the World War II era. As part of recording that album David created the beginnings of TortoiseClimbing™. In the list of future planned recording releases that album is titled Nostalgic Solos.

Just as David was completing Nostalgic Solos, for personal reasons Mr. Bill McElroy made the decision to phase out of Bias. His assistant, Ms. Gerber-Salins who had helped on Nostolgic Solos, became David's recording engineer and engineered the few final touches to complete that first album. (More on both of them below.)

TortoiseClimbing™ had a limited number of cassettes of Nostalgic Solos made for private release to family and friends.

Current plans include converting the analogue master tapes David has from that initial project to digital and creating a remixed and remastered digital version of that recording for general release.


Evolution of Involved Colleagues:

Bill McElroy

As noted above, when David recorded Nostalgic Solos, Mr. McElroy was David's recording engineer, assisted by Ms. Gerber-Salins. Bill has a knack for being supportive and helpful to his clients, and getting them comfortable recording in his studio.

Small World


One of Mr. McElroy's earlier experiences in the recording industry gives an insight into how incredibly small portions of our world can be.

Prior to Mr. McElroy and his partner starting Bias in 1973, Bill worked as a recording engineer for Ed Greene (I've seen references to him as David) at Edgewood Recording Studio in Northwest Washington, DC. (Initially at 1129 Vermont Avenue NW near Thomas Circle, then moved to 1627 K St., NW).  Edgewood was the recording studio where David’s college choir director, Mr. Fague K. Springmann (1933 - 1983) recorded. He had a magnificent bass-baritone operatic voice "to die for."

Mr. Springmann was instrumental in facilitating a number of wonderful choral experiences in David's college life. Those occurred because Mr. Springmann's magnificant, operatic bass-baritone voice was sought after as a solo artist for very well-known classical compositions that also needed a chorus. Mr. Springmann successfully suggested his chorus be used as the supporting chorus for a number of such productions.


He also recorded LPs at Edgewood  before and during David's college years when David sang in Mr. Springmann’s choir. In the mid-1960's, David had an opportunity to accompany Mr. Springmann to an editing session at Edgewood. Since that was before multitrack master tapes became common in the late 1960's, editing meant using a razor blade to cut the tape and take out the unwanted recording take, and splice in the desired recording take. (That is done electronically in today's recording software.)


Edgewood was co-founded by Mr. Ed Greene (some bios say David), who was drafted in 1956 and served as a recording engineer for the U.S. Army Band and Chorus in Washington, D.C. Then for some years after his discharge he remained in DC before going back to New York and later to Toronto, Canada.


After the army, while still in Washington, DC he co-founded Edgewood Studios in about 1958 with radio and television commentator Charles Osgood and composer George Wilkins. George later went to work for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts where he created scores and songs as Director of Music for Walt Disney Imagineering. Ed went back to New York in about 1970 as chief engineer for MGM Records. Then in the early 1970's he was brought into television audio mixing by Frank Sinatra, and became a very successful (22-time Emmy-winning and 61 nominations) audio mixer for television production and post production. He died in 2017 at age 82.



As mentioned above, in about 1993 for personal reasons, Mr. McElroy decided to go do other things in life and started fazing out of Bias.

First he followed a dream to work with trains in a couple different jobs. But after a couple years, in order to be near his son, he moved to Richmond, Virginia, and returned to working in a portion of the recording industry by establishing a mastering studio in Scott's Addition, VA (a neighborhood in Richmond). Then in 2001 he established SlippedDISC studio in the little town of Ashland, Virginia. It is just north of Richmond, Virginia, and just south of the King's Dominion theme park at Doswell.

As a result of the evolution of people's lives, David is again working with Mr. McElroy at his new studio, SlippedDISC.  For more information about Mr. McElroy's new recording and mastering studio, click on SlippedDISCAudio.

Ms. Gerber-Salins'


After starting to record his first album at Bias, the next significant influence on David's recordings and TortoiseClimbing's evolution was Ms. Heidi Gerber-Salins who came to work at Bias in 1991, with Mr. McElroy was her chief mentor. In that role, she occassionally assisted Mr. McElroy in David's recording sessions as part of her responsibilities.

That too has it’s own back-story regarding Ms. Gerber-Salins' choice after college to pursue becoming a recording engineer, rather than a gourmet cook.  After graduating from college, she studied recording engineering at Omega Studios' School of Applied Recording Arts & Sciences. Upon graduation she was hired by Bias.


With Mr. McElroy's departure from Bias in 1993, Ms. Gerber-Salins became David's recording engineer. She assisted with final touches to complete Nostolgic Solos.

Then as David's engineer, they slowly worked on recording what was envisioned as the next album of largely Romantic Duets, dominantly from the early to mid 1990's, many from films and musicals. The accompaniments are dominantly Karaoke sound tracks.

Over the next 4 years dabbling on that project, Ms. Gerber-Salins’ professional relationship expanded to include her fulfilling roles of co-producer, singing collaborator and very importantly, friend. Ms. Gerber-Salins played a significant role in helping David record some wonderful draft duet recordings with various artists.

She also facilitated David becoming involved with DC branches of several music organizations where he met others working in the field. 

Major Evolution of TortoiseClimbing

During work on the draft Romantic Duets album, David's father died in late 1996. In spring 1998 David's mother asked him to record an album of his father's and her favorite, mostly traditional hymns and songs. David and his mother collaborated on selecting which hymns and songs to include.

They also collaborate on deciding quality and distribution of the album. The obvious choices were:


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