While Will believes that I know the Windham Hill catalog better than he does, the truth is that Will’s aesthetic has informed nearly every record I’ve worked on in the last 21 years. It may be true that I can rattle off more obscure Windham Hill titles than most folks, but the reason I listened to them, and still do, is that my ears responded then and now to the purity of sound and emotional honesty of Will’s productions.
I started writing instrumental music for piano and synthesizer in 1987, and over the years developed my skills both as a programmer and an engineer seeking the point where technology supports the creation of music rather than dominates it. My electronic music days of using the computer as a creative tool prepared me perfectly for the music creation model that has become the norm in all genres, where the computer is at the heart of each stage of record making.
I opened my first commercial studio in Massachusetts in 1993 and found that I had particular fondness for recording acoustic music, specifically folk music, and I was embraced by the Cambridge folk scene immediately. In the years since, I’ve worked with dozens of singer-songwriters making records with all levels of production, from sparse solo work, to live-in-the-room band records, to carefully textured sonic landscapes. I have made hard hitting rock records and solo Japanese flute records, produced alt-country projects and loop-based neo-classical cello works; I will go wherever the music asks to be taken. I’ve been featured in multiple publications such as Performing Songwriter and Acoustic Guitar, and have written for TapeOp magazine. I’ve taught audio at the high school and college level, and done corporate audio which has appeared on ABC, NPR, the BBC, Bravo, and National Geographic Channel among many others.
I’ve mixed and/or mastered more than ten records for award winning guitarist Harvey Reid, co-produced and recorded eight records with folk singer Vance Gilbert, and produced and/or recorded for a huge number of folk and acoustic musicians including Melissa Ferrick, Mark Erelli, and Ellis Paul.
In addition to my job behind the board, I have performed on dozens of records playing keyed instruments of many shapes and sizes (accordion, Hammond organ, piano, synths, etc.), percussion, bass and a handful of other oddball noise makers.
My association with Will and Imaginary Road Studios is a true homecoming, bringing me back to my instrumental roots and back to the music that made me want to make music. Ultimately, Will and I are in search of the same thing as we sit next to each other here in Vermont: to find the heart of the music and help it safely make the difficult journey to the listener. It’s work we’ve both devoted our lives to.
“Tom Eaton has mastered two of my CDs so far, and he’ll soon be mastering another. In my opinion, he is simply a genius in this area. His work is sensitive, thoughtful, and highly respectful of the artist’s individual style and musical intent. In addition, he’s pleasant, funny, and very easy to work with. I recommend him highly and without reserve.”
Pianist and Composer