In a recent feature, The Stranger takes a look at the life and legacy of trailblazing recording engineer, Kearney Barton, and the local efforts to preserve his massive and remarkable audio collection. A major architect of the Pacific Northwest sound since 1958, Barton has arguably recorded more music than anyone else in our entire region, and is widely regarded as one of the West Coast’s most eminent studio wizards. Sadly, Barton’s deteriorating health has forced him into retirement, prompting a group of local music advocates to take action: Representatives from Light in the Attic Records, the University of Washington and others have been working with Barton’s family to sift through the sound master’s unbelievable recording troves, hoping to eventually digitize thousands of his analog reels and release some of this material on CD/LP/Digital. UW is already preserving over 1,500 reels, but is still looking to find a safe place – ideally a local Seattle museum – to house the remainder of Barton’s collection; the University is searching for funding to pay for months of professional digitizing, as well. Barton’s illustrious recording console is also being auctioned on eBay to help cover his heathcare costs. Follow the link above to learn more about all the efforts to help this NW legend.
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