New Oral History: Rob Mason and RPM Studios – A Quarter Century of Incredible Music History #SouthOfUnionSquare
We are very pleased to share our latest addition to our oral history collection: RPM studios founder Rob Mason. For more than a quarter century, Robert Mason operated RPM studios from his live/work loft on 12th Street south of Union Square, one of the first boutique recording studios in the city during a golden age of music and recording here. Some of the greatest rock, hip hop, disco, jazz, and R&B artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries recorded with Rob, who began his career in music as one of the first post-genre contemporary classical electronic composers. Rob became interested in music and composition watching live performances in the clubs of Greenwich Village when he was a child in the 1950s and ‘60s. He converted many industrial spaces to accommodate synthesizers and serve as rehearsal spaces for electronic composers. In this interview, Mason reflects on his growth as a musician and composer, shares stories of operating RPM studios, and outlines new projects with younger generations of post-genre contemporary classical electronic composers.
This is one of approximately 60 oral histories in the Village Preservation collection, with important leaders in preservation, the arts, business, activism, and the local community, from Jane Jacobs to Jonas Mekas, David Amram to Penny Arcade. Rob’s oral history is also part of our ongoing effort to document, celebrate, and protect the special architectural and cultural heritage of the unprotected area south of Union Square.