Rob Mason

Robert Mason, 2018 
(Taorimina, Italy). 

For more than a quarter century, Robert Mason (b. 1946) 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 studied at Mannes School of Music, Columbia- Princeton Electronic Music Center, the Oberlin Conservatory, and Intermedia Department of New York University. Mason 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.