With more than 25 years in the music industry, Cookie Marenco’s creative and technical skills have touched almost every aspect of the music and audio business. She is widely known for the quality of her audio engineering work and for drawing out passionate performances from the artists she produces. Most recently, Marenco has been a pioneer in delivering DSD and HiRes Audio to consumers worldwide through her company, Blue Coast Music.
Cookie Marenco - Condensed Bio Dec 2013
Cookie Marenco is a five-time Grammy nominee and recipient of 2 Gold Records. She has recorded more than 400 music albums and is a former A&R representative for Windham Hill Records where she produced Winter Solstice 2, Windham Hill’s biggest selling album.
Through her company, Blue Coast Music, she is currently involved in a new digital format called DSD (Direct Stream Digital) considered by many to be the highest audio resolution possible. From initial recording to worldwide consumer distribution, Marenco challenges mediocre mainstream music values. With more than 25,000 subscribers, Marenco’s weekly newsletter brings information and new music to fans worldwide.
Marenco has been part of technology advancements in audio for more than 25 years while owning and operating a commercial recording facility in the Silicon Valley. She has been an advisor to Sony’s new HiRes Audio division, Liquid Audio, Tascam, Avid (Digidesign), Stanton Electronics and many other pro and consumer audio products.
In March 2012, Marenco became a member of the Music Management Advisory Board for the University of the Pacific, Conservatory of Music. She is a an indemand panelist at ASARP, CES, AES, NARM, RMAF, T.H.E. Show, NARAS and a University lecturer for audio industry workshops. Marenco writes or has been interviewed for NPR Morning Edition, Stereophile, The Absolute Sound, Audiostream, Positive Feedback, EQ, Keyboard, Pstracks and was an Artist in Residence for IndabaMusic.
Marenco continues to record and produce at her Bay Area studio and as an independent engineer worldwide. Though no longer a practicing musician, Marenco was an accomplished pianist, oboist and studied world music on instruments such as the sitar during her years as a music major in college.
Companies Marenco founded, now under Blue Coast Music:
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Cookie Marenco -- Long Bio
Cookie Marenco’s creative and technical skills have touched almost every aspect of the business. She is widely known for the quality of her audio engineering skills and for drawing out passionate performances from the artists she produces. Marenco is an advocate of using analog tape for recording while pioneering digital delivery to consumers using DSD digital audio.
Marenco has engineered or produced 5 Grammy-nominated records, several Gold records, an Academy Award-winning documentary and more than 400 full length releases. Marenco was a producer and A&R representative at Windham Hill Records. Her tenure included producing Winter Solstice 2, the highest selling compilation in their catalogue. Marenco was an early evangelist in internet audio being the part of the Liquid Audio team offering music downloads in 1997. At Liquid Audio, she engineered the first live concert recording that was posted to the internet and distributed worldwide.
In 2002, Marenco teamed with French engineer, Jean Claude Reynaud, to develop a proprietary recording process for surround and stereo that offers listeners a holographic realistic sound for acoustic performances. Trademarked as E.S.E (Extended Sound Environment) the technique combines the best of tried and true recording techniques with the latest developments in technology. Sony America aided Marenco in her efforts with their Direct Stream Digital (DSD) recording devices. The E.S.E. technique is featured in the MAY 2004 issue of MIX magazine.
The results of the early E.S.E. experiements resulted in the formation of Blue Coast Records, showcasing talented acoustic musicians and high fidelity recordings. The first release, Blue Coast Collection, achieved critical around the world in the audiophile community. Prior to its 2007 worldwide release it won the Ultimate Sound Award at the 2005 CES Show for NHT Speakers. In 2006, La Nouvelle Revue de Son, the ultimate French audiophile magazine, lifted the recording to legendary status as “must have” music and winning 5 stars in every category. France became the first public distribution of the recording. China is now the largest seller of Blue Coast recordings.
Marenco Media now oversees her work as an independent producer, supports entrepreneurial pursuits and helps to launch new artists. Marenco's latest ventures involve distribution of high resolution downloads on the internet. In 2010, technology developed at Marenco Media allowed Blue Coast Records to be the first company to sell Direct Stream Digital (DSD) audio to customers around the world. These files are 30x the size of mp3s. The enthusiasm from listeners has led to manufacturers creating new products for the DSD consumer and given new hope to recording engineers who care about the quality of the sound delivered to homes. This new ecosystem for DSD audio requires technology for hosting, retail delivery and creative content which Marenco Media supplies.
Marenco Media also looks after the operations of OTR Studios (Marenco's commercial recording facility for more than 20 years in the San Francisco area), Argo Interactive Media (a web dev company specializing in creating websites and digital tools for music), Goddess Labs (silver cable company) and the newly formed Downloads NOW! (music retailer for large size files) . These cutting edge efforts have created solutions for both artists and music lovers wanting a higher quality listening experience and more product control.
Home based in the Silicon Valley, Marenco has consulted with many companies seeking to further audio and musical interests. Her conception of Liquid Live was used by Liquid.com, the download division of Walmart.com. She consulted with Unbound Technology, an early social music network and cell phone technology group. In 2005, she coordinated efforts of Abeo Corporation with the Telluride Bluegrass Festival to provide the entire festival grounds with free wireless internet access-- a concept ahead of its time.
Marenco spreads her industry knowledge as a regular writer for Keyboard, EQ, Positive Feedback and PSAudio magazines. She provides interviews for radio and print, sits on industry panels and teaches college workshops. Marenco has served on the NARAS Board of Governors and the Board of Directors of George Coates Performance Arts, represented various organizations on industry panels (RMAF, CAS, CES, AES, NARM, AFIM, Folk Alliance) and has created fund raising events for non-profits that she supports. In March 2012, Marenco became a member of the Music Management Advisory Board for the University of the Pacific, Conservatory of Music.
Marenco continues to lead efforts for creative individuals, music lovers and technologists seeking to improve their experience.
PRODUCTION AND ENGINEERING CREDITS
Her artist credits include Max Roach, Brain (drummer Primus, Tom Waits, Guns N Roses), Vijay Iyer, Kai Eckhardt, New Monsoon, Tony Furtado, Rob Ickes, Charlie Haden,Tony Levin, Alex DeGrassi, Turtle Island String Quartet, Buckethead, Ralph Towner, Ernie Watts, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Pat DiNizio, Kristin Hersch, Brad Mehldau, Matt Rollings, Art Lande, Luis Bonfa, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Her production and engineering skills can be found on projects for Monterey Jazz Festival, Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Midem, Windham Hill Records, Verve, Rounder Records, Om Records, Sony, Warner Bros. and others.
EARLY YEARS AND EXPERIENCES
Marenco began playing the piano at 4, learning to read music before words. At 10 she became a violinist playing in selected ensembles later switching to oboe. At 14, Marenco began teaching piano and at the time of entering college had more than 60 music students. She was awared a music scholarship at the College of Notre Dame for piano and oboe. Along with a strong classical background, Marenco studied jazz and improvisation with Art Lande and sitar with Krishna Bhatt. Marenco composed music for film and television including commercial spots for Nissan and AT&T. Prior to her work in engineering, she performed and toured with many jazz legends, orchestras and her own electronic ensemble. Personal studies in ethno-musicology, advanced tuning systems, physics of sound, acoustics, electronic music and composition gave Marenco a unique perspective for all things music.
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