Daniel Shores has worked at a record label located in Boyce, Virginia, known as Sono Luminus for 13 years. After graduation, he was approached by the professor he says influenced him the most, Associate Professor of Music Production & Recording Technology Golder O’Neill ’92, with an opportunity at an up-and-coming recording studio. Sono Luminus needed an assistant intern, and O’Neill saw a bright future for Shores.
“I checked it out, interviewed, got the job, and I’ve been here ever since,” Shores commented.
Shores now serves as managing director and audio engineer at Sono Luminus. His responsibilities as head of the recording label include finding and signing new artists, preparing contracts, managing staff and artist promotion and driving each project. As the audio engineer, he does everything from setting up microphones and recording the sessions, to editing, mixing and mastering the sessions.
“My role encompasses many different things,” said Shores. “It definitely keeps me on my toes.”
Shores has always felt passionate about working with music and making it sound great. His father, who is now a minister, was originally a music engineer. Shores remembers that throughout his childhood, music equipment and instruments were always in the house. Yet it wasn’t until the moment he walked through his piano teacher’s husband’s recording studio that he found his life’s passion.
“In my job, I get to work with and bring music to life,” said Shores. “I get to focus on doing something at an ultra-high level. It can be very challenging, and there is always something different no matter what is going on. The difference comes with the players and their styles; it makes every session unique and interesting.”
Reflecting on his time at Shenandoah, Shores appreciates the fact that Shenandoah not only focused on the technological side of things, but the program was based in music. Shores was a commercial music major (now music production & recording technology) and believes his alma mater gave him the chance to make himself more marketable in the music industry.
“I think that music and a knowledge of music makes a better engineer,” Shores said. “You can relate so much better to the artist you are recording if you can speak their language and read what they are playing. At Shenandoah, we learned the knob-turning as well as the musical side.”
Shores sees himself remaining at Sono Luminus for many years. He works hard day in and day out to cultivate an environment of excellence, and this has created a hit record label.
“We always strive to make great music and great products, and anything that happens after that is just icing on the cake,” Shores explained. “We’d rather make an album that sounds amazing than ever be concerned about an award. They are very humbling, and we’re always very honored when our peers choose to honor us in that way, but our drive is for the product and for the project.”
Shores also gives back to his alma mater as an adjunct professor in the music production & recording technology program. He teaches the recording practicum class, his favorite when he was a Shenandoah student. His wife, Jessica, is the office manager at Sono Luminus, and the couple has three children. Many mornings Shores wakes to the sounds of his daughter practicing her piano. At Homecoming 2012, Shores received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for Professional Achievement for his work at Sono Luminus.