Psychiatrist-rocker composes radio 'bleebles' and 'stingers'

January 22, 1991|By Ernest F. Imhoff | Ernest F. Imhoff,Evening Sun Staff

A BALTIMORE psychiatrist who composes electronic music on the side can sip coffee some mornings and hear his pieces played on National Public Radio's news program "Morning Edition."

Andrew Brent Rudo, who practices medicine in Woodlawn, and NPR just signed a contract for the network's use of six minute-long pieces of jazz and big-band styles and another 20 shorter "musical bleebles, buttons and stingers." That's radio talk for filler, introductions and background. Hints of rock and country also sneak into Rudo's stuff.

Using a sequencer that records digital notes from a synthesizer, Rudo, 41, of Owings Mills, has been composing for several years besides playing keyboard and guitar for a rock group called Shrink the Deficit.

"I wrote the music first," Rudo said. "All artists want to be heard. So I just sent in tapes to the program and they told me 'out of hundreds of tapes, yours stood out'. I then recorded some in their studio. I signed a contract, and they began playing the music last week."

Judging from the sound of two pieces, Rudo's music is catchy with a distinct melody line. "Jazz Mine" has a nice beat, the melody played on vibes, with fretless bass guitar and drums. "Go Sprightly Into The Night" has a heavier big-band sound reminiscent of Henry Mancini, using trombone, flute, drums, strings, vibe and electric piano.

Rudo's material is the first original compositions recorded "Morning Edition," director Barry Gordemer said. Commercial discs were used earlier. Unsolicited tapes flood the place.

"I decided to open up a can of peas," Gordemer said. "Rudo's music works exactly for our purpose. Some of it's light, with a sense of humor, and some of it's serious.

"We played 'Jazz Mine' last Tuesday with a topless story. We'll play the longer pieces once a month and the bleebles much more often. But I haven't decided whether to do more of this."

Rudo's music will occasionally be given credit. The four other longer pieces are entitled "Carol" (his fiancee Carol Baker), "Ocean City Ditty," "Cascading Colors" and "Rolling With It." The program is heard here on WJHU (88.1 FM), normally from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and WAMU (88.5 FM) in Washington. The Persian Gulf war may affect program hours.

Rudo began playing piano at 6 or 7 and was spurred by a Long Island cousin who is a "fabulous" trumpet player and pianist. Rudo began playing guitar, continued through Baltimore City College and the University of Pennsylvania where he formed a blues and rock group, the Stanley Sporney Blues Band. His medical studies at the University of Maryland were leavened by stints with another rock group.

Shrink The Deficit, known by several names including Jade in its 15 years, is a four-person group: besides Rudo, another psychiatrist, John Book on bass guitar; accountant and guitarist David Meer and drummer Bob Schatz, an investigator with the public defender's office.

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