Saturday, December 1, 2012

Peter's Pipes

Let me tell you about my good friend, Peter Karwowski.  Peter is a big-hearted, big-bellied bear of a man who, to my eye, looks more Scottish than Polish, owing largely to the large, woolly sideburns that cascade down either side of his face.  In fact, at risk of digressing, I once got Peter a book entitled "The Tartans of Scotland", just as a sort of gag gift, and his first reaction was "Ìf I find a "Karwoski" tartan in here..."

I first met Peter in high school, in the eleventh grade which, if you read my previous post, means that our friendship now goes back many, many years.  Peter was always fascinated with media.  In those days, he had gotten hold of a multi-track tape recorder and, after school, he would hole himself up in his bedroom at home, making the most amazing home recordings, just for the heck of it. 

The fascination with voice recordings naturally lead to an interest in broadcasting in general and it wasn't long before Peter found himself working as a volunteer announcer at the University of Waterloo campus radio station, CKMS FM.

He certainly had the voice for the work.  Peter was blessed with a clear, strong, broadcaster's voice, mingled with the creativity to convincingly mimic various ethnic accents (Scottish, Irish, East Indian, Southern U.S., etc.) as well as celebrities and other well-known voices (I always particularly enjoyed his "Pete Puma" and "Marvin the Martian" from the old Warner Brothers cartoons).  So it was no surprise to me when Peter decided to study broadcasting in college. 

As it happened, Peter`s fascination with electronics of all sorts soon had him dabbling with computers and, being an intelligent individual of many talents, he actually left the field of broadcasting behind after a short stint as an announcer at a Guelph radio station right after graduating and instead spent many years working in the Information Technology field.

Recently, however, Peter has returned to his first love and has been doing some voice acting work for various companies.  One of his earlier gigs was that of the voice of "Otto" the ottoman, for Pier 1 Imports. Here it is...

Okay, it was only a single word but, hey, you have to start somewhere!  Even so, a mutual friend told me that Peter spent an entire day, and many, many takes, just on that one word!  He recorded it with a huge variety of different inflections, giving the Pier 1 people a large repository of takes from which to choose exactly the right one.

I recently had the chance to touch base personally with Peter after a long absence, and he gave me his new business card.  He has dubbed his new voice services "Peter`s Pipes" and, thanks to his business card, I learned that he has even set up his own web site, where you can hear some entertaining demos of his work.  Here`s the link...

If you, or anybody you know needs the services of a gifted voice actor for television, radio, an audio book or even just a professional or entertaining message for your voice mail greeting, I highly recommend you get in touch with Peter.  Besides being vocally gifted, he`s a just plain great guy to deal with.

No comments: