I've been in Boston the past few days and thought I would let you know about the trip. It feels good to be mobile again after a long bout with pneumonia. A great deal was accomplished during the trip.
One of the main purposes of the trip was to visit Berklee College of Music, which I usually do twice a year.
On Wednesday I spoke at several classes. It was particularly enjoyable speaking at Sheldon Mirowitz's Orchestral Mock-up class. Sheldon is a gifted instructor and the students had an impressive knowledge of orchestrating with samples. I played some of our forum member's works in the class as example of some excellent mockups. I also spoke about the cutting edge musical instrument technology and the future of virtual instrumentation.
Wednesday evening was enjoyed with Mark Ethier and Jeremy Todd from Izotope. Izotope makes excellent plug ins and they do some amazing DSP programming. Their Ozone 3 is one of the best mastering effects systems. After a tour of their Cambridge office we had some productive discussions over dinner.
On Thursday morning I met with Gabriel Cobas, a forum member and the Manager of Education Programs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. We spoke about some opportunities and then watched some of the rehearsal. Gabiel was kind enough to invite me to the BSO's evening performance that night.
Late Thursday morning it was back to Berklee for Neil Leonard's Advanced Project's class. I had the opportunity to listen to some of the student's senior projects and give comments. The young people at Berklee are very talented and some excellent music is coming from these students. This was one of the highlights of the trip. I invited the students to post their works to the Listening Room so all of us can enjoy their work.
Thursday afternoon I had lunch with Stephen Croes, Dean of Music Technology and had some fruitful discussions. After lunch, Stephen gave me a tour of the newly-built recording studios at Berklee. The studios were impressive and showed Berklee's commitment to remaining on the forefront of music technology.
Thursday afternoon was the Berklee Board of Advisors meeting. It was my first board meeting and quite an experience. The meeting was excellent and learned a great deal about Berklee. It was enjoyable speaking with Roger Brown, President of Berklee College, and many of the other Board members (consisting of some amazing people). Berklee is an incredible institution that is rapidly growing. There are fantastic and ambitious plans in the works for the college.
Thursday Evening I attended The Boston Symphony Orchestra concert. The performance was Brahms Symphony #3 and Brahma's Piano Concerto #1. The 3rd Movement of the Symphony was my favorite. Experiencing one of the world's best orchestras in one of the world's best concert halls was a real treat. Thanks Gabriel!
The symphony consisted of about 50 string players, two flutes, two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and contrabassoon, four horns, two trumpets, three trombones and timpani. What was interesting was the configuration of the orchestra with first violins stage left and second violins stage right. Bernard Haitink conducted brilliantly and his baton seemed to dance on its own. Emanuel Ax performed on a Steinway Model D and his performance was flawless.
I wish we could all attend an orchestral concert together. It would be quite a learning experience.
After the concert was another concert at the Berklee Performing Arts Center - a Singers Showcase. It was Berklee's American Idol and the student performers were fantastic.
Friday morning I said goodbyes at Berklee and spent the rest of the day at Cakewalk Headquarters in South Boston. Cakewalk is doing some great work in music technology and they have some of the most talented people in the business. And they know how to treat their employees (like an in-house banquet for lunch). Can't say much now, but there may be some nice surprises coming.
I have been able to keep in touch now and then with my handheld PDA. It's just amazing to be able to be on the forum anytime and and from anywhere that has cellphone service. I'm on the plane writing this and will post it when I return Saturday.
Pictures will follow: