My Musical Equipment Closet

An opinionated collecton of short reviews of saxophones and woodwinds and the accessories which they require.

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Location: Santa Cruz, California, United States

"Other cultures are not failed attempts at being us. They are all unique manifestations of the human imagination and the human heart." Wade Davis

Sunday, October 22, 2006

What's this for?

A decade ago ago I worked part time as a reviewer for Macworld magazine.

It was always amazed when that check came. It made me think that my opinion might actually be worth something, if not just to my editor.

My review of Finale 3.2 was pretty good -- the product had made a big jump -- and MakeMusic, the company that makes Finale, still uses that review in their marketing material.

Today, because of Blogger and the other tools out there, I think there's an opportunity to evaluate something I know a good deal about: woodwind instruments and accessories, and music software. Although I'm open to change, I am a daily user of Finale. Every product cycle reminds me of that ancient Irish notion of a curse and a blessing, especially for us Mac users.

These are the techtonic forces I grind up against in my life. I play the saxophone and other woodwinds for a living. Part of the year I play on cruise ships, which, notwithstanding what you may have heard, are very demanding, In my job, the showband, we often swing wildly between and among musical genres. In one cruise, we perform dance sets based on big band music, back a production show based on the beginnings of soul music, and play the shows of two comedians, an opera singer, a pianist, and two pop singers.

These act most often show up for a rehearsal an hour or two before their shows. We do a runthrough, check the sound, and the show starts.

When I have down time at sea I'm writing music in my cabin, using music notation software and MIDI tools to write charts for various bands I'm involved with.

Working on land is not so different. I do all sorts of music and I judge the instruments I use with a broad approach to the art in mind.

I've also worked as a writer in the prose racket, including a book published by Peachpit Press. I have toiled in the field of graphic design, including a stint as a hot metal typographer.

So now that I've introduced myself. lets get on with it.


Blogger paulk said...

Good observations by one of our leading contemporary jazz statesmen!

10:45 AM  

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