I purchased an iPod four years ago. It was the first model with a 5-gigabyte hard drive. It is the size of a pack of cigarettes. Its pearl-like plastic finish is no longer shiny smooth. The stainless steel back has scratches and nicks as well. Now, of course, the iPod product line has evolved into the nanoPod, which is about the size of a pack of chewing gum.
I bought my iPod because I loved the idea that I could store all of the music I’ve composed over the years in it, and then play it for anyone at any time. Four hours of music by Clovice, and it still has gigabytes of memory left. I like to play it during times when I want to listen to music without thinking too much, like when I am cleaning, exercising, or working on rather rote tasks on the computer.
I discovered iTunes a little while ago. You can go up to the Apple website and download practically any song that has ever been recorded. I still have not found music by Nina and Fredrick, the singing duo phenoms from Denmark made famous by their recordings in the mid 1950’s. They took Harry Belafonte songs and twisted them around Scandinavian accents and... tah da, instant success. Nina went on to marry Howard Hughes for a short while. Frederick seemed to fall off the face of the earth.
Anyway, I’ve always been impressed by the fact that most of us can always remember what order music is arranged on our CDs and albums. Have you ever noticed that? People who can’t tell the time of day can tell you the order of songs. We may not be able to remember the lyrics or list them for you if asked, but once a song is finished, subconciously we know exactly what the next song will be. It has been shown that most of us, even tone deaf people, actually can pick out the note the next song will start on!
When I was a professor of music at UC Santa Barbara I taught courses in advanced computer music. I asked my students to design computer music systems to assist in the composing and notation of music. I was always surprised to find out the primary impulse behind music for them was the emotional component — how it makes them feel. There I was, a kind of musical clinician; a person who wanted to dissect music into its constituent parts so it could digitized. I wanted to teach my students how that was done. Instead, they always insisted on designing machines to enhance the emotional enjoyment of music.
About this blog.
This blog is a place where many of the confluences of my life can be shared. I am, at the core, a creative person. I approach everything from that basis... whether composing symphonies, playing the cello, being a serial entrepreneur, writing sermons and essays, flying airplanes, or creating software apps. I am deeply passionate about creativity, issues of social justice, and spiritual enrichment. These are fundamental to everything I do. Welcome to my journey!