Hi all -
This week, I am in San Antonio at the TI:ME (Technology Institute for Music Education) Conference at TMEA. I am giving two sessions this week. One is called "Effective Effects" and is an overview of effects processing for electric violins and exactly what is happening with each of the common special effects that are found in multi-effects processors. So, we will be looking at Reverbs, Chorus, Flangers, Phasers, Wah Wahs, Distortions, etc. I will try to give practical applications for all of these special effects as part of the session. My other session is "Science and Math in the Orchestra Classroom." It deals with many of the possible topics that can be covered in an orchestra class that deal with scientific and mathematical topics. We will look at a variety of topics including frequencies, harmonics and overtones, intervals and scales, kinetic energy and bowing, time signatures and division, compositional techniques, and hearing perception. All of my sessions are sponsored by D'Addario Strings.
Yesterday was a great day and I particularly enjoyed the Keynote session for the TI:ME show. The speaker/performer was Jordan Rudess, the keyboardist for the great band, Dream Theater. First, let me say that I have admired Dream Theater for probably 15 years and I think I have all of their albums. They are a progressive rock band that is amazingly virtuosic and musical at every level. Their music speaks to me in many ways and have been a huge influence in my own music and the music of my friends and musical collaborators, Believer.
In his session, Rudess performed on a Korg Oasis synthesizer with magnificent virtuosity. He then went on to discuss his upbringing as a musician, experiences as a child at Julliard, and musical progression. He also discussed synthesis and his approach to programming his synthesizer to achieve his musical goals. He showed how he could set the syths velocity to achieve a variety of sounds with varied weight on the keys and how this has helped him develop his piano technique. He also showed the audience how he splits the keyboard to achieve his desired effects. His main point, I think, was that as musicians, we need to REALLY learn the technology that we have in front of us. too many of us just"use the presents" and think that is all that our technology offers. We really need to learn the instrument and utilize the programmability of the technology that is at our fingertips in a real way. Then, we can do the homework and customize our instruments to do the things that we desire to achieve our musical goals. I could have listened to him play all day. It was great to see and hear him in person. I was in the front row, about 5 feet from his keyboard. Very cool!
It is great to be here and I look forward to writing another post after Friday's activities.