Letter from the Editor

By 

In February, when I sat down with Pinar Toprak in Los Angeles to talk about her process as she begins a new score, she chuckled and said she usually starts with a mild panic attack, afraid she’ll never write again.

“So it’s a lot like the writing I do,” I said, half-joking. The prospect of a new project, all blank pages, waiting to be filled with notes or words, can be daunting—even, in my case, after more than a dozen years working in journalism, and six more as a writer and editor at Berklee.

But, of course, after Toprak’s initial jitters, she gets to work and sees it through. And likewise, this, my first issue of Berklee Today as managing editor, has come together.

I’ve attempted to fill it with stories that resonate with you, both as musicians and as members of the global Berklee community—stories that give you insight into important aspects of the music industry, that help you in your artistic practice, and that introduce you to fellow alumni changing the world’s sonic landscape, whether they work under a spotlight or behind a desk.

Much of my lead is taken from the well-considered format Mark Small established over his 27 years as the magazine’s editor. Small, who retired in October, developed Berklee Today into the institution’s voice, and a forum, as the cover said, for contemporary music and musicians.

The magazine in your hands (or on your screen) retains many of the departments you’re used to reading—such as Alum Notes, Berklee Beat, and Coda—but with some small tweaks. For example, the Woodshed section is still here, but it’s now called Intervals. And the Lead Sheet will be giving way to Letter from the Editor.

One of the big changes to the magazine is its design. Every once in a while, it gets a reboot. In building the fourth iteration of Berklee Today, Creative Director Efi Georgiou wanted to “create an exclusive curated experience, which is hard to achieve in today's digital era. The new design celebrates a shift in style, visually represented with bold, striking type and dynamic photography, while establishing a new pace and rhythm.”

Another difference you’ll notice is that the magazine will be coming to you twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall—as opposed to three times a year. But you can keep up with Berklee news year-round at Berklee Today’s online sister publication, Berklee Now.

Lastly, I want to get to know you better. Many of you have filled out the Berklee Today Reader Survey, but if you haven’t, I invite you to visit berklee.edu/berklee-today/survey. Tell me what you’d like to read about, and how the magazine can better serve you. And, as always, please keep sending in your updates. Berklee Today is about you, your lives and your work as artists, and the ways you continue to shape the sound of the world, note by note.