"Some people have stereotypes that electronic music is just about dance beats, but there's a ton of music you can make using these technologies. One ensemble I'm now teaching focuses on compositions using electronic instruments and processes. Advanced students are writing their own software and doing all sorts of things in all genres. Using the technology is the thread that holds the ensemble together, often with fascinating results!"
"I was a guitar player and composition major at Berklee. My first foray into synthesis was to control the results of my compositions. Even before I had a piece done, I could model it using tools like tape recorders and synthesizers before getting musicians to record it. There weren't many synthesizer programmers back then, so I got a lot of work even before I finished at Berklee, doing TV commercials and small independent film scores."
"The characteristic that I've noticed common to highly successful people is that they're fanatical. They don't just practice or work a little bit; they go to incredible extremes. They perform amazing feats, primarily because they can focus intensely. They're not constantly entertaining themselves and don't need to be frivolously stimulated. I would really like to see my students become more monk-like about music, technology, and business. I'd like to see that sort of devotion."
"You can look at the synthesizer as a keyboard instrument—a physical, playable instrument. It's an instrument unto itself. But it allows players and composers an outlet for sounds and layering that potentially you can't get anywhere else. For me, studying music synthesis at Berklee allowed me to realize music is around us almost all the time. Sounds, rhythms, patterns surround us more often than we realize."
"Technology is a tool and, ultimately, when mastered it can become transparent. It takes time and discipline to learn, of course, but this is no different from other musical skill sets. On the piano, for example, one develops technical proficiency through the practice of specific exercises and repertoire with the aim to ultimately express oneself fluently and effortlessly. It's the same way with music technology. You have to spend the time required to get the fundamentals-the principles that work behind it-to really know it inside and out, in order to support those unexpected and creative leaps of imagination."
"One of my classes is Introduction to Music Technology, which gets first-year students started using their new laptops. It's a required purchase that's their own personal recording studio and music production system. The class is very hands-on and interactive, because everyone's trying things out on their laptops. The sound of 30 people making music in a classroom—it's a great cacophony."