Sunday, January 27, 2013

Incessant NAMM Dropping

Saturday, Jan 26, 2013 - The NAMM show is still going on. As I was strumming my new (old) Silvertone acoustic guitar this morning I couldn't help but think how un-technologically advanced it was. A sort of ironic new acquisition around a time where everyone gets together to see the latest greatest musical instruments, recording equipment etc. It got me thinking about what the best "quality" of music is. It's the spirit of it. The emotion behind it. Everything else is icing on the cake, the bells and whistles... and it isn't that that's not nice too. But, to me music still has to have that core otherwise it can be an empty shell of contrived "going through the motions" stuff without having any authentic feeling behind it.

So, while I LOVE new technology and quality recording/performance gear I think it is so important not to get lost in it and forget that great music has more to do with the people writing and performing it and what they are sending/receiving than the exterior equipment they use. However, if you have that as a foundation and you add great gear to help produce it then there is an opportunity for both to work together to create fantastic results. So it was a good reminder... not that I really forgot. Anyway, besides seeing the latest gear another fun aspect of NAMM are the musicians, producers and engineers you run into. Here's a NAMM report with a whole lotta name dropping... you have been warned!

Alastair Greene, Alan Parsons, me, David Pack in the Aphex booth

Always nice to see Alan Parsons who I've been working with on various "projects". Alastair, his guitarist vocalist from APLP (which I will be seeing live soon in South Florida) and Alan's long time friend David Pack from Ambrosia who I will be working with on something soon.

With Gavin and Ross

It was great running into Gavin Lurssen and Ross Hogarth. I've known Gavin for years and he used to be my roommate when I lived in LA. He's a prominent mastering engineer (always winning Grammys... it's actually annoying. Just kidding!). Ross is a great engineer and he does some great stuff so it's interesting to hear what he's up to. I think last NAMM it was mixing Van Halen. I think the NAMM before that it was the Doobie Brothers. I can't say what it was this year yet but it sounded cool and he was happy. We've talked about working together on something for years so maybe one of these days we will do that. We definitely like a lot of the same music and have worked with a lot of the same people in different capacities. 

Me with Tom Brislin

Tom Brislin can be found demonstrating in the Casio booth. He's been a writer for Keyboard magazine for years and has played keys in a number of interesting projects such as the band Renaissance and also with Francis Dunnery who I've been working with a lot. 

Fellow Sound of Contact bandmate Matt Dorsey at the show.

With engineer Richard Chycki (Rush, Dream Theater)

The incredibly talented Lyle Workman. He composes a lot of the popular comedy films these days.

With Will Alexander and Geoff Downes of Asia and Yes

Erik Norlander (from the other Asia) with part of his massive Moog "Wall of Doom"

Erik Norlander of Asia FJP (and SR) had his "Wall of Doom" Moog Modular on display in the Moog Foundation booth. We took a picture with Michelle Moog-Koussa here and I've got something cool in Moog-land from SR this year to share that I'm excited about. 

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