Friday, 14 October 2011

Remembering Steve for the Love of Music

Shredding on the guitar is something I enjoy and work at most nights. After the usual intense neo-classical workout on the day Steve Jobs passed on, a more relaxed arioso (in the manner of an aria; melodious) tune jumped out of the fretboard and developed rapidly. I sketched down the tune and headed to bed and only heard the news about Steve's passing the next morning.

In hindsight, the sections of the tune between the low B and the high E tell part of the story of Steve’s most remarkable journey while he was in this world. See the section map of how the tune might correspond to events in Steve's life, in a another post below, which you can compare to the video on the YouTube Channel when both sites are open side-by-side.

The video of the tune was recorded live at Advance Electronics here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Altogether, there is the primary video (Introduction and Solr Guitar) plus eight more outtake videos of behind-the-scenes mixing and laughter as we worked through technical difficulties with the audio mixer.

The videos are available on a YouTube Channel companion site called song4stevejobs, just click the link to view the Introduction and outtake videos. Hope you enjoy the music and I look forward to your comments.


Remembering Steve Beyond the Limelight

Living each day to its fullest, like each day is your last is what Steve endorsed and exemplified. The way he originally put it was “I want to put a ding in the universe”.  To do this one needs a reason for living, to be able to proclaim to the universe itself — I am here and I matter.

The purpose driven life provides vision which has the power to change the world, Steve certainly proved this and was one of "those who wish to be" which the Rush lyrics to Limelight so aptly illustrate, see below.
Living in the Limelight,
The universal dream,
For those who wish to seem.

Those who wish to be,
Must put aside the alienation,
Get on with the fascination,
The real relation,
The underlying theme.
The song introduced on this site and viewable on the companion song4stevejobs YouTube Channel is composed for Steve, its title is Be and its subtitle is Keynotes. The icon for Be features a caret symbol representing a musical marcato or any of the other functional meanings for a caret, they are all equally valid and denote that life should be lived with belief and verve. The subtitle is for Steve’s gift for making presentations and also the key notes in the Be composition itself.

As a cancer survivor I can relate to the increased vigor for life one feels on the edge, where the moments become expressions of — make it so, believe if you dare. In this way, Steve’s life was analogous of stepping out on the water like Peter did in the Biblical story. Life urges us to get out onto the waves and personify active life changing faith in contrast to the stationary inertia of staying in the secure boat.

We can all be glad that a master builder who truly cared about the kind of tools (OS X, the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad and much more) people would like to work with was Steve, he truly led the way and set the standard high.

Remembering Steve and to Think Differently

Here is a timeline of the primary and secondary sections of the Be tune, mapped in chronological order to both years and the video counter. The video can be viewed on the song4stevejobs YouTube Channel. These are just some of the events in the remarkable life of the entrepreneur, inventor, revolutionary and family man that Steve was.

Especially interesting, is the Apple theme, which begins on the low B as Apple begins with Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in the garage and then again as Steve returns to Apple and begins his steady concert of powerful product launches.

! Click the song-map above to view it at its original dimensions.

Remembering Steve the Consummate Virtuoso

From the day I encountered the original Macintosh in 1984 it became a lasting source of inspiration for me, ultimately its been a catalyst for my musical aspirations that in turn helped guided me toward the realization and development of a whole new musical instrument. The software instrument is called Virtuoso and its features transcend the creative and learning limitations that have faced musicians for centuries, amazing!

I would have liked to demonstrate the Virtuoso prototype to Steve, or now to someone who identifies with his values. I know Steve would love it and knowing about it he would make it happen. Virtuoso is the missing link for active music makers, containing designs and features not yet experienced in existing products. If Steve saw how well it fits with his vision of making the human experience with computers excellent and how powerful it is, Virtuoso would simply be a done deal.

The Virtuoso software is the result of honest evaluation of the things that inhibit music making. The same dissatisfaction (with existing options) Steve was known for and subsequently the same quality of engineering and purpose he was known for have resulted in designing Virtuoso. The end solution innovates on multiple levels and liberates and empowers people, to enable them to reach their true musical and human potential.

Like Steve said "music in our blood, we all love it". This speaks to the fact that music is in our very being and in the fabric of all that is done and made, both modern science and ancient mysteries know this to be true. Music is a universal language and through the synergy of the inventions Steve made and the Virtuoso software instrument a new musical revolution of virtuosity will be unleashed.

Remembering Steve as an Expressive Man

For a long time now, musicians, composers, song-writers and anyone learning to create music have been asking for a solution to facilitate and accelerate the expression of their musical ideas. There is a painful dilemma being expressed in frustrated statements about what is not right about the software they are forced to endure and this has continued to resonate throughout the industry over the past decades.

As a musician and composer I too had my expectations of what I had thought computers and software would do to accelerate my musical learning and composing activities. To shorten a long story for now lets just say I was disappointed. This led to years of work to design and engineer Virtuoso which is now close to being released. Some musicians have had the opportunity to see the Virtuoso solution first hand and their reactions have been extremely positive.

Below are just several of the many examples where the dilemma facing musicians has been expressed in a painfully obvious way. Each statement of frustration is followed immediately by a joyous counter statement where the elation of seeing Virtuoso in action is expressed.

Competitive Analysis : Example 1
“Is music software a blessed gift or the nightmare of modern musicians? How do you choose and use music software for making your own music? Probably the weakest point of today's music software is no longer the technical performance but the human interface (...or should I say the lack of it?). What programmers or software companies consider a useful program surface can instantly make any grown up musician and music producer weep and fall into despair. Combine that with a vast variety of more or less working hardware and the usual computer bugs and you got enough problems to keep the average musician busy for years, producing nothing.” — – 2009
“In my experience, Virtuoso is by far the most flexible I have yet encountered.  This program offers the highest degree of ‘hands-on’ music construction and manipulation that I am aware of. I can see great potential in a software package like this one, because Mr. Buhr's approach has captured the essence of tonal manipulation, in such a way that the student may gain so much more from the musical experience than before. I am personally looking forward to the release of this software, and I would highly recommend it to those involved in music education, performance and composition.”  — Clayton Halverson, Music Authographer, Composer, Teacher, Manitoba Composers Association
Competitive Analysis : Example 2
"I've spent many hours trying to force various notation programmes to do what I tell them to. In the end I went back to pencil and paper, and pen and ink for manuscripts, because it was (a) a lot faster, and (b) less intrusive when it came to writing in real time." — Composer's Lounge, gsmonks, RE: Finale or Sibelius?, 08/19/10
“Virtuoso is the most transparent application of music software that I've ever seen; eliminating the usual interference that other programs make you grapple with. Virtuoso has the capacity to be the software we need and will have immediate application in education.” — Owen Clark, Digital Arts Consultant, Seven Oaks School Division
Competitive Analysis : Example 3
“Over the years I‘ve tried all the pricey notation software and have seen countless pieces go unwritten, would-be composers throwing their arms up in disgust from trying to change key signatures, classrooms full of college students yawning through an unbearably dull clinic on entering quarter notes, and learned musicians giving up on arranging because of the steep learning curve. After all, you spend time studying music to become good at music, not to wrestle with esoteric software.” — Dave Jones, writer for Performing Songwriter Magazine (July/August 2006)
“Having seen a presentation of Virtuoso I am very impressed with the new capabilities the program has. Working with and selling musical software for several years I am well aware that the options and editing control Virtuoso provides has not been implemented to this degree. Notation programs are notorious for being clumsy to work with and Virtuoso takes this into account in its design, providing a superior solution.”  — James Soloway, Keyboard and Computer Department, Long & McQuade Ltd - Musical Instruments

Remembering Steve the Builder of Dreams

There are so many excellent memories of Steve, in the following video he narrates the first Think different commercial "Here's to the Crazy Ones" from 1997. It never aired. Richard Dreyfuss did the voiceover for the original spot that aired. However Steve's is much better.

It is truly wonderful that Steve dared to think differently and consequently his inventions now give us all an excellent form factor to engage technology with and to be creative. Next, there is a urgent need to build on this computing power and ignite human potential by allowing people everywhere to experience and manifest their own inherent musical virtuosity. Art and science converge in music and Virtuoso is the new, premier medium and means to explore this fusion in all its diverse styles.

We have now evolved from the etch-a-sketch to internet connected tablets, we can now have an accessible universal software instrument for all music, lets seize the day and build a more expressive, creative and intelligent tomorrow. Be part of the creative future by sending me a message using the contact form above to receive Virtuosity and the Need for Speed, the document that defines and reveals how the new musical revolution will happen.