Thursday, November 24, 2011

Getting It Right, Getting It Wrong

Sports Illustrated recently ran a portion of Jerry West's biography and it revealed that the NBA's iconic figure (literally) led a miserable life of depression and self-loathing. The NBA's logo is an artistic rendition of West on the move. Nobody moved quicker, with more determination, or with better accuracy. West played before the 3-point era, but that didn't stop him from shooting from that territory or beyond (even beyond the half-court line). Reading this biography reminded me of a day when elite athletes played for something other than giant bags of money.

That, in turn, reminded me of the real and practical reason ordinary people pay attention to elite athletes, musicians, and artists of all stripes; they remind us that humans can be incredibly special and near-godlike (by a believable definition of "godlike"). Money removes that reminder and replaces it with something more crass and less admirable. Jerry West played like a demon to quiet the demons in his head and from his past. The best musicians have something to prove, too. Songs to express, heart to expose, words to ventilate and enlighten, and sounds in their heads that need to find air to move and ears to respond. When those moments are preserved in a recording, music takes on history and it's a rare kind of history that can be repeated in the privacy of our homes or even all but inside our heads with in-ear monitors and a mobile player. To clear out the Thanksgiving dust, here's a little inspiration:

Nothing like a little Jeff to brighten up a winter's day. My kind of Xmas music.

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Wirebender Audio Rants

Over the dozen years I taught audio engineering at Musictech College and McNally Smith College of Music, I accumulated a lot of material that might be useful to all sorts of budding audio techs and musicians. This site will include comments and questions about professional audio standards, practices, and equipment. I will add occasional product reviews with as many objective and irrational opinions as possible.