Aren’t Computers Wonderful?*

In my tagline for this blog I say this is the place where music, writing, graphic design, art and life all intersect. Sounds pretentious, doesn’t it? I should’ve just said “DUDES—GUITARS and SHIT!” I’d probably get more hits because serious guitar players probably read the tagline and think I’m a wanker or something. But the fabulous advances in technology over the past few years have completely changed how people do all of the things I mentioned and have completely changed how pretty much everyone gets through the day…at least in countries like the USA. I read the other day that 50% of the people in Greece don’t Internet and many don’t have computers. Who can imagine doing that here? Even people who are camping out in Occupy Zones have their personal media apparatus with them at all times. I have completely embraced this new way of doing things because 1) I don’t see that there is a choice and 2) computer technology affords some wonderful advantages to anyone who is looking to make or do something. Of course you can play and record music the old way, but most of the studios I used over the years are gone and those still in business probably don’t do a lot of work with tape. Besides, that means I have to put on pants and leave my house. The same is true for graphic design and writing. As in nature, you either roll with it and adapt, or you die.

[Click on it]

Last year I learned new skills. This blog is a reflection of that. So is the website for my graphic design company, AKA design co-op. So is the above interactive document. Click on it and see! It’s an awesome pictorial tour of New York City!! This was a total Macintosh project and I’m not endorsing, it just worked out like that. All of the photos and movie were taken with an iPhone 4, the music was either recorded into or assembled in Garageband on a Mac and, then the whole great vision (mine) was sketched out in Indesign and finished in Flash. I had some great help from people I work with. Nanako did a great design, Mami took great pics and Sean is always very on with the copy edits. The intro has kind of a Gypsy-Jazz feel and it was recorded with a Snowball microphone, which plugs right into the USB port. Pretty bloody brilliant. Is it total hi-fidelity like listening to Caruso live or Jimi Hendrix on vinyl? Of course not, but no matter how something is recorded today, by the time it is compressed and squashed for web viewing or listening, it all sounds pretty much the same. I’m pretty happy with how this worked out. Of course there are teenagers out there who can do this stuff with their eyes closed, but when old dudes like me get it together, it is extra-special awesome!! Also, the capabilities to do this in what is basically a print application (Indesign) are new with the latest (5 and 5.5) editions, so it’s not like people have actually been doing interactive, especially with music and movies in Indesign for that long. It’s important to stay on the curve, if not ahead of the curve. It keeps you going when you wake up in the morning and see another crack has formed in that area known as your face. At the same time, all of this stuff can take an incredible amount of time to learn and then apply correctly. That’s time away from practicing guitar, so there is always this balancing act that is going on that I’m not always happy with because I’m the type of person who throws himself completely into something. But the results are pleasing so gotta keep on with it.

* Quote from Paul Rubin/Cab City Combo — The Italian Song.