A Choral Composer's Megahertz Musings
As a composer who had spent many years copying scores and parts with pen on onionskin - losing brain cells while breathing ammonia over blueprinter's ozalid copiers - the advent of personal computers and notation software held giddy promise! I was trained in the era of Putney synthesizers, mini-Moogs, and razor blades with splicing tape. When computer technology offered its promises in the mid-eighties, I asked myself if this "old dog" could learn new tricks! As I looked toward a future filled with late nights and an ever-growing callous on my writing finger, I found myself willing to grapple with an unfamiliar challenge.
I began with Personal Composer software on a rip-snortin' 4.77 megahertz PC. I'll never forget the night I slept on my home-office floor, having borrowed a laser printer from work. I set my wrist-alarm every 55 minutes - that's how long it took for the computer to process the graphics of each page of my new anthem. I woke up every 55 minutes that night in order to program the next page for the printing process....certainly no improvement over old techniques!
I'm no computer whiz, but my anticipation of impending possibilities kept me abreast of the technology just around the next bend! Here's where I stand now - not way out in front of the pack, but certainly not allowing cyber-potential to pass me by!
My highest priority remains the composing of new choral works, but I will accomplish this joyful task with the aid of, and amidst the ever-expanding environment of technological magic! I keep my old pens, inks, onionskins, and razor blades in my desk drawer as a reminder of life as it used to be - my dead brain cells now rebooted by ever-increasing mega- and giga-bytes!
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