June 26, 2013

Poetry For Peace

Peter and I are going to a "Poetry for Peace" open mic night tonight at my Quaker meeting house. I'm pretty excited about it. I'm going to be reading Snow in Madrid by Joy Davidman (The lovely and talented wife of C.S. Lewis). Here is that poem now:

Softly, so casual,
Lovely, so light, so light,
The cruel sky lets fall
Something one does not fight.
How tenderly to crown
The brutal year
The clouds send something down
That one need not fear.
Men before perishing
See with unwounded eye
For once a gentle thing
Fall from the sky.

June 21, 2013

Roland Foresta

What is Roland Foresta? A new product? No. It's an installation of sorts that Roland is setting up in various stores across America. It's a "quiet and comfortable space in which you can select the instrument that perfectly suits your needs and lifestyle". This basically means a corner of the store that Roland has laid down a square of carpet, set up their pianos and added a fake tree. Am I hating on it? No! I love it! It's ridiculous! It makes no sense whatsoever. But I do think it's a feeble attempt to cover up the fact that their current product line is a snooze fest. 

I know that Ikutaro Kakehashi is obsessed with forward progression and all that, but give me a break! You can't reinvent guitar strings, they are what they are. The voltage controlled oscillator is the guitar strings of synthesizers. As soon as Kakehashi is no longer with us, I imagine Roland will take the plunge back into some serious analog gear. It's unfortunate that he can't embrace it though and be a part of it's wonderful return before he's gone -the way Bob Moog was. 

It's so strange, looking at the Roland Gaia SH-01, Kakehashi is fine with having an analog "style" layout (traditional oscilator, filter, amplifier architecture) but not with having the true analog circuitry to back it up. Who cares about 64 note polyphony? No one. No one will ever need to play that many notes at once. Roland, you don't even have to fully commit, take a hint from Korg and just dip a toe in. Make some little toys, see how you like it.

And that's the end of my rant for today. If you'd like to know more about Roland's amazing new marketing concept: