Interesting

Les Paul dies at age 94

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From gibson's website:"Les Paul, acclaimed guitar player, entertainer and inventor passed away today from complications of severe pneumonia". That is sad news indeed. Of course many people know the Gibson guitar named after him, but I wonder how many computer musicians today know how much of a legacy they owe to Les Paul. Many of the technologies that are taken for granted today are invented or vastly improved by him. The most far-reaching is probably multitrack recording, but he also made a huge contribution to guitar effects.

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Do NOT try to become a specialist

da VinciYou often read: "stick to one thing and become the best you can be". This seems to make sense: in a competitive world like ours, the person with the best skills in a certain field is best equiped to get the job. So why should you even want to be a generalist instead of a specialist? There are a few good reasons for this, especially when you operate a one-person business. Let's explore these reasons in more detail:

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Link: improve your publicity design

Over at Freelance switch, Shaun Crowley posted an excellent article on how to improve your publicity design. While being a designer might not be your focus, as a small-business owner you are often "forced to be your own designer". By evaluating your publicity material with his list at hand, you'll probably find some things to improve it right away.

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Two great ways to be more creative and productive

The professional world we live in is completely different from the one our parents knew. In the days of old, most workers had a fairly simple job description. But these days are long gone, specifically in the creative professions. Take mediamusic for example: you were either a composer or an engineer. But these days - for example in writing original soundtrack music - it's not uncommon to be composer, arranger, recording artist, engineer and producer (in addition to doing marketing, management, etcetera!). So you need to keep a lot of balls in the air at the same time. Also you need to be both creative and productive at a high level. So how do you keep your brain from getting fried? How can you stay on top of all your projects, current and those that are still "incubating"? Here are two great methods with related (free!) software:

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5 Top marketing tips by 'Harry Potter'

On the off-chance that you're tired of reading about "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows", lets take a look at the factors that made the sale of this book such a huge succes (11 million copies in the first 24 hours!). What can you as a creative professional learn from this from a sales and marketing perspective? What elements of the marketing of the 'Harry Potter' series can you use in your own marketing? Here are five top tips to be learned from the series:

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Corporate teambuilding through music

Most companies have a number of amateur musicians among their employees and this can be used to build relations and strengthen teamwork within the company, specifically at special occasions like anniversaries and such. How? Gather these musicians together to form a one time band (or when there are many: an orchestra!) to perform a few songs at the big event. I do projects like this and they are usually much fun, with a residual effect long after the event itself is over! Because of the varied (and surprising!) combinations of instruments and different levels of musicianship I write taylor-made arrangements and then its off to rehearsing. But what's the value for the company? Lets explore:

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How social networks can impact corporate video

Social networks like MySpace or YouTube have changed the way people interact in a very short period of time. People from all over the world present information about themselves and their lives on their personal profiles. There's already an interesting parallel here with corporate video: productions made by companies to share a certain viewpoint. As this phenomenon grows, more and more people will take on these new ways of communicating, thus changing the way business communications are handled. So let us take a look at the current business communication practises:

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Want to buy a Stradivarius?

Or a Guarneri? An Amati? You can (if you have the money)! According to this article in the NY Times, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is selling their "Golden Age Collection" of some 30 string instruments due to financial trouble. They would like you to loan the instruments back to their musicians though. The orchestra bought the instruments in 2003 in order to secure its financial future. A sad thing they have to sell them so soon again. The real point is that this shows the importance of investors in today's orchestral practice, including the problems this brings along. For example...

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