Exactly What You Wanted

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Two points of interest.

1) Each and every one of us, we all tend to find… exactly what we’re looking for in our lives. The exceptions are rare.

2) When I realize I am no longer in doubt about the outcome of a certain action, I have set the universe into motion in my favor to create exactly the conditions I have conceived will be brought into reality. The depth of the certainty in turn provides me with a relaxed outlook as compared to the stress which frantic uncertainty and doubt do for me. My degree of certainty for particular actions resulting in an anticipated result over a prolonged period of time is equivalent to the degree of certainty most baseball outfielders know in which direction to start running from milliseconds after the ball leaves the bat. Eventually, we learn to anticipate the long-term results of the things we each do to and for each other today, and our actions change to produce a different outcome. The change in outcomes can be dramatic. And all we’ve really done is rotated our point of view of things.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday season, or are otherwise finding Thanks for the things you have.

Sooth Aerial Demo Reel #2

Learning how to fly professionally, I flew 135+ successful flights this summer, accumulating over 12 hours of aerial video with my Phantom GoPro3+ Zenmuse UAV/drone quadcopter in both Colorado and Minnesota. I spent some time culling the best cinematography from over 40 locations and got that down to 30 minutes of footage. Then I cherry-picked clips from my favorite locations and used a 115bpm song of mine to pace the video editing and created this aerial feast for your eyes, 49 clips in under 80 seconds. Special thanks to Shawn Murry of Colorado Aerial Media Pros for introducing me to Cal Cheney from AllDigitalStudios.com.

Locations in the video include: (Colorado) Blue Mesa Dam and Reservoir, Monarch Pass, 11 Mile Canyon, Dunafon Castle, Evergreen Lake House, Cottonwood Lake, Tech Center, Castle Cliff Estates, Arrowhead Golf Course, Sanctuary Golf Course, plus locations near Perham, MN.

Success With Technology

I’ve been quiet lately, but that’s not a bad thing. It only means I’ve been super busy, which is a good thing.

While I was listening to one of the latest songs I have composed, I realized that listening to my compositions over and over not only heals me, but it actually sounds DIFFERENT every time I listen. Thanks to the latest in sequencing sampler technology, the music I compose starts off as a capture of my performance with every instrument in the song. That’s what a sequencer does: it captures exactly how I played the keyboard for each particular “take” or recording. So when I compose, I’m not actually recording anything, except when I struck keys in order along a timeline, along with how hard I struck them, how long I held them down, whether I pushed on the keys while holding them down (and if so, how hard), and the moment I let go of any key. There may be additional performance controls recorded simultaneously, or as a second or third pass; controls which affect the live performance of tweak-able parameters of the sound.

Behind the scenes, inside the computer, sophisticated playback devices are triggered with the playback of my performance, much in the same way player pianos were triggered in the 19th century saloons. There’s a maturity of those playback devices which have added several layers of realism to my performance, to help your ears believe that real instruments were being played by real people, rather than synthesized instruments being manipulated by a keyboard player. That technology allows for mildly human characteristics to be applied to my performance, such that each time it is played back, every instrument being triggered has multiple layers of sounds to evoke at random so that humanistic-flaws can be artificially introduced into the resulting mix of instrumentation.

The outcome is truely inspiring while sitting here in the studio listening back to 27 instrument tracks being played back, each one loyally playing exactly as I performed it originally, but with a slightly different nuance each time the same piece is heard over again.

Seriously, that’s some really cool shit right there. My peformance, as though being played back by real people, just a little bit differently each time I play it back, every instrument combining up to 5 or more variations of every particular note, with mildly different inflections.

The bottom line is that I’ve been fighting an up-hill battle with technology to get it to perform to the level of my expectations, and it seems that I’m making incredible gains across all fronts in the level of productivity I’m now able to achieve across the boards with all the latest, greatest technology I have invested in within my studio. That includes my Phantom/GoPro aerial multi-rotor high-definition camera rig, as well as the 12-core super-computer which powers an entire orchestra beneath the muscle-memory perambulations of my narrow fingers across a piano keyboard. Amazing Technology, ALL of it!

Scenic Mountain Trip

I’m back from last week’s Colorado Creative Industries Summit in Salida. What a wonderful town of great people! It’s considered the “largest little artist town” in Colorado… I believe that’s what I saw. Got to meet other musicians, animators, film makers, and be inspired by the creative people who held sessions to teach us various aspects of becoming a successful “Creative Entrepreneur”.

On my return trip, I took my Phantom/GoPro to visit Blue Mesa Dam, the Monarch Pass, and 11 Mile Canyon outside of Lake George, all in central Colorado. I’ve edited a video and will be composing a soundtrack to go with when I post my DEMO REEL #2. In the meantime, here’s an over-processed frame-grab from some aerial video I captured from Monarch Pass, east of the summit and from about 10,000 feet. I’ve been keeping busy! And I retain my perseverance!

Monarch Pass Colorado

From ASCAP EXPO 2014

This year, I decided to get serious about my music as a career and joined ASCAP as a member, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Producers. This is their 100-year anniversary as a professional intellectual rights organization, and quite a show they are putting on here in Los Angeles! I couldn’t be more happy about making the choice to join them and attend this conference for MUSIC CREATORS.

ASCAP is a non-profit organization which represents the people who, without which, there wouldn’t be ANY music. They are advocates for the rights of musicians and their work world-wide, but especially on Capitol Hill. Part of ASCAP’s job is to help ensure that musicians receive their fair share of the pie from music distribution and performance royalties throughout the industry, so that musicians who pour their soul into their life’s work can expect to earn a living doing what they do.

Paul Williams (Carpenters song-writer and 1979 Muppets Movie fame) is ASCAP president and chief advocate for musicians and their work, and at 73 years old, it’s great to see his enthusiasm and energy in person. I can only hope that when I’m 73, I have the same level of GUSTO that this man has! What a great guy! His energy is contagious!

Last night as one of the special events ASCAP arranged, we got to attend a private acoustic session performed by Glen Phillips from Toad the Wet Sprocket, Ray Parker Jr. of the Ghostbusters theme song fame, Amy Grant, and Richie Sambora from Bon Jovi. WOW!

ascap_private_concert

Encouraging IT Careers

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The Arapahoe/Douglas County Youth in the Works! Youth Council (Colorado) has organized a career forum to promote and discuss careers in IT and Broadband. Representatives from Enterprise Linux Professionals, Douglas County School District, Sprint, DirecTV and Comcast will be a part of the panel discussing these careers.

If I were given the opportunity to inspire interest in IT careers with youth, I would tell them several things. First, a career in IT can be a creative career in which you are turning ordinary requirements from non-IT folks into extraordinary functioning computer systems which allow them to do their job better, faster, more efficiently. All you need to do is find something of interest to you in the field and embrace it, become an expert at it by completely absorbing yourself in the technology until it becomes a part of you.  Many IT jobs are creative jobs with satisfying accomplishments.

Next, I’d tell them that working in IT can be quite lucrative if you’re good at what you do, and by itself can be a very rewarding career. But what’s most important about that fact is that a career in IT can take you further than a career in IT, and can be a means to an end. What I mean by that is, as a result of a 10-year career in IT, you could easily propel yourself into any of several other industries which utilize computers and high technology in general. IN fact, a 10-year career in IT could put you right where you WANT to be with your creative and entrepreneurial aspirations you have today, with a strong credit history, money in the bank, a solid exposure to the industry and related industries, and real skills you can take with you almost anywhere in the world. With that kind of confidence under your belt, you could easily strike off in completely new directions, in the direction where your heart really lies… directly as a result of a career in IT.  Keep your eye on the long term while your career in IT pans out.

And finally, there has never been more opportunity in the world than there is today, with technology and computers. It’s EXCITING to see how technology is transforming our lives, and I would want youth to understand and see MY EXCITEMENT about how a career in IT can lead you to the very places you DREAM ABOUT TODAY. The field is still growing globally, with a worldwide demand for technology from literally billions of people! I believe all of humanity benefits from the incredible advances in technology, and you should be a part of the 21st century transformation which technology is bringing right now… no matter what field you end up getting into.

I would HIGHLY encourage a career in IT, and am extremely gratified to see that the Arapahoe/Douglas Youth in the Works! Youth Council is promoting it so effectively.  My last 10-year career span in IT allowed me to achieve personal dreams I’ve held onto since I was 21, and so a career in IT will do so for many others of today’s youth.

Les Konley
Parker, CO

leskonley.com | soothstudios.com

Vernal Emergence

Here’s the best song you’ve ever heard for a movie soundtrack… IF an ambient Sci-Fi-inspired hybrid orchestral progression in deep space, using dreamy pads and drones fits the mood. Subsonic waves wash over your body with dark, low synths, and solid sonic booms will send tremors up your shin bones… but ONLY if you experience the song with a subwoofer. If you’re only listening on ear buds, I feel sorry that you’re missing out on most of the dark energy contained in this song. The progression finishes with a final build reminiscent of the textures heard on Alan Parsons Project’s “I Robot” title track. Thanks 8Dio and Spitfire for helping make this possible.