Goodbye Apple. Hello Alberta School of Business!

I guess it’s about time I mention it broadly, rather than simply hint at it or just let a few folk know.

As of the end of the month, I’ll be leaving my very cool and amazing world-class family at Apple retail and joining the team at the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta.

It wasn’t an easy decision, leaving the industry-leading unique culture of Apple retail. But it basically boiled down to lifestyle; I wanted my weekends and evenings back to spend time with my family.

I leave with very fond memories. Apple is an amazing organization. I consider it a personal privilege that I was able to learn and grow within, and perhaps help influence and contribute to the growth others.

Yes, I’ll miss the people and the unique Apple culture.

In my new role at the Alberta School of Business, I’ll be working with the marketing and communications teams to bring my social media, PR and communications knowledge to bear on the School’s strategic plans. Similar to what I’ve done with the AMA, Empire Avenue and BioWare.

So, yes, bittersweet, and full of promise and excitement!

I can’t wait!

A sidenote: it’s very cool when the Dean of the school follows you on LinkedIn and you’ve not even started yet! Reassuring, in fact.

Lesson One: Major Scale


Ok, this may seem a bit weird to regular readers of my blog, but I’m going to be archiving my coursework in my Berklee/Coursera programs on this blog.

Perhaps someone else will get some value out of it, or offer hints or suggestions for improvements. Either way, it’ll make it a very easy reference to me and my growth through this course


Coursera – Developing your musicianship – Peer Assignment 1 – Lesson One: Major Scale

Write in your own words the definitions of harmony, ear training, and interval.

Harmony – the relationship between notes played at the same time, or chords. Notes played together that create a generally pleasing sound is often called harmonious, and notes that don’t sound good together are often described as disharmonious. Harmonious notes are used to build a chord or chord progression.

Ear Training – The activity that teaches you to consistently, correctly identify a particular sound and associate it to a musical tone or equivalent sound from an instrument. Ear training will enable you to identify when a singer is singing off key, or on key.

Interval – The difference in pitch or tone between two notes. Using the 12 note scale, the interval can be expressed as either a WHOLE interval or HALF interval depending on which notes are used to make up the scale.

There is a specific pattern to the interval between notes in the 12 note scale: W-W-H-W-W-W-H.

In the key of C, a half interval exists between C and C#, and a whole interval exists between C and D. Wheras in the key of E, a half interval exists between E and F, and a whole interval exists between E and F#.

Find three recordings of songs in the key of C and post links to performances of them that you find on YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, or a similar public video site.

Some resources I found helpful to determine song key:

Write the C major scale on the staff by hand.

(TYPE A OR B) WeeklyBeats9

WeeklyBeats submission for week 9. I may have gone over the top on this one. Intro is very heavy handed. Experimented with the new Z3TA+ synth for iPad, as well as the current stable; Thor, SunrizerXS, Nave, and a little Magellan. Lots of pans. Some compression. A big experiment in many ways…. I hope you enjoy!

Album Art a shot from Artwick’s original Flight Simulator for the Apple ][.

Update: Love the comment I received on it over at WeeklyBeats:

Nice! Soundtrack for the birth of a new galaxy! Sounds great in my ATH-M50s!

WeeklyBeats7 – Cold Night

Cover for my latest submission to WeeklyBeats 2014. Wanted to go for an atmospheric sound again, something more ambient. Maybe this worked. Maybe not, but it came out as a complete unit. Also tried sticking to a small ‘band’. In this case used instruments from SampleTank: Blue Phaser electric piano, Xpander Phat synth pad, Cosmic Pad synth pad, and Minimoog echo 2 synth lead.

Also brought in some Abstract Atmosphere 50 from Garageband — which I used as my DAW.

Image is from something I took out the window a bunch of years ago. Loved the light pillars in the minus 40 weather.

Cool Thing: A browser based Theremin

Well, it’s not really a Theremin but more of a sound toy. Yes, it’s a great distraction and something to pique the curiosity of your cubemates. HTML5 based, it’s a very cool implementation. The author states he’s working on an update that will allow you to play along with your own music.. cool! Check it out!

WeeklyBeats5 – The Conversation

My latest submission to WeeklyBeats 2014. Had a lot of technical challenges with this one. Slower beat required more consideration of instrument selection and placement. Also had to get various samples to sound ‘good’ at this beat and discovered the muddiness that can be introduced by tweaking the sample frequency. Not a great tune, but a great learning experience.

Novation Launchpad, Thor, GarageBand provided the tech and zing. Cafe.mp3 sample courtesy of moson on FreeSound.org