I'm starting to come down from the mountain & distill my thoughts a bit on this whole Big Sur thing. I thought that a place to share thoughts, reflections, & things we learned - both technically & personally - might be a benefit to the whole forum.
The beginnings were simple & humble.
I'll start in with something I learned Sunday night that meant a lot. Cliff & Ken started the quest for the L1 with a simple meeting to decide how they could help musicians. That is a pretty lofty goal, & started with a simple conversation. It wasn't a high-powered board meeting with marketers & engineers, just a simple meeting between two friends to talk about the problems we all face as musicians. Knowing that this wonderful system we get so much from started from such humble beginnings gives me a nice warm fuzzy.
Just try it.
The other thing I learned was that the first concepts Cliff had for a line array "cylindrical radiator" speaker were looked on by the Bose engineers as a bad idea. If Cliff hadn't already created a prototype that worked, the idea may have died as just that - an idea. But Cliff had a very direct & child-like way of looking at it - something we can all learn a lesson from. He said, "Just try it." Can you imagine that a speaker as meaningful to us as musicians came from someone experimenting with sound concepts & saying, "Just try it." The Bose engineers did try it, & lo & behold, it worked! That lesson became a personal motto for us at Big Sur when dealing with folks who have never heard the L1 & are only concerned with the concept & the specs. Jussst Tryyy Iiiit... It works for a lot of things in life, & is a great way to understand the engineer's mind.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom Munch,
What I learned in Big Sur is that I wasn't even remotely prepared for what swallowed me up and spit me onto an eastbound jet 3 days later, stunned and mesmerized. What was that? What just happened to me?
I said to Tom here that this post would probably be the safety valve blowing, finally, for all of us. I'm still pressurized and compressd from it all, but such a thread, I think, will be the vehicle we all need to get the True Story of this 3-day supernova out not just for us but for all to enjoy and learn from. Thanks Tom for lighting the fuse.
Oh Boy, what fun.
I learned about Clarity. Clarity about what this system is, clarity about the purity of music, clarity about life.
Clarity about what this system is -
Here's something I posted to the AD forum* a couple days ago.
Our product & our company is different. This is reflected in everything we do, from design to sales to customer service. The design was based on a philosophy of creating something to make live music better & simpler. The sales is based on a transparency that we are here to help more than to make zillions of dollars. The service is that we will teach the customer how to use & enjoy the system through personal training & unmatched access to the wealth of knowledge on our forums, & we will take care of them if anything goes wrong.
Clarity about the purity of music -
One of the most striking moments in our entire meeting occurred late in the afternoon on Tuesday. After remaining quiet for most of the event, David Schiffman of the Big Sur Natives spoke so eloquently about music & how the L1 lets us deliver it that he took our collective breath away. I am in hopes that a transcript will be posted when it is made of his few but piercing words. He spoke to what music fulfills in all of us & to our need to share it & spread it to all. He spoke to the desire to get it from the heart out into the world unfettered & pure. He was grateful that the L1 allowed him to do this so transparently that the purity could chime through. It almost stopped my heart.
Here is a link to what he said: David Schiffman quote
Clarity about life -
It's not too hard to see what impact these thoughts have on your life if you let them. (I'm writing this with tears streaming down my cheeks.) Life really is about the bonds you build & share with others. It is about the beauty that music pours into our lives & flows all around. It is about that ethereal thing called love & the genuine thoughts & feelings that weave all around it - music, love, peace, soulfullness. Ahh...a little decompression...
*For those of you who don't know the AD's. AD's are " Assisted Direct" sales representatives. We are scattered throughout the country as representatives of Bose who give Bose a personal face in your neighborhood. We'll give you a knowledgeable demonstration of the system in your own practice space or venue & help you understand how to set up & use the system. We are a wonderful local resource for you. You'll see us all over the forums here. We're frequent posters & were chosen because we had a desire to help & a thorough understanding of the L1. Here's a list of the guys: Assisted Direct Sales Reps
[edited to add David Schiffman link]This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom Munch,
The guys who run this company are all genuine guys with a real concern for music & making it.
I think you could already figure this out with a speaker as good as the L1, but I wasn't prepared to find out that these guys are all giants of men - but humble & equally as respectful of you & willing to see you as a giant to them. That's uncommon in my experience & very much a pleasant surprise.
Also they are a small company in this division - LMTG (Live Music Technology Group), & very much a startup. The guys you see & interact with on the forum are the majority of employees, & very much WYSIWYG (What you see is what you get). There is no hidden agenda or ulterior motive.
This makes me feel much more a part of them & proud to know them & use their products.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Tom Munch,
There's a TON of technology & engineering packed into the L1.
It's deceptive that something so simple is full of engineering theory & technology. The cylindrical radiator waveform was highly theoretical before this application in the L1. Each of the guys in LMTG is a very accomplished engineer - some with patents to their names. The experimentation that led to the L1 was backed with the knowledge & understanding of thousands of hours of study & contemplation about sound. It wasn't an accident that this speaker was invented, but a culmination of thought & dreams.
The amazing thing is that it is so simple - one speaker, very few controls, great sound.
It's not about what you play, but how you play it.
This is pretty obvious to a lot of musicians, but it was really driven home to me in Big Sur. When I played my set on Tuesday I connected with the group in a way that was very gratifying. I was tired, I bobbled a lot of notes on the guitar, but my heart was in the right place. Ken told me that there were two ways to measure a performance - technically & emotionally. Technically I knew I hadn't given my best performance, but emotionally I couldn't have been more into it & connected to my audience.
I know I've found this in the studio, but it's a lesson I don't mind learning again & again. Get into your performance & the audience will follow you. The passion you feel for the music is directly related to the passion the audience feels for the music, & by extension - for you.
Where do I start?
Here's a teenyweeny of what I learned:
"you're a musician, like it or not" (thanks David Schiffman). Implied: "so get out there and play, stupid." Amen, brother. I'm on it.
Examples of the great team player's attitude made real:
1. Ken Bausano, after levelling everyone with a stunning trumpet solo. He waved off the applause everyone was rousing. I know why too. It was "stop that and listen to the music"
2. Steve Miller got up and just sang. It wasn't The Steve Miller the undeniable Monster American Icon, but rather Steve the singer in the band. It was a thrill to learn this about such a personable and delightful man: he's totally transcended his enormous celebrity, a very difficult accomplishment. Wow.
3. Aaron Stone's playing. This guy truly played for the band, for the song, and not to hear his instrument.
4. ST and The Joseph, set it all up so others could make the play. Bravo.
So, dribs and drabs are starting to emerge for me.
This forum has inestimable value.
I knew the guys on this forum were going above & beyond to help others, but I didn't know it was also because they are genuinely concerned for others. If you are new to the L1 & new to the forum, take advantage of the expertise & kindness you will find here. We are all willing to help you & know our craft.
The biggest factor in this stems from the fact that we were all drawn here because we recognized excellence & caring in the engineering & design of this product. Goodness begets goodness, & the caliber of the L1 drew the caliber of musicians that are here to help on this forum.
The Bose engineers are genuinely interested in you.
I was just amazed that the Bose guys (Cliff, Ken, Kyle, Chris, Guy, & Wiggy) were honestly interested in my opinions of the L1 & its design & engineering. Of course this makes for a better company & a better product, but it doesn't speak to their sincerity or personal attention - that goes way beyond.
Isn't it obvious in our world that the personal interactions we make can define us & make our lives richer? The Bose guys seem to understand this intuitively.
Seeing the sights & experiencing great things make life worthwhile.
Don't we all know this, but aren't we so afraid to let it happen to us?
Go out & live life.
Put yourself in challenging situations with the possibility of greatness.
Surround yourself with beauty in your eyes, your ears, your heart.
Show respect for others.
Take a trip - spiritually or physically.
Go outside yourself.
Give all your attention to another being.
This was the first time I ever actually heard a large band play thru individual L1 systems at a distance and I was totally floored.
I really couldn't tell that the sound wasn't emminating right from the players themselves, and was beautifully acoustic, uncolored. Perfect. I was stunned.
Chris, Cliff, & Ken put on an amazing discussion & demonstration of bass irregularities with the B1 live in a room that was extremely helpful to those of us who never feel we have enough. (I also learned that in fact I do have enough, I just didn't know it.)
With all the talk on the forums, nothing really beats a live demo by guys who know their stuff.
Why hasn't every thinking musician on the planet bought an L1 and how can we all help get the word out & teach others about this?
I really liked Ron(jazz)'s lighter-side comments, went something like this; "you've sold X0,000 units right? Well, what's the problem? I don't want you to sell more, I like having an edge!" Oh yeah.
But of course we want to get more L1s into the marketplace if for nothing more than our own enjoyment when we go out to hear live music. We also need to keep our support team living a lifestyle they are accustomed to.
I don't think we came up with any solid answers but we did remind ourselves of the committment - "we've got to do something about live music, it sucks! (i.e. it's too loud and obnoxious).
We are doing it.
Everyone was so beautiful, life changing.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Drumr,
What I learned at Big Sur, part "n" (the macro view)
My expectations for Big Sur: We would go out to do product workshops, tell everyone about history and technology, talk about business stuff, meet the cats, hear some good music. That's what I thought it would be.
What actually happened is that we all jumped into a big primordial vapor-cloud together (much to our collective amazement). We played music when we wanted, at will, without any setup restrictions and communed in a totally uncontrolled and wildly resonant environment (the barn: oh my god). Through this, we relearned how much we all love music, both as givers and recipients.
And so, what actually happened is that, in an atmosphere of pure love and inspiration, we learned how to make better music. We learned how to play better, for us and for our audience. Today, after a mere 3 days evolving in the Hidden Barn Petrie Dish, we are all transformed, better, and more valuable to the world. We all have been so curious about our "symptoms": being stunned and disoriented from the experience. I'm still that way. I think this is why: Not really knowing it at the time, we all stood and absorbed the full force of the invisible supernova we generated together, smacked dead in the face.
I must tell you that a result like this has always been the fondest dream of Ken and I since the very beginning. We know that music is oxygen for the spririt of our race of humans. We know music is vital and irreplaceable, and that we simply must have it. So it has always been our dream that our new technology would empower, liberate and propel today's artists, allowing them to be what they dream of being.
In my opinion, that's what happened at Big Sur.
Cliff, it is so cool to know how much it meant to you. You guys have had countless bands up to the mountain at Bose. You've traveled to meet big-name artists. I figured you would have had many situations with musicians like we had in Big Sur, & yet it was as real & as big an encounter for you & the Bose guys as it was for us Bose-O's users as well. I'll be. I'm speechless.
Cliff, I just re-read your last post, & I can't think of a better way to put it. We did create a psychic & electrical energy, full of expectations & dreams & anticipation & emotion. That ball of energy we let go as a mass was overwhelming when we felt the backwash. I have to feel that the place & even the building contributed in a mighty way. I think we were each burning so brightly that the combined flame touched every part of our being.
"Stunned & disoriented from the experience"...totally. My wife, reading over my shoulder at your post, so agrees with you, even though she isn't a musician and hesistated to go with me at the outset.
She said she wished we would have skipped San Fran and spent the whole time in Big sur.
"more valuable to the world" Oh yes. I realize that what I lack in talent compared to the other folks there, that I make up for in my sheer love and enthusiasm for you guys and the Bose L1, which caused a musical rebirth for me, and I was born-again-again at Big Sur.
I played some video for the guys at practice last night, they absoluted loved Alley-Oop! We had a great laugh together.
That was one of my favorite moments, Cliff is such a natural performer. Even when he lost sound to the keyboard in the middle of the song, he never lost his composure. Picked it right up at the chorus! It took a little coercion to get him up there, but it was so worth it!!
I'm tellinya. I never played Oop like that. Tony Sarno and I have been fooling around with it just playing together, only in the key of C. When uall backed me up against the wall to play something (I couldn't refuse), it just kind of landed on the piano and started playing. Inexplicably, it started way down in G and I thought "woah, this feels different". But as it went on, it worked great, felt fine, was a better range for my voice and that's how I'll do it from now on.
I love that tune, so much fun, no angst, pure kid stuff. "The cats don't bug him 'cause they know betta". Wow: The Bomb.
It was a gift from the Supernova for sure.
Please, don't change a thing, Cliff. It was perfect!
Well, it's been two weeks almost to the hour since I arrived back in Phoenix from our gathering in Big Sur. I have been hesitant to post anything here as I am still digesting it and have yet to put my finger completely on what I learned.
My expectations were similar to Cliff's. I have had a busy few months with work, traveling, the family and gigs. The five days leading up to the gathering included three gigs and a 2 1/2 day business trip so I was ready for a little down time. This was going to be fun. Hanging out with musicians, playing music, talking Bose stuff and all in a beautiful setting. Your basic Bose fanatic's "Dream Vacation." It was all that and more as I experienced everything much the same as everyone you see in the posts on this forum. When I got home I was very excited and shared some of the events, performances and experiences with my family but remember saying "but I'm not sure what got out of this trip." The reason I say that is there was something unsettling like unfinished business. I felt like I missed something and couldn't figure out what.
A few hours of down time and it was off to another gig. Back to business. It was in North Scottsdale at a private country club in the foothills. We played outside starting around sunset and the whole evening was beautiful. The band sounded amazing from the start. No sound check. Just plug in and play. I should be surprised but with the L1's nothing surprises me anymore. On the few solos I do take, I noticed the notes were coming out a little easier and different then the last 5 years of playing the same tunes every weekend. I am not a monster player by any means. I hadn't worked on these tunes or any new ideas but things were just coming out of my horn in different way. After all there is only so much you can do with "Brick House". I chalked it up to coming back from vacation or maybe just being delirious or jet lagged from traveling. The next day I was sitting in my office trying to get back to reality and the day-to-day stuff and I couldn't. There was still something I was missing. As I read some of your posts as you were returning (I was still jealous of those that couldn't post anything because you were still there!) I was getting some of the same responses that I was feeling. That weekend, the same thing happened on the gig. The band sounded great and things were just coming out of the horn differently.
Fast forward two weeks to now. I haven't come down from the trip yet. The only word that's making sense so far is "enlightenment". Tom Munch described it as "clarity". Things are still coming out of my horn differently. I am making headway on some projects in my home studio that were stalled and at a dead-end. In the corporate world I have been to many training sessions, motivational seminars and team-building events that were so supposed to get you focused on your work and life but usually lasted until you pulled out of the parking lot into traffic. I remember a post prior to the the gathering from someone (sorry I forgot who but there were a lot of posts!) who had spent time in Big Sur and said it changed his life. I thought that was pretty cool but I was only going to be there 2 1/2 days so come on! There is a "vibe" there. Joseph, Barkley, Brock, Theresa, Patrice and everyone else there are very real people and have their own "vibe" too. You welcomed us Bose-people like we were family. Even though many of us only knew each other as an alias or avatar on the musicians forum, we brought our own collective "vibe" with us and it all culminated in the supernova Cliff described. That Big Sur "vibe" is very infectious and fortunately there is no cure!
What I learned is "Life is too short!" "Make music!" "Make people happy!" "Be happy yourself!" "Don't sweat the small stuff!" and a lot of other corny phrases the rest of the world should pay more attention to. I learned you are all great and very "real" people. It's hard to find that anymore anywhere! I learned that there is a lot more I have yet to learn and feel like I'm starting a new journey. I am glad to see others that attended are feeling the same things and people are even noticing a difference in them. I'll quit rambling now. I'm sure more things will pop up and I'll post more as time goes on. Thanks to all who made this possible. It was an amazing experience and I wouldn't miss the next one for the world!
Oh yeah.....and we have this amazing creation called the "L1" that helped bring all this together and is making life better for all of us!
Thanks, Dean. As life gets back to normal (as if it ever will again) I need to hear everyone reaffirm the high I still feel in stolen moments from our time together in Big Sur.
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