You know you’re getting older when those that you’ve idolized for more than a 1/4 century (and more importantly, those that have made a huge impact/influence on you) start passing away…
I was in Johannesburg earlier this week on the Creative Days tour when I heard about Ray’s passing, and all I can say is…I hope he’s hanging with Jim Morrison right now, sharing a laugh, a smoke, and making some great music…and I’m quite sure he is.
To say that Ray was a *huge* influence on my musical development (and most directly, my piano/organ playing) is really an understatement. Considering that I’ve been playing for more than, ahem, 30 years, there are still several Doors songs that are not only in my daily rotation (as piano exercises, among other things) but even now, as I’m writing this blog, I’m simultaneously mastering a few recent live takes of my ‘Just Play Music’ series, in which I play a classic Doors number (and a Manzarek masterpiece, in terms of left hand/right hand counterpoint) entitled, You’re Lost Little Girl.
I was fortunate to have seen Ray twice in person, live on stage. Once, back in 1999 at Alice Cooper’stown in Phoenix with his own band; and then about 5 years later with the re-formed “Doors of the 21st Century” alongside fellow Doorsman Robby Krieger and former Cult singer, (and Jim Morrison doppelgänger) Ian Astbury. In both appearances, Ray’s playing (not surprisingly) was as fresh and articulate as it ever was. Masterful, really…with the perfect (and consistent) blend of blues-R&B-infused jazz and classical with a side of psychedelia. The man CREATED this style; my ‘left-handed piano bass’ chops are a direct result of listening (and mimicking) countless Doors songs when I was young; and my continued use of this style today has subsequently turned everything I’ve done into a semi ‘tribute to Ray’ in some small way. I’m not overstating either…it’s true.
If you ever heard Ray speak, his voice and his word choices were equally as unique as his playing style. While I’ve heard some some say that his vernacular was often ‘stuck in a kind of 60s idealism’, this was the man. Spiritual, hopeful, realistic, mystical, magical and chock-full of the wisdom of his years. To hear him tell a story (he even did a few spoken word CDs in the mid-90s, recounting tales of The Doors, Jim, and their lives) he was truly an orator–one whose vocal eloquence and diction not only captivated the listener, but kept one on the edge of his every word.
In one of his final video appearances (for The Doors’ ‘Making Of LA Woman’ 40th Anniversary documentary) Ray quotes a line of Jim’s from Roadhouse Blues (found on ‘Morrison Hotel’, the previous album)…”The future’s uncertain, and the end is always near.” Ray had apparently only told his current bandmates about his illness (a very rare form of bile duct cancer) several months ago before seeking special treatment in Germany, where he ultimately passed away. But the man was STILL playing, still gigging and still doing it all until the end; because after all, the future *is* uncertain and the end *was* always near. He had 74 glorious years before he met his end—but his words, his wisdom and his musical legacy live on, in me and in countless others.
Rest in Peace, Raymond Daniel Manzarek. Here’s to breaking-on-thru to the other side…
Greetings all! I’ve been home less than 24-hours from MAX2013, and what can I say? It was an incredible event this year. And while I have a separate “MAX Wrap-Up” post planned, I wanted to first post a few things that I promised during my sessions.
As mentioned during MAX, AdobeTV just published a three-part series I recently shot on DSLR Editing, which includes not only Premiere Pro, but Adobe Prelude CC and a section of DSLR Multicamera Editing, featuring the AMAZING new ‘audio sync’ feature, an exciting new addition to Premiere Pro CC. Those episodes are posted below (Parts 1-3)
Tomorrow I’ll be posting the additional classes, “Edit What You Want: Ingest and Selection with Adobe Prelude”, “Advanced Mixing Techniques” and “Encoding For Web and Tablets”.
As many of you have heard and seen, we revealed the next version of After Effects at NAB2013 (and have officially been showing After Effects CC at AdobeMAX this week), and the ‘big’ news was that we now offer a true, live 3D Pipeline directly into Maxon Cinema4D. Build your models, bring them into After Effects, go back to C4D and make changes, and they update inside AE’s composition panel. No rendering, no re-importing or messing about, just working the way you’d (hoped) you could work…and we finally made it happen.
I was fortunate to not only meet a bunch of the guys from Maxon (and present alongside one of their finest, Mathias Omotola) but the more I’ve played with this feature (pre-NAB/MAX, and since then) I can honestly say that it sincerely makes 3D ‘accessible’ to the AE compositor who simply thought the 3D/2D worlds were too far apart; or in most cases, simply fearing that 3D was too difficult.
Nick Campbell (from Greyscalegorilla) and Dave Kiss (from the Maxon team) put together this great video highlighting the workflow, the capabilities, giving you a taste of ‘the buzz’ from the show floor (including clips from the my After Effects/Maxon presentation with Mathias.
Not long after we finished our last demo of the day, we caught up with none other than Mr. ScruffyTV himself, Kanen Flowers. Though I’ve known of Kanen for years, we only officially met at the San Francisco Supermeet back in January. In one of those rare, “I met you five minutes ago and I feel like I’ve known you my whole life,” kinda moments, we re-connected at NAB, shared a few laughs, did a quick interview, and then snapped a few post-tradeshow pics in the spirit of fun and total exhaustion.
The weeks that followed were filled with lots of comments from attendees of the show to those who experienced my demos ‘live from the stage’ on AdobeTV; but the nicest thing about all of it? Everyone seemed genuinely excited about this new direction for AE and this much-needed partnership in the 3D modeling world.
At the end of each presentation, Mathias concluded with the line, “Welcome to the family.” Perfect words for a perfect (and long-awaited) coming-together of technologies.
Welcome to After Effects CC and Cinema 4D as they were meant to be: working together.
It’s that time of year, and another Creative Tour is on the horizon. With AdobeMAX only a few days away, and NAB already weeks behind, it’s clear that the excitement (and travel) will continue–and we couldn’t be happier to be bringing the ‘next’ versions of the Adobe Creative Applications to you.
This year, we have a unified site where you can find all the information you need for each city. I’ve added individual links here so that you can register and come spend some quality time with us, learning about all the new goodies we have to offer in a city near you…
Just a quickie following another packed day on the show floor. Hard to believe that it’s all over tomorrow, but in many ways…it’s just beginning (wink)!
As day 3 is typically ‘hump day’ and many begin to exit Vegas in droves, we were somewhat a-stereotypically slammed! And, as if the huge crowds weren’t enough…we even continued to have several noise complaints from neighboring booths (sorry guys…we didn’t mean to be loud). But hopefully some of the traffic that was blocking the aisles made their way to our friends along the perimeter.
Aside from the After Effects/C4D integration, Refine Edge Tool/Refine Soft Matte and naturally, *all* of the Premiere Pro editing enhancements (which have been met with spontaneous applause, nearly every time), the other big hit of the show has been SpeedGrade. The talk around SG has really grown over the last year…but with some of our new shot-matching capabilities and redesigned UI, along with the Lumetri Deep Color Engine and LUT capabilities being present in the ‘revealed’ version of Premiere Pro, I sense a lot of people moving to SpeedGrade not only as a solution for grading their materials, but for creating LUTs and color presets to use in and out of Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop. Case in point: as I walked by the RED booth today, I saw a demo being given to a packed house, showcasing Epic 5K footage being graded in SpeedGrade (showcasing several of the new features). Beyond cool, and what a slick confirmation that the word is out!
One day and four more presentations to go. What a week it’s been…
What can I say? The Big Reveal was a HUGE success! Today at NAB, we revealed ‘What’s New’ (or rather, what’s coming in the next versions of) After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition, Prelude, SpeedGrade and the official launch of another product I was involved with back in August/September, Adobe Anywhere.
The buzz, the excitement, the packed booth…it was madness, but in a good way. We were literally jam packed/standing-room-only for the better part of 8 hours, with not only our own Adobe presentations, but with those from our esteemed customers who graciously joined us to show their Adobe magic with their own content and workflow tricks.
After half-a-dozen presentations, I left the show floor tired but inspired by what had just happened, and all I can say is: thank you. Thank you to the thousands of customers who came out to see us, shake a hand, give us your feedback, snap some pics and share in the excitement. The pleasure is truly ours, the journey has only just begun and we’re here, listening…always.