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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Dream Theater, Rudess, Portnoy and Your iPad

If you own an iPad, and use it for music, then you are indebted to Jordan Rudess even if you don't know who he is. You are indebted to the band Dream Theater, who provides the day job that makes his attention possible. If you love your iPad, you should go to iTunes and go buy some Dream Theater and Jordan Rudess music for your collection. You should go buy his program Morphwiz, which is his own entry into the fray.

Like a Santa Clause with a different beard, he seems to be in so many places at once. He is the keyboardist for Dream Theater; composing, and on tour. He does work for social causes and benefits. He is a gauntlet through which all new instruments seem to require passage to succeed. He is a family guy with kids. He is the personal friend of many an iPad/iPhone programmer that works on an instrument, and has the pulse of everything that is happening in this area. He provides us with feedback from the real-world and motivation to do what we do, especially when it dawns upon us that the quest for a professionally useful instrument doesn't necessarily have anything to do with making an app with mass appeal that will bring in money for our efforts. When you spend forever getting that last 10% of the code right, you think to yourself that if you perfect the sound, then you can rely on Jordan to get it the publicity it needs to succeed - so you press on.

If you have ever come in to work one day to find that the best people - the people that you love most - have decided to leave, then you have some idea what comes next. Mourning is inevitable, but it is also destructive. Don't yearn for the past. Support the new brother that they bring in to fill the shoes of the one that they have lost. In some ways they might be a new band as they have to re-learn things with the changed formula; so be extra-supportive of these guys as they go through this. I don't know what this means for his current level of involvement with us - whether he starts picking the fruits of the research that has been going on with this platform, or he gets back to basics and re-focusing on piano and composing. If you have never heard of Dream Theater, then go check them out and know that they have contributed a lot to the iPhone and iPad platforms.

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