Transcription: 0354 - Steve Horelick

Released: April 25, 2021

Darwin: Okay today, I have the great pleasure of getting to speak with Steve Horelick. Steve is the Executive VP and Publisher for a company called Nonlinear Educating. Those of you who spend any time online will know that company as the people behind macProVideo, which is one of my favorite video education sites. Ask.Video, Ask.Audio, they have a pretty strong presence out there in terms of providing insight into how to learn the use of software and hardware. I have to admit that it was macProVideo's Octatrack stuff that helped me learn how to use that beast of a system. I almost said "piece of shit", but I didn't actually say that. I have always been a big fan of their insights on things like working with Logic, which is another series that I've always enjoyed, have always been really insightful and helped me become a better producer. So with no more gabbing on my part let's talk to Steve.

Being in the middle of like video education has gotta be a trip right now because it seems to me that everybody I've talked to has taken the opportunity of isolation to dive in and learn things more deeply than they did. So my assumption is that that you are seeing a lot of growth in what you do.

Steve: And your assumption is absolutely correct. We've always had a very substantial subscriber base, but what we're finding is that people are spending more time on our sites than they ever have before. So, the engagement level is way up.

Darwin: Your stuff tends to focus specifically on creative pursuits. So it's mostly music software and then some graphic software as well. Right?

Steve: That's correct. My background has always been music and audio and that side of the business. So our sites are kind of naturally weighted towards music and audio, but you're absolutely right. We do have really great courses on all the video software platforms, filmmaking, animation, drawing, design, photography, those are our strong points.

Darwin: What is it that led you to want to focus on the creative arts? I think historically people look at anything related to creative and kind of whisper to themselves: "There's no money to be made there."

Steve: Well, I think it just naturally evolved that way. Martin Sitter, who started the company, was a DJ and he was also Apple's lead writer for their books, like how to use different pieces of software. I actually met Martin, as he was the author of the first "How To Use Logic" book that Apple sponsored. When Apple contacted me to become one of their first batch of trainers, because I'd been using Logic for many years since like 2.0, and using it professionally because I was scoring lots of TV shows. So they wanted people with some Logic cred and some business cred to get out there in the world and help them promote their new purchase. Logic as you know was purchased from a German company called Emagic.

Steve: And so I met, Martin Sitter, our CEO, who was just starting a company to do these online courses cause he saw the future. He really believed that people weren't going to be spending a lot of time in books to learn how to use software. He always felt there was a major disconnect there when you could actually show people how to use software. So he was a real pioneer in this online education community. And of course, because of his background in audio and music it kind of has always tilted in that direction.

Darwin: Right, now there was a time when a macProVideo productions were DVDs that would get sent via mail. You guys actually really predated a lot of the technology that we actually take for granted now. How has it been surfing the technological wave as that's been changing over the years?

Steve: We actually innovated the whole idea of downloading videos into a proprietary player that someone would actually own and play on their desktops. We may have been the first company to do that. Now, of course, online education has changed so much over the years and we certainly have always been in the forefront of creating the technology to make that happen. And yes, we used to ship DVDs all over the world. When I first started with the company, which was as a Logic tutor, Logic expert. Before I became even a part of the company, they were still shipping DVDs.

Darwin: Yeah. I think I actually still have like my first MPV DVD stuck in some case in some bin in my garage somewhere.

Steve: Well, yeah. For you collectors out there, you might even be able to find some on Amazon still.

Darwin: No doubt. I'm very interested in how you got involved in doing this, what is your current role? I mean, you said your title is Executive VP and Publisher, which it's hard to know what that means because those are both sort of like "Corpo" words. What does it, what does it mean in real life?

Steve: Well, in real life, there's a lot of work that goes behind releasing courses. We don't have a site where anybody can post a course. We're not a YouTube, we're not a collection where anyone who decides they want to be a tutor or an instructor can go and post a course. Our instructors are highly vetted. My hats that I wear are varied. I'm always on the look for new instructors and, not only new instructors who know their topics, but who can teach. And that's sometimes a disconnect. A lot of people know stuff. A lot of people don't know how to transmit that knowledge and share that knowledge in a way that can educate a bunch of different learners who all have different learning styles. So a lot of my time is spent looking for new trainers, training the new trainers, working with the manufacturers to do figure out what courses to make, what products are being released, trying to make sure that we get advanced notice on absolutely everything that we can in order to make sure that we are current with new releases, contracting the trainers, making the deals, basically everything that you see on our site passes through me as publisher. Approving the artwork, down to the scripts for the training.

So it's basically the whole content side of our site. Now our company has a whole different side because we do all of our own tech. We have our own dev people. So anything that you actually see is because of our dev team. They're the ones who create this wonderful learning environment that we've created on our sites. So basically if I would change my moniker it would be like Chief Content Officer or something like that.

Darwin: Thet helps because I think everybody recognizes that there are several arms to any kind of online learning thing. My wife is a teacher. I get to see a little bit of the difference between teaching and the technology behind online teaching. And so two very different skill sets and two different kinds of people. And so it's good to understand where you're coming from. It seems to me sort of extraordinary for you to be in the position you're in. It's kind of one of those things where I think for a certain kind of people, it's like, "That's a dream job." And, I'm sure you look at it as like, well, they don't know how much work it is, but still it's a neat position to be in. I'm kind of curious about your background and how you found yourself in this spot.

You kind of filled us in a little bit, but, you also dropped a few nuggets about scoring a lot of TV shows and some extreme knowledge of Logic that was kind of precursor info. And that kind of points us all the way back to your beginnings. You are clearly someone who's comfortable with music because you are. You're also though obviously someone who is not scared off by technology because you were a strong user and proponent of Logic and it's relatively early days. I'm kind of curious where you're coming from. What is your background and how did you get to be the creative individual that you are?

Steve: Long before technology entered my life, I was a musician, studied piano from the age of eight, studied composition and arranging and scoring in high school. We had a great program that really propelled me into going to university to be a composition major. So I've been a musician my whole life. When I applied to Carnegie Mellon University as a composer, they didn't have a major as a composer in those days. So they created one and there were two of us that were accepted as composers in our freshman year. It was usually something you had to declare coming from an instrumental background in your junior year, but they created a program for me and who and a wonderful composer named Brenda Hutchinson, who's always been a very dear friend. And we plowed our way through this incredibly intense program that they created. So yeah, music is my soul. However, education has always been my soul, too. I love teaching. And, I got my first teaching experience as a student teacher at the Aspen Music Festival working under a wonderful teacher and composer, Julliard professor named Michael Czajkowski. Michael was one of the early users of Buchla systems. He had the original San Francisco Tape Music Center Buchla system that he would bring out to Aspen every year. And it was there that I really fell in love with electronic music and in particular, the Buchla style of musical instrument.

Darwin: Interesting. I'm going to want to dive into that a bunch, but before we do, what was it about Michael's teaching or Michael's mentorship that was so groundbreaking for you? It sounds like that really set a foundation for you wanting to be involved in education. I'm curious because - I've always thought I wanted to be education, but I never had someone like that. That was a flagpole that I could say, "That's what I want to look like." It seems like this guy was that for you.

Steve: He was and he's still a very good friend. It was his kindness, you know, it's really hard being a young composer and putting yourself out there in a vulnerable way, because writing music is a very vulnerable thing. It's coming directly from your heart, from your soul. It's your feelings being put into another language before it gets to be performed. Michael was just one of those really kind, honest, direct persons who was able to see what I needed as a student and provide that to me. And I'm sure he did that with all his students, but I need to go back a little bit further because the person who really inspired me more than anybody was my high school composition teacher. Having the opportunity to study music composition and in high school was really a life changer for me.

We're talking about the seventies, the early seventies, I was a kind of a turbulent time. I wasn't sure whether I was going to be sent off to Vietnam. I was an adventurous young man who was feeling kind of lost in the system. And so, being able to channel my creativity through a composition program in high school, and my teacher was a fellow named Robert Geillis. Mr. Geillis, he was really strict. I mean, he really didn't let you get away with anything. There was a quiz every day. And when you submitted a song or an orchestration of some sort, it came back with a lot of red marks on it. But it was that tough love that I really needed to focus myself.

Because he was able to see something in me that I didn't see in myself cause I was just kind of winging it. He inspired me so deeply to excel in something that I love. Having that moment at a time in my life where I actually needed that, being a little bit of a lost soul in the sense in high school and having someone who was able to focus my creativity and point me in a direction that I loved and made sure that I wasn't cutting any corners along the way. That was transformative.

Darwin: This is really quite interesting. And one of the things that that is especially interesting to me is this kind of tough love component because in a way, that seems to be something that educators are a little scared to do now - to basically say what you're doing is misguided or too self-focused or not following the rules or not paying attention to the rules or not at least honoring the rules... There a lot of sense that that's not a part of education anymore. And it's interesting to hear that that was very much part of your education and something that you felt like you needed.

Steve: That's definitely true. I have a daughter who's an educator and who's also pursuing her doctorate in curriculum design right now. So she's kind of on the forefront of all of these issues. And so I get to talk with her about it, but what I remember most in high school in that class is that not everybody got rewarded. It wasn't like, "Hey, everybody's doing the work, so everybody gets a prize." It wasn't that kind of attitude. And I'm not sure if that's what you were kind of leaning towards in your questioning, but the idea of being tough and having really high expectations and being able to project that onto your students, being able to garner their ultimate respect and believing in the honesty of your criticisms. That's what he was able to do. I think if we're lucky we get someone in our lives who changes you or sees something in you and points you in a direction that inspire you and lets you move on it. I don't know if everybody has had that opportunity, but I think it's really important to be able to do that if you can. And as an educator myself, being able to supply someone with that "Aha!" moment - that as an educator is the most rewarding.

Darwin: The reason I asked the question that I did is, I don't want to fall into the conservative talk show but, I am curious because - in doing education, one of the things that sort of the tough love aspect can do is it can also be discouraging. Or it can at least feel like you're somehow being discouraging. And it seems like if anything, this kind of had the opposite effect on you.

Steve: That's interesting. I have never really thought about that. I think that this tough love concept can't be applied in a broad kind of way to a whole group of people. The only way to make this work is to be very individual with it. And of course in online education, I have no idea who's watching our courses and who they are as individuals. So it doesn't really apply in that way because, you know, we're just providing information.

I went back in time, so to speak, and recognized my favorite teacher by presenting him at a reunion with my Emmy nomination for the TV series Reading Rainbow, which I inscribed to him and thanked him for his contribution to my career, which was really very important. And it was a wonderful moment to give back to someone who probably sees thousands of faces and they all move on in the world. The perception of the student by the teacher and of the teacher by the student is always very different because the student's impression is like this one-to-one thing. And the teacher's impression is this mass of faces that they've seen over the years. So it was really an honor for me to present this to him and thank him for his inspiration.

Darwin: Let's talk about your scoring work. Tell us a little bit about your accomplishments there.

Steve: You know, I came to New York after purchasing a Buchla synthesizer directly from Don Buchla, and that's a whole other story, which I'm happy to talk about either now or in another time. So I came to New York with a Buchla on my back, a 30-module system, with the idea that I really wanted to do a music for commercials, because I heard about this wonderful, talented, person named Suzanne Ciani, who was doing that. And I became a really good synthesist. And I said, you know what? I think I can do that too. And that was my goal was to do commercials, which I did a lot of. I built a studio from nothing. I went to dumpsters to pull out lighting fixtures from hotels they were tearing down, bought second-hand gear on Canal Street at those weird electronic stores that used to populate Canal Street and built the walls, did the wiring, built my little studio, and filled it with synths and tape recorders - if anyone knows what they are.

I started wanting to be a music producer, and I actually succeeded at it, which is kinda crazy. Cause I know that doesn't happen very often. And that led me into doing lots of kids' TV shows. One of the most popular ones is Reading Rainbow. That was on from, I believe, 1983 it premiered. I scored every episode until 2000-and-change when it went off the air, including the theme song, which everybody knows. And by the way, the original version was Buchla driven. I think it might've been the first all electronic kids TV theme song ever.

Darwin: That's crazy. So how did you break in, was it just because you had a Buchla that was kind of in the air at the time, so you would get calls or did you have some kind of in with people before you got out there? I mean, the story of landing in New York with a Buchla and blinking seems like a kind of funny starting story.

Steve: I just didn't give up. I think that's the only thing I can tell you is that I woke up every morning - kind of like what I do now, but in a slightly different way - trying to figure out how to make this work. The lessons that my father always told me is just don't say no. When someone presents you with an opportunity, even if you know you can't do it, don't say no, just hire someone else who can do it. Just keep building on things and don't be afraid. Letting fear be are your guide in life is probably why most people fail at things. So yeah, for me, it was just maybe a certain naivete that I could make it in New York.

And at the same time, it was a determination to make it in New York. Other than that things come in - like I heard they were doing a new TV show and they needed a theme song. This information was passed on to me by one of my co-writers of that theme song, Dennis Kleinman. And, we said, "Well, let's write a theme song!" Dennis and I had been writing a few things together. I've been working with another writer, who's now my wife, Janet Weir. And the three of us wrote a demo of a theme song. Not expecting it to go anywhere, but they liked it.

Darwin: What a cool story. Now I think that for a lot of people, especially people my age, I'm a little bit younger than you, I came up at a similar time and it was sort of like the time when all of a sudden Suzanne Ciani was like on the cover of Keyboard Magazine. And you're like, "Oh my goodness, this is crazy, a modular synthesizer making funny noises for commercials, that seems crazy!" For me in little rural Wisconsin. I was like, that sounds like science fiction to me that that could even be a gig. So prior to doing the scoring work and doing commercial work, what did that look like? Because again, I think most people's experience with a Buchla system is not necessarily one that's linear and musical.

It's more like the the loving rhythms of a trash compactor or something. So what were you doing? How are you leveraging the Buchla into doing, both music and sound design for commercials? What did that look like? Because I think those of us who grew up reading about Suzanne doing commercials or other people doing sound design in the early days of that - it just seemed magical. It just like seemed like a magical gig. And what was it actually like?

Steve: It was really competitive. Getting discovered was really hard, shopping reels of tape to creative directors at ad agencies, advertising in creative books, there was a book called The Black Book that that was, was the bible of creative resources. And so it wasn't like sitting around waiting for the phone to ring. It was out there shopping and making sure that our reels, which at first had no real stuff on them, no pun intended. It was just stuff that we made up, and hoping that perhaps people would find it interesting and ask us to write a jingle. So yeah, it was all that kind of hard work basically. And it was hard. And if you got a gig, it even got harder. Suddenly you had to produce something. And it wasn't just you and your studio, it was you, and then there was the creative director, and then there was the clients, and then there was the art director, and then there was the account person, and everybody had their say. Everyone wanted to make sure that they put their stamp on it, so they could hold onto their jobs if it was going to be a success. Of course, if it wasn't - everyone bailed.

Darwin: So in a lot of cases, when you talk about either scoring, or making songs, or doing sound design, you talk about "we". Were you doing a lot of collaborations at the time?

Steve: Oh, yeah. I've always been in business with Janet Weir - who is now my wife. We started this music production company together. So when I say we, I've always thought of it as a company. Janet in her own right is a great musician and a co-writer of a lot of our songs. And I had a really good business head too. So that was very helpful to me, when someone made us an offer, I'd say, "Let's just take it." And she'd say, "No, let's ask for more!"

Darwin: So how did you meet? I mean it's hard to imagine meeting someone that eventually ends up both your collaborator and your spouse.

Steve: We met at the Aspen Musical Festival. She was also a student out there, and was living out there. And so we met there and we became friends. Then when I moved to New York in the mid-seventies, she was moving to New York too. And we had a mutual friend who invited us over for dinner and it kind of just grew from there.

Darwin: That's fabulous. Well, and it's also really nice to hear a relationship that can start in the beauty of Aspen and can still withstand the difficulties in New York City.

So how did you then transition from doing scoring work and doing TV. I mean the move into computers was the kind of typical story where as technology moves you were drawn into it just because it made you more efficient, right?

Steve: Yeah. Well, it's part of my business was being on the technological edge. It was a time when to own technology wasn't an easy thing to do, financially especially. Not only must you be a good composer and a good writer, but you had to have a technological edge too, in those days. And that technological edge was created by money. So if you made money, you were investing it back into technology. So the Buchla was my initial investment, but it led to three different Fairlights and all the interesting keyboard gear that was coming out at the time. The DX7, the Oberheim 4-voice SEMS, if I look back on all of the ads from those days it's Steve sitting in his technological world - not too different than what I am doing right now! I guess the more things to change the more they stay the same.

Darwin: Well, I think it's interesting to consider that there was a time where the equipment that you owned and understood actually represented an extensive part of the trust that people could have in you. If you were smart enough to be able to not only own a Fairlight, but actually get to squeak out a noise or two, that implied a certain level of trust that doesn't really exist anymore with anyone who could say, "Well, I have Ableton Live and I know how to use the sampler in it." It was a very different time, and that technological edge was actually a very specific kind of trust factor for people.

Steve: That's true. I mean, think about it back in those early days, there weren't samplers and there wasn't software that could sample - that didn't exist. Basically it was expensive chunks of hardware, Fairlight invented the concept of sampling and executed it and created the world's first commercially available samplers. Everything was so new and it was so fascinating it's a little bit different these days because everything is so much the same. And I hope that doesn't sound totally old fashioned, old guy thinking back on things.

Darwin: Well, I mean, if you think about it what is the legitimate equivalent of like "Moog versus ARP" anymore? I don't know that there is such a thing, there are variations, but nothing that represented sort of lines of demarcation like that. Right?

Steve: Yes. And especially like between Moog and Buchla for instance. Totally different worlds, not to knock the ARP's because the ARP's are awesome. I see a lot of software synths out there. And because we teach a lot of them at Nonlinear Educating, macProVideo, Ask.Video, we teach a lot of hardware. I have to look really deep to find the innovation, back in the day was obvious what the innovation was, what was different about them. Now you're getting into just very particular types of things, what kind of waveshaping does it do? What kind of filter design is it? But it's always, for the most part, you know, it's the same signal path every one of those pieces of equipment and most software use that same signal path: oscillator into filters and to some outboard processing. I know I'm simplifying.

Darwin: Well, you're simplifying, but at the same time, there is a sense, I feel it myself as well, which is that what we're seeing is variations on a theme as opposed to brand new themes. What are the things that now, when something new comes along, what are the things that interest you? What are the things that make you sort of like jump out of the drone of it all and say, well, this is going to be worth my time. I'm going to dig into it into X. What are the kinds of things that draw you in that direction?

Steve: That's a really interesting question. I think it's less about the sound creators than it is about the processing power that's available out there to process the sounds that you create. Whether you're using a DAW or using outboard effects, pedals, et cetera. I think a lot of the creativity and excitement for me is what you do with the sounds that you're creating. I have a couple of Buchlas sitting next to me here. And then there are the newest versions of Buchla. So my original system was sold to Danny Kerry of the band Tool about 15 years ago. I like the playability of Buchlas, Buchlas can be about actual feeling. The expression of key because the Buchlas have so many ways to interact with them. It's not just kind of tweaking knobs and sitting back and kind of getting off on the experience. The way I approach the music is performing music on these instruments. But where I have the most fun, I have to admit, is in the processing of those sounds, that's where I spend most of my energy looking for new processors, new reverbs, new shimmers, new delays, new glitchy things, just anything that's taken the sound and manipulating it in a way that tickles my ear.

Darwin: Right. So having a long history with hardware, do you feel a disconnect from software stuff or have you found ways to mitigate that? Meaning have you found like MIDI controllers that work for you or MPE controllers that give you a new kind of feel for playability? How do you get that hardware-like connection in a world that's largely software driven?

Steve: Controllers are really important to me. If I'm looking around now in my studio at all kinds of different controllers, some conventional, some not. Being able to take the human expression and transform that into MIDI or control voltages is something that is really central to the way I interact, because when I perform music or even compose and record, I'm very much in the moment. So if there's a roadblock between me and the sounds I want to get, or the notes that I'm hearing on the keyboard that I want to play, then it's not going to work for me. So you're absolutely right about the control surfaces. A Buchla has its own kind of interesting control surface that I love, but I also have other keyboards, I have little core controls that I use. And so most of my hardware, in fact, all of my hardware, if it's not a instrument like a Buchla, it's all control surfaces. One of my favorites is actually the Zen Drum.

Darwin: Oh yeah. I've always ached to try one of those. There was just something about it that just looked human. It looked like a human interaction with MIDI in a way that I found really compelling. I just never found myself in the same room as one.

Steve: Well, I did one day and that was at the NAMM show and they didn't have their own booth or anything, but they were part of someone else's booth. I kinda strapped it on and put on the headphones and realized that this controller, the Zen Drum, was really sensitive. Because instead of using push buttons, you would tap on a piezo mic that would turn that those levels into MIDI. So the slightest little touch would create the slightest little sound and the hard touch could be mapped into like a whole world of expression and noise or whatever you wanted to do with that. And so everything in between, even though MIDI only has 128 steps, seemed much more human to me. And then it's really how you use it that's important. The interface is really important because you got to feel inspired by what you're touching, but it's just producing MIDI or voltages. And what happens after that is even more important.

Darwin: So now throughout this whole musical discussion, the only time you've actually talked about specific instruments has been two cases. That when you were eight you played piano, and that you have been a Buchla owner for some extensive period of time. Neither of those statements actually imply what is the instrumental interface that you feel comfortable with? Are you a keyboard player, are you a percussionist, or are you a kind of a polymath and just anything that you can beat on tends to have a good feel? What is the instrumental interface with the musical world that you find most comfortable? Are you a clarinet player?

Steve: I'm most comfortable with a with keyboards. And that's not necessarily black and white keyboards. So I would say the most comfortable with my fingers.

Darwin: Got it. So with the Buchla do you use that sort of like Thunderbird style kind of interface? I can't remember what the number of that is.

Steve: Well, I don't like to talk about Buchla with numbers because no one understands numbers except Buchla people. That's okay, they know my position on this, when they talk about the 222e it means nothing to the whole world, especially when you had a instrument designer like Donald Buchla who created the most wonderful names. For instance, that pad that you're talking about, that "keyboard", is called the Multi-Dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port, and that's exactly what it is. It's multi-dimensional, every key works in two or three different dimensions. It's kinesthetic, it reacts to my fingers and the pressure, or even how hard I hit it. And input port, that's just what it is, it's just an input for all of this data that gets transferred into control voltages and can be mapped anywhere. It's a strange little keyboard, because every key can be mapped independently. So it's not like you're mapping a keyboard, you're creating a complete new instrument.

So the one of the keys can trigger one thing, and another key can trigger another thing, then a group of keys can be in an arpeggiator. They can all do multiple different things. And that's the power of the Buchla. And yes, it takes a lot of work to build your custom keyboard out of your Multi-dimensional Kinesthetic Input Port. But when you're done, it is something that is entirely yours. And the great thing about the Buchla system, the E series, is that once you program it, that goes into memory. Every knob position, every switch position on a Buchla 200e is memorized. And you have 30 different locations that you can store offboard on a card. So you can do that hard work and know that in an instant you can get back to it. So you set it up, you're performing, you're turning knobs, you're playing, you're getting really far away from that initial pre-set - hit one button, all the knob settings zip back. And you're back to where you started and it creates the ability to use a very small Buchla system. Like I have a Skylab case here, and if you do stuff like I do with looping, you can build very complex pieces of music and repeat them.

Darwin: Yeah. I remember I had a discussion about Buchla systems with Chris Muir. And my question to him was, "How does presets even make sense in the world of modular?" And he explained a very similar thing, which is this idea that you could have a starting point. You could veer off into the eather and kind of like snap your way back, which is actually a really compelling musical movement

Steve: Completely, because in musical form oftentimes you want to get back to something. Repetition is huge in music, along with variation in contrast. So when you have a system like the Buchla 200e, where you can repeat something - it's great, by changing something subtly in that patch or turning a knob, you get the variation and then you can go totally into contrast land and come back to your repetition, get back to that initial sound that started the whole piece without having to sweat it out, or turn 35 different knobs working your way back in time.

Darwin: So, man, unfortunately our time is already up. I have like a list of questions here that I actually want to go over, but then we're going to have to save them for another time. Before we go, one question, in your role as Chief Publisher for Nonlinear, you are spending your whole day around synths and learning and tracking what the current tech stuff is and tracking changes and talking to manufacturers and you're embedded in it. How do you also maintain having a musical life? Do you still do any scoring work or is that been left behind? Do you perform, do you just do it for your own fun? Do you do releases? How do you maintain a creative life that is separate from the grind of what your job is?

Steve: It's a great question. I make sure that every day, whether it's just for 10 minutes or whether for two hours, I'm making music. I have to do it. Otherwise I really don't feel like I have a place in the world and that's how important it is to me. So that's why my office for my Nonlinear work is also my studio. So if I have a half-hour break I'll turn around and improvise on the piano just to express myself. In some ways it's easier for me to express my feelings through music than it is to talk about them. So I can easily get into a very open-hearted, mindful space by just sitting down and making music, which then impacts the way I deal with people an hour later on a phone call. I'm not consumed with feeling pent up. In terms of performing, pre-COVID, I was doing live electronic music concerts, usually three or four a year, not a lot, but I perform in surround.

That was inspired by a Morton Subotnick concert I heard in the seventies. That can be another conversation. I perform a lot, I don't score a lot of TV shows, I don't really score many anymore. I get a call occasionally for things here and there. I own the Reading Rainbow catalog of music, which includes the theme song and four or five different versions of that theme song, which are very popular. And I get a lot of licensing requests for that. So I'm dealing with my publishing company on one side. So yeah, I still love to perform, and four years ago when I started doing it again, it was becoming one of the most important things in my life until COVID hit. I've done some virtual concerts, but it's just not the same.

Darwin: Well, Steve, I want to thank you so much for taking the time to have this chat. It's really great to learn more about you and hear your perspectives on things. Very insightful.

Steve: It was such a pleasure to be here. Thank you for asking me to be on your podcast. And maybe we can dive in a little deeper to some of those other areas in the future.

Darwin: I agree. Thank you so much. Have a good one.

Copyright 2021 by Darwin Grosse. All right reserved.