- Avid posts series of technical help videos for Sibelius
- Sibelius online and in-person training courses by Mike Klinger, summer 2013
- Sibelius training sessions in California and Colorado in July 2013
- First look at the new Bravura music font used in Sibelius
- Best interview of the year
- Finale, Sibelius, and knockouts
- New and updated plug-ins, part 2
- Sibelius workshop for teachers June 1 in South Africa
- New and updated plug-ins, part 1
- Setting up Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 with Sibelius 7
More Than Luck: A Good Night For Peter Martin
Though Peter Martin played piano on the film soundtrack to Good Night, and Good Luck, which won a Grammy® Award for Best Jazz Vocal Album, he did not receive a trophy. That prize went to vocalist Dianne Reeves, for whom Martin serves as music director. Martin did, however, receive a certificate for his role creating the disc, which reworked jazz standards from the 1950’s.
“The rules are pretty strict, but it is a great honor to be associated with the project,” he said.
Martin also arranged two songs on the soundtrack, “Solitude” and “Detour Ahead,” which he sketched out with Sibelius notation software.
“Because these were totally stripped-down songs, it was a real easy project in terms of arranging,” said Martin. “The hardest thing about it was making sure it fit into the 1952 timeframe and we didn’t go back and dub anything.”
Martin put Sibelius to a bigger test last December, when he organized the Big River Hurricane Relief Concert held in St. Louis to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina. In addition to Reeves, the event featured pianist Ellis Marsalis, trumpeter Nicholas Payton and sax players Wess Anderson and Victor Goines, among other accomplished musicians.
“The main thing I used Sibelius for was the one song at the end with all eleven musicians,” said Martin. “The planning of everything was a little last-minute, so even though we had a great group of musicians who could call things out and play them in New Orleans street style, it was good to have something organized and written down, especially with the horn section.”
Martin is himself a victim of the storm, which flooded the first floor of his house and displaced his family. He has moved temporarily to St. Louis, his birthplace.
“When the hurricane hit, I was on tour in South Africa and my wife evacuated with the kids two days before storm came,” he said. “We figured it would be like a little vacation. We imagined a little bit of flooding, but we never thought there would be seven feet of water inside the house.”
Though he lost three prized pianos, including a Steinway, along with some sheet music, he had put valuable hard drives in a safe in his attic. Luckily, he said, he had most of his recent musical projects on a laptop that he carried with him on tour.
“Touring, playing and writing kept me going,” he said. “We go back on weekends and I do some gigs. We have been able to salvage a few odd things here and there, but I expect that we’ll move back by August.”
Until five years ago, Martin used to write out parts by hand. But on a tour in Bermuda, bass player Christian McBride introduced him to Sibelius and he became hooked right away.
“Even with the learning curve, I saved lots of time and for more complicated arrangements, like big band, where I’m able to play with different ideas,” he said. “I’m not a big sequencing guy and when I’m touring, I like to throw something together quickly. When I write in Sibelius, I can hear it back as I’m going along so I know instantly if something in the horns is clashing or if I’ve made an input error.”
Martin just received the upgrade to Sibelius 4, though he was initially skeptical that Sibelius 3 could be improved upon.
“Sometimes I have these little ideas about features they should add and I think ‘I should call them up or e-mail them,’ but then the next version comes out and they’ve already incorporated what I had thought about,” he said. “They do a great job keeping up with what people using the program actually need to make it easier to use.”