Monthly Archives: December 2013

The Music of the Night

Stay with me.  I’m going somewhere with this.

I cannot exactly remember the first moment I looked over the audio engineer’s shoulder and saw a human voice digitally displayed in all its mathematical splendor, I just know that my world changed that day.  Pro Tools was launched in 1991, the prodigy child of Evan Brooks’ 1984 Sound Designer.  Sure, it was four tracks and $6,000, but it was a ticket to a new world.

As a young boy, I watched the piano tuner come to our house with his tuning fork, and well-trained ear.  That tuning fork resonated at 440 Hz, basically the A above Middle C on your piano.  Not important, right?  Right, unless you’re a piano tuner…or any other human being.

Most of us have a vague idea that music is related to math.  It has scales, meter, rhythm, etc., but the fact that sound is a mechanical wave, basically an oscillation of pressure, means not only is music all about math, but it turns out math is all about music.

When that mechanical wave gets pushed through a medium like air or water, we hear the resulting sound.  Now, if that wave is going through something smooth, like a train whistle, the sound is constant and shrill. But add a few holes that you can open and close, and you’ve got a flute or a clarinet, or a valved trumpet, and suddenly it gets interesting.  Then, that wave passes through the incredible array of human vocal cords, producing sounds of enormous complexity, that can beckon, agitate, soothe or awe.

Silently hold down the G key above Middle C on a piano, and then sharply strike the C key an octave below Middle C. What you clearly […]

Sad Farewell to a Mentor and Friend

(McLean, VA, December 5, 2013). The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC) joins in mourning the passing of industry great, Joe Napolitan, who died Monday in Agawam, MA at the age of 84.   Regarded as the father of modern political consulting, his storied career spanned over 5 decades.   Fellow Springfield Political Consultant Tony Cignoli said of Joe, “Napolitan set the standard, and the idea was that it had a code of ethics. If you broke that code of ethics, no other consultant who belonged to the group would then work with you. And it worked really well.”    This ideal was embodied in the founding of AAPC in 1969 and the establishment of AAPC’s Professional Code of Ethics, to which all members subscribe.

Former AAPC Board President Wayne Johnson said of Joe’s passing, “We’ve lost a giant.  No single individual did more to create our profession, and to foster the idea that for a free society to flourish, we must love the principles we share more than the partisan issues that divide us in the moment.  He was mentor, colleague and friend, not only to me, but to so many others. We’ll miss him deeply.”   Ray Strother, who also served as AAPC Board President added, “Joe Napolitan was the rock on which we built modern political consulting. He founded both the International Association (IAPC) and the American Association of Political Consultants out of love and respect for his profession. He reached out to help upstarts like me and he quietly gave advice to scores of young consultants. Joe was truly the diamond standard of wise men in the business and I (we) will miss him desperately. He was the flickering lighthouse that gave us direction.”

Obituary from […]