Bela Fleck in Talking Your Tech

From USA Today:

Grammy-winning banjo legend Bela Fleck tours the country playing acoustic banjo. But he uses technology to write music and edit recordings, as we discovered when we met him recently on a tour stop.

His Flecktones band is on "indefinite hiatus" while Fleck stretches himself musically. He is touring in 2013 with the traditional jazz group Marcus Roberts Trio, performing solo banjo concerts and appearing with symphonies. This weekend he's in Princeton, N.J., and New York City with a bluegrass "Banjo Summit."

Using software to transpose

Fleck composed his "Concerto for Banjo and Orchestra" for a 60-piece ensemble on his banjo, but he doesn't read or write music well. So to let the violin, cello and tuba players know what to play, he uses Avid's Sibelius 6 notation software to transpose music. "I sing the part into the iPhone and then play it on the banjo. Then I bring it into Sibelius." Discovering the software "was eye-opening for me. With an orchestra, you don't have a lot of time to work on it and practice. But the software spells out the intensity, how many violins should play, everything. I can speak music, but I can't speak their language without it."4

Dueling banjos — on a Mac

He used to duet with a Macintosh computer on stage in the late 1980s. "I learned about samplers. You could record every note and play it back on a computer."

To continue reading this story, visit USA Today

Jazz on the Web
Site by GoodWeb & plousia