Thanks to Finale, I Once Ate Bear in Helsinki

I’ve worn many hats at MakeMusic over the last twenty-plus years. My titles have included domestic sales manager, international sales manager, demo guy, sales rep, technical support representative, copywriter, and, today, Finale product specialist. Over the years I’ve been asked to do many diverse things and have met some incredible people. In 1990 I made my first visit to Helsinki to meet our Finnish distributors and demo Finale at a Macintosh convention. It was on this trip, as a guest, that I visited an amazing Russian restaurant where bear was served.

The Finnish distribution company that handled Finale at that time was owned and run by four diverse individuals, two of which I am still in contact with: Carbo Lintinen and Otto Romanowski. Carbo has continued to run music technology distribution companies while Otto went on to be a teacher and lecturer at the Sibelius Academy. Check out Otto’s YouTube video for his 2008 minimalistic piece for six mobile-phones, “Phones in C,” performed beautifully by the Helsinki Mobile Phone Orchestra.

My first trip to Rome, back in Finale 1.2.6 days, was also particularly memorable. Tempo Reale, an organization headed by composer Luciano Berio and copyist Henry Brown, had invited us to Florence to demonstrate Finale, which at the time represented a complete revolution in desktop music publishing. They generously invited me to stay in Berio’s sister’s apartment, as she was away. It was quite late the night I arrived, and I was kindly transported to the apartment and encouraged to rest up.

The following morning I opened the shutters and was utterly astonished to behold Florence’s Il Duomo – only a hundred yards away! Truly one of the views of a lifetime.  I also have fond memories of working with Henry, who had never used a computer before. His very first computer application for his new Macintosh SE30 was Finale 1.2.6, and his first project was notating Berio’s works for Universal Editions. Can you imagine!

Another European story actually started in Chicago, where we exhibited Finale at the 1989 Summer NAMM trade show. There I met a German gentleman named Wolfgang who subsequently returned to Schwalmstadt, Germany, with tales of a remarkable software program called Finale. His friend Karl-Heinz Klemm, who owned a small music shop at the time, was intrigued by his report and soon afterwards a relationship between Klemm and Finale began. Today Klemm Music Technology continues to translate Finale into German and has become one of the largest music technology distribution firms in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Well, forgive me for free-associating my way though some fond memories and friendships I have thanks to one amazing software program. I also wanted to take this opportunity to congratulate Carbo, Otto, Luciano, Henry, and Karl-Heinz for all their great work.

And I also should say that I actually have fond memories of the bear – it was honestly quite delicious!

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