Tuesday, April 15, 2003

RIP Eve Frumkin

Eve Frumkin died in March of 2003.

We were not friends or even associates, but Eve nevertheless left a significant impact on my professional life. The official story will list her as senior vice president/director/producer at Ammirati Puris Lintas. Her clients included Burger King, Compaq, General Motors, Nestle, and UPS. But to me, she was simply 'Eve from Ammirati', and whenever the receptionist announced her presence on the line, I always knew that those words signaled a potential adventure was waiting.

The truth is, Eve was a woman whom I knew only as a voice at the other end of a line. But we spoke often enough that I not only knew her by name, but considered her as a VIP client, requiring more than a response, she required a real human connection.

I was a bit younger than her; her career was nearing its end when mine was just beginning. But I did everything I could during our phone conversations to engage with her befitting her accomplishments and status. If Eve had simply asked me for estimates and had I simply bid those jobs, I would not feel the loss I feel now. The fact is, she engaged me, and made an effort to connect to me, making sure that though our relationship was virtual, it was real.

As it happens, some jobs I won, some I lost. But as long as the work was world class and the paper work delivered on time, all was good with the world. In this respect Eve Frumkin taught this music producer an important lesson when I was still clawing my way into the industry:

You can do anything you want
As long as it's great,
under budget,
on time
and fulfills the marketing objective.

RIP Eve Frumkin! –with an exclamation mark! –Because I'm sure anyone who knows you, knows that you deserve it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

Audio Koans: If a Tree Falls...

If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?


I have a feeling the Zen Monk who thought this was a mind bending cryptic puzzle was also a pot smoking fourteen year old who slept through Physics.

Those who answer ‘No’ invariably –an inaccurately– define sound as entirely a sensory response: the effect of electrical stimulus upon brain cognition by a vibrating eardrum. However, unless one is hallucinatory, human ability to sense sound is wholly dependent on an external source causing (air) molecules to vibrate. It is these vibrating particles that comprise sound, not one's ability to sense them.

To clarify, sound and the sense of hearing are two different things.

So, if a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, yes, it still causes air molecules to vibrate and therefore makes a sound, independent of any individual capacity to sense those vibrations.

* * *

Click on any link below to read all the articles in the three-part Spring/Summer 2003 AUDIO KOANS series exploring the relationship between zen wisdom and sound:

1. If a Tree Falls In The Forest...
2. Sound of One Hand Clapping?
3. Zhàozhōu's Dog