Mentors Part 1
I've had the incredible fortune to meet some truly remarkable human beings many of which I still count as great friends. These people have imparted amazing knowledge to me, helped me understand, learn and incorporate new ways of thinking into my work. I could dedicate a whole website to such people, however I need to be practical, so I would like to highlight six such individuals. These people have inspired me and continue to do so in their own way. These are people I regard as mentors. They have given me a solid foundation for the best education to sharpen the areas of my focus and to deliver concepts, designs and the art that I'm passionate about.
A truly remarkable individual. A man blessed with genius. Dic is a true innovator and scientist. The world is a better place with people like Dic in it. He is intelligent, selfless, approachable, honest, down right innovative. I have the pleasure of sharing many stories with Dic. He was and still is a major inspiration. I always be grateful for the patience he showed in teaching me about acoustics, which in turn gently influenced my designs. He is someone I respect immensely and will continue to do so. Not only is he responsible for one the greatest loudspeakers ever 'The Nautilus', Dic also deserves all the success with his outstanding designs for Vivid Loudspeakers. Check them out on vividaudio.com
This man is a powerhouse of drive, musical passion, strategy and vision. Robert taught me so much about the big picture and how to deliver on quality. Uncompromising, Robert has an amazing eye for design and detail. They say the devil is in the detail and to a certain extent this is true. We share the view integrity is linked to the believability factor. Have your house in order, resonate with a higher calling and people will follow your lead. Robert gave me my first taste of company organisation and structure. He also made a huge investment to help build Blue Room to what it was. He showed me the importance in motivating individuals and to appreciate the results a truly motivated team of talented people can deliver. A wise man and free thinker who is also generous and nonjudgmental, Robert fanned the flames of corporate rebellion and demonstrated the impact an unbridled passion for music can have. He helped me appreciate areas of sound that I'd never listened to before. A true father figure for me growing up, that I'll never forget. Follow Rob's musical odyssey into the mystical roots of music itself here
Dr LX Paterson
I was first introduced to LX's music back in 1988 on a Monday night, in a dark room whilst being blasted by a row of large industrial fans upstairs at the Land of Oz, Heaven nightclub London. I was mesmerised by the sound, it was in complete contrast to the thumping music playing downstairs on the dance floor but somehow strangely related and just as intense. Bright lights masked the two figures playing tune after tune, soundtracks of dub and a swirl of electronica and acoustic instruments. It wasn't until a few years later that I had the chance to meet the maestro himself on the dance floor at an after party in Brighton. By that time I had started following his music and remember being quite nervous as I mustered the courage to go over and speak to him. I told him that I had invented some speakers that were inspired by his music and designed for playing it. I also told him that I wanted to meet and show him. I'll always be thankful for LX not dismissing me and instead giving his number. We set up a meeting in London and like a dream turning to reality LX was one of the first people to buy a set of HousePods. Most importantly a great friendship was forged. LX is one of my biggest inspirations. The music he has shared always takes me to far away places and allows me to travel without movement. It has always been my creative soundtrack and one I always share to other people. He is such a talented individual, wise and full of mystery, music and mischief. A legend and national treasure. Check out his radio show here and follow the Orb.
Paul introduced me to the importance of the customer experience and the language of the brand. I had a general intuition for these factors throughout my life, however it was my time with Paul working on sifi that allowed me to understand the language and process that was attuned to these dynamics. Paul has a method for creating a framework that turn visions into reality. He was a wonderfully grounding influence bringing his vast commercial brand agency knowledge to the table. It was a wonderful synergy to temper my imagination into regimented structure in order to form rules and guidelines for clear brand communication. I'll always be grateful for the knowledge he shared as this method of structuring and planning has been a foundation to build my own processes. Paul runs his own agency Bare a strategy and management consultancy for businesses.
Daveid is the joker in the deck but no jester. He has a tremendous ability to make events happen, creating musical trends and discovering bands before they take off. Daveid and I share the love of sound. He is an incredible innovator in his own right, modestly introducing some of the biggest bands like Nirvana to the UK astounding unsuspecting European ears at Reading Festival. He is an agent of organised chaos. His time at Tribal Gathering back in the 1990's literally created a temporary utopia of Electronica (or what we would now call EDM), unifying all styles, gracefully joining together in performance a myriad of genres, influences and legends such as Kraftwerk, to form an almost religious experience for Techno freaks. He'll happily work with Madonna or the late Amy Whitehouse treating them the same as he would up and coming musicians; all with the utmost respect. In conjunction with this grand background of musical event driven accomplishments Daveid is also one of the funniest people I know and I can whole heartedly say I have experienced some of most the hilarious times with him. For this I am eternally grateful. Daveid is Music Director at the legendary live music venue Koko in London. To listen to his selections and the future of new music visit Koko.uk.com
Rob and I share the same birthday, May 12th. Rob is an inspirational family man with two wonderful children and lovely wife to show, he has demonstrated to me what it takes to be a great Father. He was also the first person to really explain ceramic production back when I was founding sifi. He is an extraordinarily talented individual and exceptional acoustic designer/engineer. We cemented our friendship when I invited him to work with me on the Orb loudspeaker project as acoustic designer. It is where we shared a harmonious working partnership and where we demonstrated a mutual respect for each other of our abilities. It is a working partnership that I cherish to this day. Rob is also one of the most patient people I have met.
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