So a week ago most of us were none the wiser to the ‘shock’ announcement that Avid were about to dispose of M-Audio, AIR and Pinnacle and also rationalise operations around the world.
This itself was quite a pile of news for the music industry to take, so call me a cynic if you will, but it was also a good time to slip the closure of the UK Sibelius office under the radar. You remember the ‘good day to break bad news’ story from several years ago? When a an ill-judged and considerably distasteful remark was made by a political spin doctor on the week of 9/11.
However, I think Avid underestimated three things about the Sibelius user community; their intellect, influence and their passion. Not wishing to be rude about my fellow rock and roll fraternity, but most of us didn’t get into this world having gained a first at Oxford or Harvard. Secondly, we would have changed the world years ago, if we could just be bothered to get out of bed. As the line of a song goes “ambition has been exceeded by my reluctance to begin.” Now if you’re a musician and offended by my remarks, then of course I’m not talking about you, you’re the genius, I’m just talking about the other 99% of us.
Composers on the whole, as I’ve already said; are bright and articulate and certainly not people anyone, including company executives, are going to be able to win over with boardroom doublespeak.
Make no mistake, Avid were not expecting this kind of response to the Sibelius news. You don’t craft a press release of the kind we saw last week and just forget to include the Sibelius closures. You send up a load of fireworks and hope no one sees you stealing the hot dogs whilst they are looking up.
I’m not sure if Avid have put a lid on this part of the story. They could either sit it out in silence or try to make amends - either way, I think they have a tough job on their hands. The official Avid Sibelius office closure response was Martin Kloiber’s first public outing in his new role, it brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘poisoned chalice’ and whilst I’m quoting from Macbeth then ‘Out, damned spot! out, I say!’