The Roland press conference, held on Wednesday afternoon or evening of the NAMM Show, is usually the first thing I do after getting settling in to my hotel. I expect the usual slew of interesting new products, but here was one thing Roland managed to keep a surprise: A lifetime achievement award presentation to synthpop hero-turned-Silicon Valley startup founder-turned professor of new media at Johns Hopkins, Thomas Dolby.
Better still, is was followed by a mini-lecture and performance in which Dolby built the tracks "Europa and the Pirate Twins" and "She Blinded Me with Science" from the ground up. Since Dolby had composed some of his first tunes on a Jupiter 4 and (after some success) a Jupiter-8, Roland went to the lengths of renting these two coveted vintage pieces for his performance.
I shot video but didn't have the "good" camera rig deployed yet, so I'm sharing on this video from retailer Kraft Music. For an '80s kid, hearing Thomas Dolby reconstruct how he did "Science," with original synths and samples, well ... it doesn't get much better.
Stay tuned for more news from Roland and NAMM overall.