Recently, I read news of the death of a colleague who transformed my career. Leland Smith created a music typography computer program that provided me a livelihood as an “engraver” starting in the late 1980’s to present. SCORE ran in DOS and was my introduction to computing in a very hands-on way. SCORE needed to at least 590 kilobytes of a computer’s high memory which meant a lot of tinkering with Terminate and Stay Resident (TSR) programs to prioritize the boot process. I learned the traditional process of copper plate engraving, while simultaneously jumping into the digital age with a DOS computer. Somewhere in the midst was me – wetware – melding old and new traditions in my brain.

For the next 25 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside a diverse group of songwriters and composers. What an honor and a privilege to work alongside analogues digitizing their creations. During this time, I’ve acquired talent, negotiated their commissions, overseen the production of that new work, supervised the rehearsals of 300+ musicians – whatever needing doing. Now, I hope in a few years’ time, I will teach myself how to code – it is, in my opinion, the most necessary skill to survive in content creation (formerly known as publishing). Leland thought so.

Thanks, Leland, for showing me the way.