Paul McGowan .....
I tried explaining the organization of my music library to our chief engineer. He has a very logical structured mind. There is little obvious logic and structure to my library. This was going to be a difficult task.
I’ll give you a little background as to why I manage the library perhaps differently than some. But maybe the same as you? Whether I am demonstrating the system to guests, using it as a reference tool for new designs, or just simply enjoying it, I choose what is being played by the emotional response that music should bring forward in the listener. It’s very dependent on my read of the situation and changes with every one. I’ll give you an example.
A recent visitor was very anxious to hear “the incredible system” he had been reading about on our web pages. He knew about the system. He had high expectations. Of course the music I chose was intended to meet his expectations. I started off with a Brian Bromberg cut from his great CD “Wood“, a generous gift to me from my friend Neil. Track 1, The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers, is spectacular not because it has fireworks, but because it sounds like Bromberg is playing in the room. Realistic enough to drop a jaw. That established the system’s resolving power. I then moved to an older Reference Recording Showcase and played Sibelius: Finlandia. This track engaged the visitor with the breadth of the orchestra. Displayed the amazing stability the system offers of keeping each instrument exactly in its place regardless of volume. I then finished with a cut he brought along. Complete with fireworks.
With others I might choose something completely different. Depends on the mood. It is like going to a restaurant and choosing from the menu based on that very moment’s needs. And that’s a good analogy for this is how my library is organized. Using a tiered system of good, better, best, the music is lined up according to the mood it will engender.
Our music systems are built to evoke emotional responses based on the music we play and the level of enjoyment that music offers us. It’s why I always mark the perfect volume level for each track. It is why I organize my library according to the mood that piece will bring to the listener.
What works best for you?