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Interview with C Odenkirk Page


Who are you and what do you do?

I am Cliff Odenkirk, originally from Ohio, I now live north of Green Bay, Wisconsin. I am involved in a many different facets of the music business. I teach piano, organ, electronic keyboards, brass, woodwinds, and computer music I have recorded music for radio and television commercials and some of my original music was used on NBC for one of their national TV shows. I write arrangements for the University of Wisconsin, Sheboygan jazz band and for community bands in the area. I am involved in promoting music technology by acting as clinician and consultant to school districts and colleges. I also teach three music technology related courses." Computers and Keyboards , Music Sequencing and Notation, and Music on the Internet". I am house pianist at The American Club, The Midwest's only AAA Five-Diamond Resort Hotel.

How did you become interested in computers and music technology?

It was a natural growth out of my years as a road musician. My first keyboard was a Farfisa Organ back in the late 60's. I upgraded equipment over the years as the technology improved. I bought my first computer and started sequencing (on a Commodore 64) in the early 80's. I now use both IBM and MAC computers, Cakewalk Pro Audio 5.0, Yamaha MU80, MU50, and DB50 XG sound modules, and Avid Cinema editing programs.

Name a couple of ways you use the computers for music.


I have a computer workstation for my students. For the beginner to intermediate students I use a shareware program, "A Music Tutorial" for teaching and reinforcing basic theory and note recognition concepts. In my computer, music and internet classes we use the equipment and technology extensively.
I am also a mentor in the WSMA school music mentoring program

Live Performance

I recently completed a project for a theater production organization that hired me to perform the music in their production. I sequenced the 18 pieces used in the production and used the computer and Yamaha XG sound modules for playback during the performance.

Arranging and Composing:

Recent projects include a radio commercial and four arrangements for the UW Sheboygan jazz band. I'm working on an arrangement of a theme song for a community band in Michigan.

If you could change one thing about how computers are used , what would it be?

>You mean other than making IBM and Macs compatible? (ha-ha)

Really, it's unfortunate the division the IBM vs. MAC software incompatibility creates ends up penalizing the students who are exposed to only one of the two systems. I use both systems and find it necessary to do so in this business. Schools that do not educate their musicians in both systems are shortchanging their students.

Advice on selecting a computer?

Attend courses, seminars, workshops, etc. on music technology. Decide by making a list of what tasks you want to do with the computer, Then learn and decide what software would best accomplish those tasks, that will tell you what computer will best suit your requirements. To buy a computer before you decide which programs will best suit your needs is backwards.


I like to fish for salmon, walleye and trout on the Great Lakes , and enjoy snowmobiling in Wisconsin and Michigan in the winter.

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