Christian Martirano (keyboards, Broadway sound designer)
CITY: New Milford, CT
NAMBA GEAR: Big Namba Studio Backpack
I’ve had a pretty varied career with one of the highlights as Director of Product Development for Kurzweil Music Systems for more than 12 years during their heyday. I created many of the sound programs used on their award winning products.
Earlier on, I had a band called Voices (Atco Records) and handled all keyboards, synth arranging and programming. After Voices I was in The Solution (Last Kingdom Records/Vision Records). In addition to playing keyboards, I programmed all synths and drum tracks. The group performed live for BET on the Bobby Jones Gospel Hour in Nashville, TN.
Currently, and in addition to my other projects, I perform live with Higher & Higher Band.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR LATEST PROJECT, RECORDING, OR PERFORMANCE:
Recently I had the pleasure of working with a long time friend, David Rosenthal (famed keyboardist with Billy Joel’s band) programming for A Tale of Two Cities that ran on Broadway at the Al Hirschfeld Theater. We used Muse Receptors, and Kurzweil K2600XS to supplement acoustic instruments and produce an rich orchestral score. These projects require an intensive amount of work reducing the score, deciding which player gets what instrumental parts, creating complex split and layered programs, and creating new notated musical parts for each keyboardists to play.
I just completed recording an impressive choir at a private high school for the gifted (Canterbury School) that was also filmed for a new promotional piece the school will use to attract new students.
As part of my regular business, I am the choir director/keyboardist for St. Francis Xavier Parish in CT. I had the pleasure of recording our Christmas concert that consisted of selections by Bach, Vivaldi and others. I continue to play weekly in an Open Door Band at the United Methodist Church, also in CT.
I routinely program synthesizers for all major manufacturers and just completed programming custom patches for Nord for their Wave instrument. Nord will release these patches to their customer base.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE BEST ABOUT YOUR NAMBA GEAR BAG?
I love my Big Namba Studio Backpack! When I am programming for Broadway shows, due to equity rules, I am not allowed to be ‘on the stage’ programming during breaks. The stage must be clear. This means that often the programmers must have a duplicate setup in an available room somewhere in the theater. As budgets are very tight, often I will use a USB keyboard controller and my laptop to make musical changes to the newly notated keyboard parts and print them from a local printer, and we may ask for rack versions of the keyboard models for the duplicate setup (racks are cheaper) and I will use my USB keyboard and laptop to make musical sound changes. We will store these changes to a drive and transfer them to the pit gear when we are allowed to.
My Namba Studio Backpack allows me to bring a 25 note USB keyboard, my MacBook Pro a small USB to MIDI interface, some cables and music notation paper or printing paper, and a few pedals. In major cities, parking is always a problem and frequently I must drag my gear for many blocks to reach the theater to avoid the over priced parking that is closer to the theater districts. I am able to grab my Namba Backpack and go. It is comfortable, protects my gear and allows me to bring what I need in one package making life so much easier! In the past, I had my laptop case, another bag with pedals, cables, headphones, and USB to MIDI interface, and a briefcase with paper, the score, pencils etc. I had to use a small luggage hand truck to cart it to the theater. Now I just grab my Namba. Very cool!
TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE REMOTE RECORDING LOCATION.
My favorite remote recording location is in my car! I have a Jeep Grand Cherokee with a 12V to AC adapter and can work for hours regardless of battery life. I even use the audio output of my laptop (when not doing critical listening work) and plug it into my car stereo system as that is frequently where I listen to my mixes anyway. Bringing my Namba Studio Backpack assures me that I have everything I need, and that my gear is well protected when I am on the move. Sometimes, I get out and do some work in a coffee shop when I need an energy boost and a change of scene. I always attract a lot of attention when flying, but that is another story!
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