Searching for the Right Note

Did you know school recorder lessons are solely responsible for some of the great drummers of the world?

The skill sets of Buddy Rich, Ginger Baker and Keith Moon all began when some crazy, thinking that an enthusiastic child (with an eagerness to explore the world’s sounds and rhythms) should be handed Satan in a stick …and offered a recorder lessonKermit, seeing the potential in the young Animal, Dave Grohl’s  mum, wondering how to fill the long summer holidays or the Krupa famiy, pondering a hobby for the young Gene – had all being advised to promote the easily accessible recorder…. Long story short, these guys turn the tune and start hitting out a beat with their newly found drumsticks – they were more long-term project not short term ‘what’s available’.

But all that practicing needs feeding. Drum machines, eating less and being easier to transport than a drummer, almost managed, at one point, amongst the drivers of rhythms’ market forces, to make the drummer’s skill set a redundant, unviable proposition and the genesis of favouring investing in music that interfaced with electronics and tech happened. Drummer

Using technology to portray  a future in which technology could enhance our lives, We Are the Robots, one of Kraftwerk’s  avant-garde pieces (in advance of Step-Up Finance’s genesis), gives a 70’s perspective of the future. The human element disappearing, compounded by machines replacing the drummer, connotations of an uprising HAL are removed … and `I ♥ my machine’ is reinforced during the 70’s when the UK economy was weak – you know the story – high inflation rates, recession, wrecked businesses…. a time when everyone began to focus on looked forward… to the 80’s…. remember those volatile 80’s?  High inflation and high interest rates and a period of economic and technological growth, when programmable machines; vocorders, cassette tapes, Walkmans, compact discs, almost killing off the LP  and  video ‘killing the radio star’, leading up to Black Monday  …. and  recession.  Alternative genres were created as Rap/Rock/Metal and a fusion moved through the 90’s, with digital recording being standard, musicians frequently shared stages with those they’d been influenced by; returnees came back from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s , technology kept ever advancing, music merged: with itself, computers and the internet.

ComputerBarToday, at a time of continued weak economic growth, Step-Up Finance isn’t alone in loving our machines, the human element has and is  being removed for efficiencies (well observed Kraftwerk) but surely we can’t be alone, here at Step-Up Towers, in  thinking  there’s currently a lot of looking backward as we move forward. Or that, when devoid of context, too much thinking done backwards might not be the way forwards (not that economic influence is causality of music development). Musicians keep the beat going, songwriters are able to convey a perspective, experimental musicians create new sounds and create new instruments (as per Kraftwerk who built their own drum machine) … it’s the ones who bring something new, often at a time of stagnation, that are the influencers in any field.


Interest rates have given the financial charts a flatline since 2009, with 0.5% almost becoming a BoE tagline. Now, we’re hearing of a potential planned strategy by the BoE to include some form of  ‘Forward Guidance’ i.e. giving out some certainty by reacting to the situation and saying what it’s going to do before it does it, rather than responding when the numbers show things aren’t working. ‘We’re functioning automatic’ (Kraftwerk lyrics: We Are the Robots) remains true today and when applied to frameworks which perpetually use the same measurements or what might happen as indicator: take this, and that, add some of those and this will likely happen. Add something new to an automatic process and the potential to influence a crisp quality is opened. Measurement can become more specific as differing perspectives add depth, music can become sharper at the edges, drummers have an opportunity to open their Pandora’s box of paradiddles, the BoE  might be enabled in giving certainty to the route of interest rates and, from our perspective (how Step-Up Finance gets involved)  business owners are offered insight for a wider focus in planning long term strategy in their enterprises…. not just taking the short view ‘what’s easily available’


Image and Article credits: Copyright SUF 2013 ©