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Tech Mystic

Tim Walter is the technical director at On Broadway, downtown -- that's a fancy name for a VJ (video jockey). "There's a unique balance found in the chaos, which, as of late, is very joyful," he says. "Being the technical director here couldn't be better...the trinity of problems, solutions, and people."

TRICKIEST PROBLEM WITH LIVE SHOWS? "The joyous part of this kind of work is the diversity of circumstances you're faced with...to further elaborate on that theme with something technically related would not even scratch the surface of complexity that exists in dealing with all of the personalities involved in a typical event. Most audio, lighting, and video equipment does its job consistently...in the arena of personality, you're navigating the ebb and flow of diverse emotions.

"Anything can trigger a chain reaction of emotion in an individual or group that can complicate situations...some people have control needs; many can be very reactionary, others are just clueless. There's no handbook...the challenge lies in analyzing your situation and applying the best strategy to keeping all faces smiling...negotiating a client's self-imposed needs will help provide the head space required to keep the most insane people from being a bother and allow the technical side of the job to run that much smoother. That is my Tao of Sound."

TOP FIVE END-OF-THE-WORLD DISCS?

1. Ali Farka Toure, Niafunke. "This album represents the primordial beginning and end of music to me. Recorded in his native Mali, in a tractor shed on his goat farm, you get an intimate view of true roots music. Ali combines his virtuoso guitar playing -- which could be looked on as a native African expression of the blues -- with the indigenous instruments and songs of his village, performed by his family."

2. Orchestra Baobab, Live in Munich. "The Orchestra Baobab is the pride of Senegal, and this live recording vividly documents the purity and grace these amazing performers wield in their unending journey around the globe. They represent the African side of Afro-Cuban music and perform with vitality and confidence that pulses with the rhythm of the earth. The vocals express a richness in timbre and command in execution that only can be found with age and experience. The album seeps with joy."

3. Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove. "The prophet George Clinton speaks: The Dao of Funk! Forget your biases and false concepts, this album broadcasts amazing themes of empowerment, awareness, and upliftment [sic] in a uniquely coded language. The collection of songs challenges the listener to go deeper within all aspects of self and provides a methodology for healing from the many scars we pick up in life."

4. Sleep, Jerusalem. "Here you will find the ultimate expression of heavy. The hour-long song/album sucks me into the plasma of life with an organic, throbbing beauty...I feel the weight of each riff, the force in the notes. The majesty in arrangement is empowered by a conscious alchemy of the elements. The result is something that I would parallel to mystic Bedouin musicians of the desert; it is in touch with natural forces."

5. Voivod, Angel Rat. "The unsung heroes of space metal deliver one of the most future tense albums ever conceived, ripe with music and lyrics descending from dimensions beyond our own. It has a fine balance of depth, accessibility, and progressiveness...steps ahead of the current waves of music, even though it's over ten years old."

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Tim Walter is the technical director at On Broadway, downtown -- that's a fancy name for a VJ (video jockey). "There's a unique balance found in the chaos, which, as of late, is very joyful," he says. "Being the technical director here couldn't be better...the trinity of problems, solutions, and people."

TRICKIEST PROBLEM WITH LIVE SHOWS? "The joyous part of this kind of work is the diversity of circumstances you're faced with...to further elaborate on that theme with something technically related would not even scratch the surface of complexity that exists in dealing with all of the personalities involved in a typical event. Most audio, lighting, and video equipment does its job consistently...in the arena of personality, you're navigating the ebb and flow of diverse emotions.

"Anything can trigger a chain reaction of emotion in an individual or group that can complicate situations...some people have control needs; many can be very reactionary, others are just clueless. There's no handbook...the challenge lies in analyzing your situation and applying the best strategy to keeping all faces smiling...negotiating a client's self-imposed needs will help provide the head space required to keep the most insane people from being a bother and allow the technical side of the job to run that much smoother. That is my Tao of Sound."

TOP FIVE END-OF-THE-WORLD DISCS?

1. Ali Farka Toure, Niafunke. "This album represents the primordial beginning and end of music to me. Recorded in his native Mali, in a tractor shed on his goat farm, you get an intimate view of true roots music. Ali combines his virtuoso guitar playing -- which could be looked on as a native African expression of the blues -- with the indigenous instruments and songs of his village, performed by his family."

2. Orchestra Baobab, Live in Munich. "The Orchestra Baobab is the pride of Senegal, and this live recording vividly documents the purity and grace these amazing performers wield in their unending journey around the globe. They represent the African side of Afro-Cuban music and perform with vitality and confidence that pulses with the rhythm of the earth. The vocals express a richness in timbre and command in execution that only can be found with age and experience. The album seeps with joy."

3. Funkadelic, One Nation Under a Groove. "The prophet George Clinton speaks: The Dao of Funk! Forget your biases and false concepts, this album broadcasts amazing themes of empowerment, awareness, and upliftment [sic] in a uniquely coded language. The collection of songs challenges the listener to go deeper within all aspects of self and provides a methodology for healing from the many scars we pick up in life."

4. Sleep, Jerusalem. "Here you will find the ultimate expression of heavy. The hour-long song/album sucks me into the plasma of life with an organic, throbbing beauty...I feel the weight of each riff, the force in the notes. The majesty in arrangement is empowered by a conscious alchemy of the elements. The result is something that I would parallel to mystic Bedouin musicians of the desert; it is in touch with natural forces."

5. Voivod, Angel Rat. "The unsung heroes of space metal deliver one of the most future tense albums ever conceived, ripe with music and lyrics descending from dimensions beyond our own. It has a fine balance of depth, accessibility, and progressiveness...steps ahead of the current waves of music, even though it's over ten years old."

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