I’m a guitarist, composer, synthesist, author, educator and futurist. I recently retired from my job as Senior Vice President for Innovation, Strategy, and Technology at Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, where I had worked for over 40 years. I was fortunate to have such a great opportunity to serve Berklee and to help integrate technology in every area of the institution. I’m honored that on September 8, 2017, Berklee dedicated an Electronic Production and Design classroom/lab in my name. Room B58 is now known as the “Mashine Room.”
Also on September 8, 2017, Christian Halaby and Moog Music donated a custom-built Moog IIIc Synthesizer in my honor – and the plaque reads “This synthesizer is a gift from Christian Halaby and Moog Music in honor of David Mash, a champion for the power of technology to expand the creative potential of all humans. ”
I’m now returning to music full-time, and will compose, perform, produce, and continue to work with the music products industry to develop new ways for musicians to express themselves…
Here are some tributes from the 2017 Voltage Connect event in honor of my retirement from Berklee, I am humbled by the words of these great friends and colleagues:
When President Roger Brown speaks of Berklee’s leadership at the intersection of music and technology, my mind always travels back to the building blocks for which the college owes so much to Dave Mash.
From the founding of the Music Synthesis Department to relationships with the digital-based music industry, Dave demonstrated the efficacy of these new tools for performers and composers.
With that achievement in place, Dave went on to lead the initiative for the implementation of computer-assisted education throughout Berklee, overseeing the design steps for the purchase and installation of college-wide information technology.
One distinct memory that stays with me is seeing the first registration day for entering students who were required to bring or buy Macintosh computers with specified parameters for their Berklee coursework. Hundreds of pre-ordered computers were distributed in assembly line fashion with a cadre of experienced staff on hand to assist in orientation needs. This was certainly a “first” for any college of music and a historic day for music education.
It certainly comes as no surprise to me that Dave has served his remaining preretirement years for President Roger Brown as senior vice president for Innovation, Strategy, and Technology.
Dave’s visionary leadership for two Berklee presidents is deeply appreciated and will be a hard act to follow.
Lee Berk, President Emeritus (1979–2004), Berklee
David Mash has been a vital part of Berklee’s growth and evolution. Due in large part to his inspiration, Berklee embraced music technology at a very early moment. He founded what is now the Electronic Production and Design Department, and before that was a storied and beloved teacher at Berklee. He hails from Motown and he brings the musicality of his city with him. Personally, I have benefitted so much from his sound advice and deep knowledge of music, technology, pedagogy, management, and leadership. Let’s all join in a highly distorted power chord in honor of David.
Roger H. Brown, President, Berklee
David Mash is the brightest star in the world of music technology, though his deep humility dims the blinding light of his presence in the industry and in education, where he has taken on the challenge of spearheading awareness of music technology as an undeniable field of importance.
To me, Dave is a friend, as he is to so many whose lives he has impacted professionally, his gentle soul connective in the most human way. He’s a quiet man of immense vision and his retirement leaves Berklee with a firm foundation for continuing his educational vision.
All I can say is, “Thank you, Dave, for contributing so much ongoing joy and look forward to seeing how your brilliance will shine in your private music.”
Suzanne Ciani, composer
We are the beneficiaries of the next generation of music technologies and synthesists coming out of David’s work at Berklee. His forward thinking has influenced so many of my friends in the industry including his students and also a wide net of creative people who received his guidance. From impacting development of new instruments to traveling the world in search of musical talent to bring to Berklee, David’s work has genuinely evolved the world of synthesis, music technology and inspired some excellent music.
A man of many musical and technical talents indeed. Thank you, David, for being the mind, ears, and heart of our exciting technology world!
Jordan Rudess, Keyboardist (Dream Theater, Liquid Tension Experiment)
Mr. David Mash is a true prophet. He sees everything so deeply—he analyzes it and synthesizes it precisely, and teaches so meaningfully. Meeting him, knowing him, and learning from him are the best things that have happened to me since I came to Boston more than 30 years ago, and the lessons I have learned from him have become my core building blocks as a synthesist and a human being. Thank you, Dave. Please enjoy your life after Berklee and keep making beautiful music.
Throughout his time at Berklee, Dave Mash has always been a great teacher, whether in a classroom or a meeting room. From the many lessons he has shared, there are three things that we can learn from curious, make friends, and it’s all about the music.
Michael Bierylo, Chair Electronic Production and Design
When we think of music technology and education, the person whose name comes to mind first is Dave Mash. Dave has strived throughout his career to design new forms of expression through music and it has been my distinct pleasure to have worked with him here at Korg. Dave’s passion for developing and creating new music technologies and integrating that into the classroom is second to none.
Dave has worked with countless influential companies throughout the music industry including Korg to grow the market of electronic music and to create cutting edge technologies for those products. His insight has been instrumental in helping those companies provide curriculum and teaching tools for technology training in the classroom.
Dave, you have had an outstanding and distinctive career—and on behalf of Korg, we thank you for all you have contributed to the music products industry. It has been my pleasure and privlege to have worked with you.
Joe Castronovo, President, Korg USA
I first met David back in the mid-1990s, when I was starting up a fledgling music software company. I was introduced to him because of his (well- earned) reputation as a visionary thinker in the domain of music technology. But what struck me almost immediately about David was something else entirely: his remarkable generosity of spirit. I recall being amazed at his unreserved willingness to help me—just a kid he barely knew, who had nothing to offer him in return. Over the subsequent 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of watching David exhibit this quality over and over again. I’m hard pressed to think of anyone else I’ve ever met who demonstrates as much eagerness to expend his precious time and energy to help those around him.
Alex Rigopolus, Cofounder of Harmonix, creators of Guitar Hero and Rock Band
I have only known David for around 10 years. I say “only,” because when I talk to him about the business we’re both in, it seems to me his wisdom and knowledge is that of a man who spent a thousand years contemplating the nature of music and how we make it. Taking a walk with David means tapping into that source of wisdom, and always leaves me filled with deep insights, catalyzing new questions and ideas.
Something for which I’m forever grateful.
Ernst Nathorst-Boos, CEO and Founder of Propellerhead, Founder of Allihoopa
I first met David Mash in 1978 when I took his Synthesis and Arranging classes here at Berklee. His teaching style was clear and concise. I even got to see his band Ictus play at Pooh’s Pub! David’s deep knowledge of synthesizers and his innovative use of synths in live performance had a profound impact on me as a young student.
After I graduated from Berklee, we kept in touch. Each time we speak David offers interesting perspectives on the world of technology and education. I look forward to our conversations as I always come away having learned something.
It is an understatement to say what a huge influence David has had on Berklee. From creating new curriculum to founding the Synthesis Department to implementing his visions for Berklee’s growth, David’s contributions are felt everywhere across the campus.
Thank you, David, for all of the inspiration you have provided not only for me but for the countless musicians worldwide whom you have also touched and inspired. Many of them may not be able to express it to you directly, but we all thank you.
Congratulations on your retirement… I wish you all the best!
David Rosenthal, Keyboardist, Music Director for Billy Joel
I met Dave Mash in the early 1980s when Berklee was thinking about setting up the world’s first synthesizer performance major. Dave understood that synthesizers were going to change the sound of pop music and was already an ARP customer when I met him. He understood earlier than almost anyone else why Berklee had to be a pioneer in synthesizer instruction. I am glad that I had a chance to work with Dave to get synthesizers into the Berklee curriculum.
I could go on and on about Dave’s contributions to electronic music performance and production—too numerous to recite here. But to me, what ́s more important is Dave Mash the friend. We’ve traveled together, we’ve had Passover together (or the Mash interpretation of Passover, which included gummy toy frogs and other props), we exchange jokes on the internet, we dine together regularly, and on and on. Dave and Erica are always willing to put out extra effort for friends, such as the time Dave had to drive us back to Boston from his house in Natick after a huge pothole on Rt. 30 gave me two flats and two damaged rims when going to his house for dinner. Whatever they do, wherever they go, I want to tag along. And so do my kids who think the Mashes are totally cool. At my age, you don’t get a chance to make new old friends, so I treasure the nearly life-long journey I’ve had with Dave. We’re lucky to have found each other and we’ll never be far apart.
David Friend, Cofounder of ARP Instruments, Entrepreneur
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