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October 2020
Enjoy the Music.com Review Magazine

Ken Forsythe, Director Of Market Development At MQA
Ken Forsythe looks back on five decades of musical memories, and the pivotal role music has played in his personal life and career.
Enjoy the Music.com's 25th Anniversary brings you a new special feature!

 

Ken Forsythe, Director Of Market Development At MQA

A proud moment during CES with Allen Boothroyd (Meridian co-founder) and Bob Stuart (Meridian co-founder and MQA founder).

 

  During Enjoy the Music.com's very special 25th Anniversary we're asking various high-end audio manufacturers to give us a look into their life filled with music and delight. Now working to promote MQA, Ken is helping with this breakthrough audio technology that enables music fans to stream the original master recording into their home, car or on their mobile. Working together with the music industry and global hi-fi brands, MQA audio powers the world's best-sounding music services, videos and consumer devices.

Music evokes emotions. It can make us happy, sad, frustrated, or optimistic, and can even galvanize action and movements for change. It can help start difficult conversations, or be the ultimate expression of joy. I have never met anyone that said they hate music! Music has helped shape my personality and my world view as a human. Music's influence is so personal it is reflected in my values as an individual.

 

The Soundtrack Of My Formative Years
I grew up in a house full of music and all of my fondest memories include music. We would always have music playing at dinner. We would have listening sessions on Sunday evenings where we would listen to entire albums. My dad owned a HiFi Store, so we always had a great HiFi at home. While in high school I began working summers at my dad's store. Here I was exposed to an even wider taste in music from the other employees in all positions. Whether listening to a salesman's demo, or the radio in the delivery truck, days were full of music.

 

Dad's store, Forysthe's Communications, in Nassau, Bahamas. (1980-1989)

 

My parents made us aware that music was not just an art from, but something that was there for pleasure. I can remember a steady "stream" of Sinatra, Ella, Elvis, Mozart, Dave Brubeck, Marty Robbins, Ray Charles, and Harry Belafonte. As my older brother developed his own tase in music, our "house sound" grew to include The Beatles, The Stones, Eagles, Blondie, and Hall & Oates.  As I got older, they didn't shun my musical taste either, even in the 1980s! Our family's musical horizons grew to include Phil Collins, Michael Jackson, Prince, Whitney Houston, Aerosmith, Tears for Fears, and Fleetwood Mac. There was an inclusivity in everyone's music, even if it wasn't your genre.  This was as valuable "life lesson" learned that I use every day.

 

Milestone Music Events
There are a few musical events that particularly stand out and have shaped my musical taste as well as being a person. Singing "The Gambler" by Kenny Rogers on the beach camping with my family. Getting up early Christmas morning in 1989 to listen, along with 100 million others, to Beethoven's Symphony No.9  by the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra with Leonard Bernstein conducting at the Berlin Wall. Listening to my "mix tape" featuring Huey Lewis, Duran Duran, The Police, The Skatalites, and Genesis with friends on the beach every weekend.

These times helped me understand that music could have a very intimate meaning, while also being something to be shared.

Tagging along with a friend and his older brother I attended my first concert at the age of 12.

In an open park, an impromptu performance by Bob Marley helped me to understand that music could be more than something for pleasure, but something to raise awareness, and help drive change. We ended up spending the day listening to amazing music that spoke about equality, tolerance and social justice. For me this was a mind-opening experience and another life lesson.

Then came Live Aid. Another mind blower! I took two days off and had a huge house party. Some of my favorite artists, Paul McCartney, Queen, Duran Duran, U2, George Michael, and Phil Collins on two continents on the same day! Amazing performances and millions of dollars raised for a great cause. In my mind, this solidified the power of music beyond entertainment.

 

The HiFi Buys' team supporting the Braves during the 1985 World Series. (1990-1996)

 

Expanding Musical Horizons
Having music affect you so strongly reinforces my belief that it is something to be shared.

I remember having a spirited "debate" with my wife when wanting to take our four-year-old son to see Dave Brubeck at Emory University in 2002. As you can imagine seating was very limited, and expensive. My view was that if he could have any memory of seeing Brubeck live it was certainly worth the high price of the ticket. In the end, he attended the concert with us. He called it "Snoopy Jazz" because to him it sounded like the Peanuts theme music. Interestingly, Dave Brubeck was initially approached to compose this theme tune, but had to turn the offer down (it was actually written by American jazz pianist and Brubeck contemporary Vince Guaraldi). Today at 21 years of age, my son still smiles when he hears Brubeck and remembers hearing "Snoopy Jazz" live!

My wife and I adopted the same "house sound" with my son growing up. I have been exposed to some great, and not so great, R&B, Rap, and Pop. This I am sure is no different to how my parents thought of some of my music when I was growing up. The truth is that I would have never discovered most of this new music without first hearing it played by my son. His musical tastes have also started some very healthy conversations and debates. While he definitely has his own, and distinct musical taste, he still listens to, and enjoys, Brubeck, Marley, Sinatra, and Ella. We, as a family, are all better for our shared musical tastes.

 

A fantastic night at the exclusive MAYORS watch event during the 2020 Florida Audio Expo.

 

Combining Music And A Career
Having grown up in a HiFi store, staying in the audio industry seemed like a natural for me. I have been very fortunate to work for great companies including HiFi Buys in Atlanta, GA, and Meridian Audio. Both of these companies were full of great people all with a deep love of music. Both of these companies allowed me to "share" my passion of music through hardware to clients, many of whom became dear friends. Now working with MQA, I feel that I have come full circle in that our mission is to bring great music to everyone, everywhere. For me, I can't think of a more noble cause.

 

 

 

 

MQA

Manufacturer
MQA
E-mail: info@mqa.co.uk 
Website: www.MQA.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     
 

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