Alan Balter And The Die Cast Machine

The power of a liberal arts education (thanks Michelle)

Today, I am laughing at a wonderful awareness that has been ruminating in my convoluted mindset. Alan Balter not only taught me some things about playing the clarinet but also how to set and run a Die Cast Machine. Of course, digging into the brain wave functions of a disturbed traumatized practiced performing artist could be delving into major uncharted fearful territory.

Minute Evaluation

Picture this, a person, a clarinet, a metronome, a stack of music in a 4 X 4 cubicle for hours on end each day, trying to get fingers, wind column, rhythm and intonation all in sync at the same precise millisecond can lead to total ‘brain fry” at times. However, it’s important to realize the thought and analyzation skill sets that are also being developed during this intense process. In this unique process there are times when even the slightest variance in finger height or hand position can cause and irrefutable catastrophe lasting only a second but destroying the performer mentally and emotionally.

Situation Analysis

Moving forward one step at a time, perhaps we over analyze a situation that we as performers deem to be important, but there is a sideline to all this. Yes, I am getting to the point, eventually; this finger moves a millimeter too far to the left as I raise it making the mathematical formulation of the 32nd note run seem infinitesimally gross. In other words, it’s just not working the way it should fit into the complexities of the rhythmic structures around it.


Sight, Sound and Mechanics now come into play in this scenario. Verbaciousness aside, slow methodical working through each and every motion will give the performer a different aspect of each action and reaction. This is really becoming an explanation on the theory of relativity I do believe.

From A to Z

A – Air

B- Breathing

C – Nothing Here

D – Dense

E – Eureka!

F – Fine’

Found the problem and eureka, it’s working again. Complete and total analyzation skill set developed. Now, take that into the workforce along with a knowledge of computer’s (this is where Alan fits in the picture). Combined together, the challenge with the 7000 Ton Die Cast Machine is in the programming, the parabolic curve on the plunger or injection force is not compatible with the mold itself, adjust using these concepts and while you are at it, check the coolant flow in the hot die, clean it out and WALLA, perfect parts. The KISS Priniciple comes into play here, Keep It Simple Stupid.

Personal reality, I topped out in an industry where 3 to 5 years was the standard time frame for aquiring knowledge and skills in 6 months, the rest took me to midlevel management in a multinational corporation within a year. There is a lot more to this experience, if you would like to know just ask for the rest of the story.

A Liberal Arts Education, what a Roadmap to success!

About ukitena

“My purpose is to empower students and avid artistic connoisseurs to think for themselves. I will empower students and avid artistic connoisseurs to think for themselves through my performing, teaching, speaking and jovial actions. I will empower creativity in daily life and living and give the artistic connoisseur the feeling it is ok to be creative and push boundaries in their lives and way of living.”

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