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April 5, 2012

SXSW with Alan Wilkis and his instrument – the Lenovo IdeaPad U300s

How do you live your passion? Alan Wilkis was a musical baby– he started playing the piano at age 5, which led to his love of bands and gigs, and ultimately to his production and remixing of music. Alan loves making music and recording, but it’s the physical world around him in which he finds the most inspiration. Alan recently attended the South by Southwest music festival (SXSW) in Austin, TX, one of the largest independent music festivals in the world, with more than 2000 performers playing in more than 90 venues during a 10 day period in March. Alan came to this year’s SXSW in pursuit of new sounds and to immerse himself amongst people whose love of music collided with his.

We gave Alan a Lenovo U300s to use alongside his abundance of energy and an ear primed for creation. He was ready to take on SXSW for three action packed days. Averaging 3-4 hours of sleep a night he was able to hit the streets of Austin to record the sounds of the festival and hear nearly 20 bands. His goal was to find unique sounds and incorporate them into his music when he returned home.

Each day Alan woke up early and stayed out late armed with a PC as portable, durable and up to the challenge that he was. The Lenovo U300s is a spry 2.9 pounds, packs 8 hours of battery life, and has RapidCharge which allows the battery to charge 50% in 30 minutes. In his words it is a “great piece of equipment–light and fast.”



When he returned home to Brooklyn he had captured a vast library of new sounds that he was excited to incorporate into his new mixes. He turned a bicycle bell in to a high hat cymbal, and wove other sounds like clapping, and a traffic cone hitting the street into his latest song, Wolfman.

Alan was able to easily upload and save his song thanks to SkyDrive. SkyDrive is a great place to keep your files so you can access them from anywhere and share them with whomever you choose– all for free. Alan then used SkyDrive to share is latest song with his friend who was anxious to listen to it on his HP Envy with Beats Audio. A HP PC that has Beats Audio combines studio-inspired sound to make you feel like you’re at a gig.

Alan described his experience in Austin as overwhelming, especially with how willing people were to try something fun and interactive in his trek to create sounds that have never been done before. The U300s allowed Alan to share his work with the people he met along the way so that they were able to enjoy a sample platter of his work in real time.

Alan’s trip to SXSW helped him express and share his passion for making music and producing. Experimenting with sound excites him because he is able to create music that he had never imagined. He likes to go beyond the default sounds that are typically used. Alan said “I love to record sounds that are not traditionally thought of as instruments and then make them into instruments.” Advancements in PCs and technology have released Alan from limitations, and fully allowed his creativity to flow.

If you would like to check out Alan’s music for yourself you can go to his site or check out this free download of his latest song, Wolfman, and see his SXSW experience and how he incorporated his sounds he collected there into his latest work.