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Howie Smith

Howie Smith
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CPAC: How did you get Introduced to your craft? What made you choose it as a profession?
Howie: Music is something I've always loved, and I began taking saxophone lessons whee I was 5 years old. I decided to major in music at college, mostly because that's what I thooght I was supposed to do. It took most of two years before I felt that music was something I wanted to do as a profession. For the past 45 years it's been something I have til do because that's who I am.

CPAC: What are some things that have Influenced you or your work?
Howie: Anything and everything has an influence on my work: people, places, sounds, shapes, colors, feelings and ideas. I'm especially intrigued with concepts offline and reality, and both play a large role in much of my work. The most influential person was my first teacher, J. Carl Borelli, in Reading, PA. He taught me about much more than saxophone, clarinet and composition. Through him I learned about music.

CPAC: How do you generate new ideas?
Howie: A blank piece of paper is still very intimidating, and I think a lot about what's going to go on it before making a single entry. As an improvising musician I'm playing in the moment, reacting to everything that's taking place around me. As a composer I'm not writing for the instrwnent(s) that will be making specific sounds as much as I'm writing for the people (or devices) that will be making those sounds. Who is going to perform the piece, as well as when and where it's going to take place, play an important part in the sounds I choose.

CPAC: Why have you chosen Cuyahoga County as a place to live and work?
Howie: I reluctantly came to Cleveland from southem California io 1979 to become a member of the faculty at Cleveland State University. Because of the diversity of cultures and ideas, as well as the abundance of excellent artists in every field, it's turned out to be a good very place to live,
work and raise a family.

CPAC: What Is your favorite place, event. or "hidden gem" in greater Cleveland?
Howie: My favorite place - any time of the day or night, any weather, any season - is the lake. The
same goes for Great Lakes Brewery. Other favorites are Brennan's Colony, Pizzazz on the Circle, Cedar-Lee Cinema, Shaker Square Market, and On the Rise. At or near the top of the list
of hidden gems has to be the CSU Art Gallery and the Cleveland Bop Stop.