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About Tristan Arts

As a graduate student in composition in 1990's, Stephen Whitehead imagined creating interactive software to help teach students the instruments of the orchestra. Multimedia Orchestration, produced by Tristan Arts, is that vision.

The story of Tristan Arts began in the 1990's. During the graduate music program at California State University, Northridge, Stephen Whitehead was in a graduate level orchestration class. In a few sessions classical musicians demonstrated their instruments and corresponding techniques. As one example, the violinist showed how to achieve a doublestop, playing on two strings simultaneously. While these demonstrations were helpful experiences, Stephen wanted to see and hear some of these techniques repeatedly. He imagined creating interactive software in which students could see and hear the sound colors and techniques of the instruments at any time. Multimedia Orchestration, produced by Tristan Arts, is that vision.

After Stephen Whitehead completed his Master's Degree in Composition from California State University, Northridge, in 1999, he began producing Multimedia Orchestration. This project was a realization of his vision for using multimedia technology to help students learn how to write for the instruments of the orchestra. He hired a production team including a cameraman, sound engineer, and software designer. Joseph Gold, violinist, was the first musician in the production shoot.

His brother Jeffrey Whitehead joined Tristan Arts in 2004. Tristan Arts has also produced software and programs to teach younger people, college students, and adults about music history and music appreciation.