A few short months ago I wrote a painful piece (painful to me I mean) about the sacking of the UK’s Sibelius programmers by Avid, who wanted to employ cheaper labour elsewhere. I wrote then of the human story of the people on the receiving end of the chop, from the perspective I have of someone privileged enough to have known them & seen them close up and worked with them from time to time on various bits and pieces, notably plug-in programming. Apart from the CMP composers, they’re the closest things I have to colleagues, here in my ivory tower at the Chichester Music Press, and they have been for many years.
I went to see them one last time a few weeks ago, not quite knowing what to expect, and to my surprise, found a jovial little group of people, still good humoured, working busily in a warm atmosphere. There was no hint of anyone staring uncertainly over an abyss into unemployment.
Avid at one point were making ‘strenuous efforts’ (their words) to hang on to their last programmers, having given them their marching orders back in July, because, just like literally thousands of people had told them, they found they weren’t able to replace them as easily as they’d thought. Serves them right for not listening, really. How many signatures on a petition do you need? (They got over 11,000.)
So, why did their ‘strenuous efforts’ come to naught? Why were they so chirpy, mere days before their redundancies kicked in? Well, now we know why, and it’s because of this:
So, Avid sack an award-winning, talented, productive, close-knit team with a proven track record in turning out fantastic music software, and Steinberg see the golden opportunity for what it is, and pick them up again. Given the fecund nature of what was happening to them before, this seems to me to be the best possible outcome for the individuals involved, and, I have no doubt, for Sibelius users as well. I am delighted, and I am upbeat about the future for current Sibelius users. I will have absolutely no regrets jumping ship if and when the time comes.