At HARMAN, we are passionate about music, and we harness that energy to create superior quality products and technologies for people who love music just as much as we do. We understand what audiophiles look for in premium speakers, headphones and stereo systems because we are musicians and music aficionados ourselves! In the spirit of Make Music Day, we asked four of our resident musicians about their passion for music and how it inspired them to pursue a career with HARMAN. Up first, Chris Dragon, Senior Director of Marketing, Lifestyle Audio, and Marcel Galho, Marketing for Consumer Audio, HARMAN Brazil.
Q: What instrument do you play and how long have you been playing?
Chris Dragon: I’m a formally trained guitarist and have been playing for 44 years, and I also play the mandolin, baritone guitar and bass. I currently play in an acoustic trio called Jawbone Hill that celebrates classic rock and country music. We’re known for our three-part harmonies as well as some great flatpicking and fingerstyle guitar playing.
Marcelo Galho: Currently, I play the acoustic drums. I’ve been playing instruments for 17 years, and for the past three I’ve been totally immersed in the drum world. I like to play music across all genres, but my favorite songs are Metal and Hard Rock. Those are also my favorite songs to perform live!
Q: Did your passion for music influence your decision to join HARMAN? How is music involved in the work that you do?
CD: My passion for music is definitely what drew me to this line of work. When I was growing up, I worked in musical instrument and consumer electronics stores, before starting an American CE manufacturing company called Soundstream Technologies. We were the first company to develop IR based multi-room, multi-source audio systems. In parallel with Soundstream, we also owned and operated a professional audio manufacturer called Stewart Electronics, where I served as VP of Sales and Marketing up until I joined HARMAN.
While HARMAN has evolved from purely an audio company to the technology company we are today, delivering the world’s best audio experiences continues to be a significant part of what we do. Knowing and understanding music, audio, how instruments sound in the real world, and how records are mixed has allowed me to know good audio products when I see them. In the numerous roles I have held at HARMAN, I continue to make it a point to use my knowledge to ensure my teams are educated and effective.
MG: My passion for music also led me to HARMAN. It motivated my immersion in the history, identity, and values of the company, making work one of my other passions. Brazil has a very rich musical heritage and culture. Working in the marketing segment for consumer audio in our Nova Santa Rita facilities in Brazil allows me to help share the beautiful and powerful sound of HARMAN with music lovers in our country, and all over the world.
Q: The way we listen to music has dramatically changed over the years. How has HARMAN’s relationship with musicians evolved? How have our products changed?
CD: Before social media, HARMAN would sponsor a major tour every year by artists like Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Rod Stewart, The Eagles, or The Beach Boys. We hosted sales contests and sweepstakes and awarded consumers who took our products for a test drive with tickets, swag, and the opportunity to meet the artists. Some of these elements still apply today, but now we activate artists in more focused ways through social media and events at the HARMAN store, JBL Fest, and CES where they serve as spokespeople for our brand.
On the product side, HARMAN has made great sound more portable and more affordable! We’ve transitioned from only being able to listen to music in our living rooms, to being able to listen to it in the car, to now, where portable devices make it possible to take amazing sound with us anywhere we go. It’s also not just reserved for luxury systems, although we still offer those, too. Regardless, one thing that hasn’t changed – HARMAN’s premium audio products have always been a music-lovers go-to choice. Whether you are experiencing a breathtaking live recording on our multi-channel home audio systems or enjoying a private concert on expertly-calibrated headphones, I promise you will be moved, amazed, and proud.
Q: As a musician, what are some HARMAN products that you like to use when you’re playing or recording?
MG: I really love using the AKG K52 headphones for rehearsals and recordings. The comfort and acoustic quality they provide is unmatched.
Q: Do you have any advice for other aspiring musicians?
MG: Never lose your passion for music, and never, ever give up! No matter how difficult it might seem, it will be worth it in the end. Enjoy all the inspiration and knowledge that the world, and HARMAN, has to offer.
Q: Fill in the blank: Because of music, I can…
CD: …enjoy life, enjoy work, and enjoy sharing our passion with others.
MG: … live the dream!
HARMAN is back as the official sound of Make Music Day’s Street Studios! Find out how you can participate here. In the meantime, stay tuned to the blog for the second installment about HARMAN’s Weekend Warriors in honor of Make Music Day.
P.S. A special HARMAN birthday shout out to Chris Dragon, who celebrated his birthday on June 18 in style with good music and great friends.