The visionary behind the iPod changed modern music, says cellist Yo-Yo Ma.
Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma shared fond recollections of his friend, the late Steve Jobs, in a GRAMMY Awards tribute earlier this year. He played at Jobs’s funeral in October 2011, at the Apple co-founder’s request.
“I, like so many others, will always be grateful for the impact he had, for the beautiful tools that have helped change my thinking, but even more so for his extraordinary friendship,” said Ma.
Apple has unveiled the last products to have been developed under Jobs’s watchful eye: the iPhone 5, iPod Touch and Nano.
The company revealed that the iPhone 5 is slimmer and lighter than previous models, with a bigger screen. It will be available in Australia from next Friday.
Apple also announced a new iPod Touch incorporating changes made to the iPhone 5 and, for the first time, the voice-controlled personal assistant software, Siri. iTunes software for the Mac and PC will be updated with an interface designed to be more user-friendly, available as a free download in October.
Lastly, the ubiquitous white earbuds provided with all Apple’s portable devices have had a facelift. The new “EarPods” are tube-shaped to mould more easily to the shape of the user’s inner ear.
Yo-Yo Ma’s complete tribute to Steve Jobs appears courtesy of the GRAMMY Awards website:
“Before I met Steve, I first had to say no to him. In the early ’90s, I was touring like a madman, trying to juggle professional commitments and a home life with a young family, when a call came in. Steve Jobs was getting married at Yosemite and he wanted me to play. I declined with great regret. When we met, years later, I was also introduced to his wife and children. The simplicity, directness and openness of his family really struck me. Steve showed me the things he cared about, and I shared the music I would have played at their wedding. From there, the friendship grew.
“There were many more meetings, sometimes for a picnic dinner before concerts, other times grabbing lunch after one of his legendary presentations. Steve was ever eager to share the latest ‘one more thing.’ I will never forget how he pulled out a prototype of the iPhone for me and the astonished members of the Silk Road Ensemble at UC Berkeley, or the conversation about intuition versus intelligence and the importance of stimulating disciplined imagination in our students to ensure an innovative workforce. His life’s work was a reflection of his father Paul’s lesson: ‘When you make something, make sure the back is as beautiful as the front, even if nobody sees it.’
“This last year we had three visits, and in the spring Steve asked me to play at his funeral. I said I would, if he would speak at mine. Needless to say, Steve got his way. I, like so many others, will always be grateful for the impact he had, for the beautiful tools that have helped change my thinking, but even more so for his extraordinary friendship.”