Why Apple Matters to DJ and Visual Artist Pensatore
Michael Pensatore, New York City DJ and Visual Artist, picked up the phone somewhere between his paintbrush and turntable needle in order to speak with me for a little while about his work and his Mac.
Q: Ok, first things first, what Mac do you work on?
A Mac PowerBook G4.
Q: Could you describe your Yin and Yang Pensatore personas? Start with your Art.
Well, I studied animation at The School of Visual Arts in New York. It was the only major that allowed me to do everything I loved: creating stories, soundtracks, character designs, etc. I would create a story and use the colors and music to trigger specific moods in the viewer. I used a Mac G4 for those four years. Since I graduated, I have continued to work in a variety of mediums. I love studying anatomy, interior design, sculpture and oil painting, but I also really enjoy more modern art forms like animation, video production, aural Podcasts, and website design. I spend most of my days working on my art and my new website which features some of my art www.mpensatore.com. I used iWeb to build it.
Q: You had a site before this one, didn’t you?
Yeah. It featured both my art and my music but I had someone else put it together for me. Although it looked great, having to coordinate schedules and communicate ideas through someone else ended up being more time consuming then just doing it myself. I felt like we were always behind. Plus, my schedule is all over the place. So now, if I feel like adding or changing something when I get home from the club at 5 in the morning, I can just take care of it myself.
Q: Which brings us to “DJ Pensatore”
The other half of my 24-7 lifestyle is DJ Pensatore. I’m a resident DJ [on] Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at Webster Hall, one of the biggest clubs in Manhattan. I spin hip hop and reggae some nights. House on others. I spend a lot of time preparing for my shows, finding songs, making industry contacts, and keeping on top of all the latest stuff going on.
Q: How does your Mac factor into the nighttime music side?
So much. It is the hub of the DJ booth. I house my 4000+ song collection on my laptop. It makes it much easier to be prepared for anything, especially when I am doing a special event and I’m not sure what kind of a crowd it is going to draw. Plus, it lets me cut back on the amount of vinyl I have to lug around. Everything I need fits in my old record bag.
Even in preparing to play out, I use iTunes constantly. The quality of most downloads outside of iTunes just doesn’t cut it when you are going to be pounding them on a big club system.
I also do mixtapes, a DJ’s calling card, and build beats and riddims. Sometimes it feels like the Mac is an extension of myself. It makes it so easy to flow my ideas into the music as I create.
I also host NYC Pensatore annual podcasts, available on iTunes. You can check them out on my website too.
Q: So why a Mac?
Macs are designed to handle music and visual media. They are the industry standard for both. They are made for creative people. All the programs work together seamlessly. My PowerBook has never crashed. It has never caught a virus.
And, honestly, as a visual artist, the look of the Mac is light years ahead of its bulky competitors. That sleek, minimal, clean look is important to me. It’s functional art.
Q: Makes you look slick carrying one of those into the club too, huh?
Q: What are you working on now?
A painting of St. Francis. He is in an Eastern setting. It represents the universal concept of simplicity as a path to wisdom and enlightenment. The beliefs of St. Francis and Zen Buddhism are quite similar.
I am also putting together a commercial for the guys at 92.3 Free FM New York, JV and Elvis. I’m using Garage Band to put it together.
Q: Think you’ll stick with the Mac?
Yeah. It’s the type of tool that inspires rather than inhibits me. When I use to work on a PC, my ideas were always thwarted by the technology and trying to figure out how to make things work within their parameters. With the Mac everything is just so much easier to create. It feels like it was built for me and my needs.
Q: Any parting words?
Yeah, I’d love for people to check out the site, www.mpensatore.com give me some feedback and for anyone in New York, or coming to the area, come check me out at Webster Hall.