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Local Musician Demystifies the Beatles

Local musician Scott Freiman will perform his next Beatles lecture at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville July 15.

By almost anyone's standards, Scott Freiman was very successful in his first career as owner of a software company.  His business was thriving with 200 employees, but something was missing.

"My first passion was music, so I decided to move to New York to pursue a full-time career as a composer," Freiman said.

Freiman has a professional-quality production studio—Second Act Studio—in his home in Irvington and his music has been featured in award-winning films and on the stages of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. 

But Freiman's most recent pursuit has been to design and present lectures deconstructing the enigmatic music and lyrics of the Beatles. 

"In my presentations, I play rarely-heard audio recorded by The Beatles, discuss their studio techniques and how they wrote songs," Freiman said. "There's a lot of listening to music and exploring how songs evolved from their first recording to the finished product."

Freiman's next lecture, "A Trip Through Strawberry Fields," will be held July 15 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville.  The presentation will focus on the revolutionary techniques used during the production of some the Beatles most popular songs: "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane," and the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

"Most people don't realize how many contemporary studio techniques originated from the Beatles," Freiman said. "The Beatles launched psychedelic music, pushing limits not only of writing but of production."

Freiman said he definitely uses the Beatles as inspiration for his own song-writing and appreciates how the band uniquely transcends age, gender, nationality and musical preference.

"My lectures are filled with all kinds of people, from kids and seniors, to adults who can tell us what color acid they had taken when they first heard a particular song."

In fact, Freiman did not originally create his Beatles lectures as something to perform publicly.

"I did my first one for about 35 friends in my living room," he said. "But everyone got so excited, they wanted me to create more and continue lecturing."

Thus far, he has presented at the Cinema Arts Theater in Hntington and the Electronic Music Foundation in New York City and at Poetry Science Talks in Saugerties.  Freiman has also presented for music students at City College.

"Even though I once ran a company, there's something harder and more exciting about composing and having to hustle to book gigs," he said. "I love going with the tides."

Freiman lives in Westchester with his three kids: Max, 14, Zach, 12, and Jack, 9--and with his wife Allison Fine, whose third book, "The Networked Nonprofit," was recently released.

When asked his favorite Beatles song, Freiman just laughed. "That's not a fair question," the Yale University graduate said. "It's just too difficult."  

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