(Feb, 2004) Hi, and thanks for visiting. I've loved music for pretty near all my life and, despite a small dearth of talent, I've been playing since I was 12 or so. I was never properly trained, something I'll probably always regret. Though I've tried to "retrain" myself from time to time, my bad habits are pretty deeply ingrained. My father worked on moving trucks and, from time to time, we'd find a piano that someone didn't want in our home. I'd fool around on it trying to pick out tunes until it was sold. When I was 18, I bought a Thomas organ and a book of some Beatles tunes and forced myself to learn to play.
While in college, I also learned the recorder and then the flute. My teacher on the latter was lavish in his praise when he told me how he was beginning to almost be able to tell what I was trying to play. Naturally, I filled with pride at those words.
Through the years, I've owned a variety of keyboards and in the late 80's I began adding computers to the mix. I began recording via MIDI on a Commodore 64 and then on various IBM PC's and hardware based-sequencers. I currently own a Yamaha PSR-2000, a Studio Logic MIDI controller keyboard, a Yamaha MU-90R tone generator and some various other recording and audio equipment. In the past, I've owned equipment from Technics, Roland, Emu and others. I've also written professionally about MIDI and audio recording and have done a little studio consulting.
I hit a rather low point in my musical career during a "live audition." It was to be one song ("Aja") and I figured how hard can it be to play a couple of chords? A finger fumble led to stage fright or stage fright led to a finger fumble, either way, I choked bad and though I thought I recovered and played several notes near the end that were reasonably dead on, it was an humiliating experience. To this day, I've not totally recovered from that experience.
While I play as an amateur (and amateurishly!), I've become adept at using the keyboard to help me play music while letting the electronics help with some of my fingering. I was shocked to find out I was far from the only one ("never let 'em see your left hand!"). What the keyboard doesn't solve live for me, the built-in sequencer and/or the computer does. I'll often lay down a series of tracks, quantize the results, use copy and paste from the best takes and lean heavily on technology to produce music that I probably could not have otherwise created.
As part of the recording process, I enjoy arranging music and composing my own music. A song I wrote in 1999 beat out 10,000 other entries in a song-writing contest. Some of my music has been played as far south as Connecticut, as far north as Newfoundland and as far west as Saskatchewan. A talented pair of Canadian artists recorded a song I wrote (she wrote nearly all of the lyrics) over the summer of 2003 and I've been approached by a country artist about another song that I wrote.
I've come to accept that I'll probably not be the next Billy Joel or Paul Simon, but music is an important facet of my life and one that I enjoy sharing. I appreciate Joe's hosting of some of my music here.