What's past is prologue
23 September 2016
After an absence of two years at MacJams I'm back and making some noise.
I haven't been totally absent but my interest in music was practically nada. My wife Anne died last year after a six-month illness so between worrying about her before and recovering my balance after, I had no energy or inclination to create tunes (especially given the way I do it). I would occasionally drop by here to check the forum or music posts but my heart wasn't in it.
My muse finally gave me a tickle in July this year when I put together a little collection of loops for the first time since 2014 and it pleased and inspired me. I've also gone back into some files made between late 2013 and early 2014 (the ones which aren't too depressing) and cleaned them up so that they are almost presentable [Edit: They have now been posted]. Earlier this month I came across some old manuscript sheet music (little sketches really) of tunes I had written nearly 30 years ago and began rediscovering what I'd done. I finally realized that I have almost an album's worth of new tunes I'd like to share. So, on with the show.
15 January 2017
As you can see above, I joined the MacJams community a little over eight years ago. The experience has been very educational especially in terms of my music production and listening ability. (One of the things I learned is that I am unable to hear certain of the higher frequencies, which limits me somewhat.) Originally, I wanted feedback on a number of "loops only" arrangements I had made using the new-to-me GarageBand. Fortunately for me, several veteran members heard something in those early posts of mine. Encouraged by their kindness and generosity of spirit, I have made some slow progress over that time. I no longer depend on loops and now use a MIDI keyboard controller and editing pencil only.
I have no formal music training: I remember a rhythm band (and a concert!) in primary school, one academic year in grade eight of torturing a violin (and my classmates), and a summer in a boys choir. That's it. I did teach myself to play guitar (a little: I could play and sing House of the Rising Sun
Animals-style, and could pick several minutes' worth of Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring
in the early 70s). However, years of listening to music on the radio (remember console stereo hi-fi's or transistor radios?) or from an increasingly large collection of record albums (now know as "vinyl") of wide variety, I seem to have absorbed enough of the rudiments of music magic that members continue to encourage me. Rightly or wrongly is for you to decide.
Pretty much everything I've done here has been an experiment of some sort: instruments, sounds, textures, melodies, harmonies, etc. Since I'm not a musician, though I know a little theory, and I can read music very slowly (with more than a few mispronunciations), I'm both limited by what I don't know will work and liberated to try whatever might work. The 100-plus songs below are the results of my humble efforts. You may enjoy listening to some and turn up your nose (or ears) to others. Taste is like that ;-) They are listed in reverse order: most recent at the top and earliest at the bottom.
Here are a few pieces on which I have collaborated and which are available on other members pages. (All the words in bold below are clickable links.)
My song Daddy's Little Girl
(listed below), was remixed by Daughrin
for the Producer's Challenge in 2011. You can hear his version here.
and I collaborated on an entry in the 2011 MJ Space Race Challenge, "Starsong Lullaby
is a traditional Polish Christmas carol which, at Char
's request, I found and modified a midi file for her to sing over in her native language.
Fellow Canadian and MJer Doug Somers
posted a gorgeous piece called "Angels Riding the Nightwind
" inspired by, and utilizing tracks from, my tune Ride the Wave
(below). A new version has since been posted by Mosaica
in which she actually sings the parts which in Doug's version were samples. It is quite beautiful and you can listen to it right here
Anyway, feel free to have a listen, download them if you like, and please leave a comment. I appreciate honest feedback.