Golden oldies – kids making electronic music

I often get asked how long I’ve been making electronic music. The answer is – probably most of my life! My dad was a TV engineer in the 60s and 70s, so he had allsorts of circuit testers and oscilloscopes and other bits of junk that I could mess around round and make odd bleeps and sinewave wails! My dad also had an old valve stereo radio and I used to tune it in to all sorts of weird and wonderful Eastern European radio stations on Short-Wave, and made crazy frequency sweeps. I even hooked up a model train transformer to the radio’s input socket and made wacky noises. I moved on to buying a cheap stereo reel-to-reel in a wooden box and recorded tunes I made on an old electronic organ that worked by blowing air from a fan. The first “proper” song I made was called “The Car Park”, and then something called “Do you know Mister Wall?” (anyone spot where I got that title from?). I used to try making “musique concrete” tunes by cutting up my tapes, but I didn’t have the right gear to join them up again, and made a horrible mess of the tape heads!

I got my first synth in about 1980 – a Casio MT31, followed by a Kay Memory Rhythm, and then a Jen SX1000. Not much, I know, but it was all I could afford and it allowed me to make tunes for all the lyrics I’d been writing about teenage angst and life in general. I recorded everything onto a Phillips hi-fi system (with adjustable Left and Right mic inputs!) bounced down with a Phillips portable cassette player and a home-made 4-input mixer (in a small tin box!). Most of the parts were pretty much played live, then bounced down and things like the synth solos and vocals were played over the top.

I made about 5 cassette tapes full on songs around that time, and they all survive to this day. The only one I’ve copied to CD so far is the first one, called “Ultraviolent Light”. Listening to them now makes me think of the songs of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, who still use similar gear as I used. One of the tracks from this “album” is called “This is the Mood (I’m in) and is here for you to listen to in all it’s glory. Bear in mind that it’s from a cassette tape that’s nearly 30 years old and I haven’t used any noise removal equipment….. it sounds quite a quirky little song….see what you think!

This is the Mood (I’m in) – 4’40”

Download:

This is the Mood (I’m in)

A career in music?

I’ve always wanted a job in music, maybe as a pop star or producer (only kidding), but resigned myself a long time ago to the fact that it would never happen. I’ve been working in education for the last 12 years, and recently started doing a lot of e-learning stuff, which involves audio and video production, so thought it’s probably the nearest I’d ever get to put my music tech skills and general musical knowledge to some use. However, that may change in the near future, and I may actually get my career in music after all.

I’ve had an interview at a university where they want someone to become the e-learning subject specialist in their music library, which covers both general music stuff and music technology. They have quite a lot of professional music people teaching there, both composers and producers, so it would be an ideal chance to learn more about that side of things, and hopefully improve my own music and production skills.

Of course, a lot of you on here probably already have the ideal music career, but I’m interested in technology, music, and how the two work to not only make music but promote it too. Sounds ideal to me!

The only problem now is I have to wait to see if I’ve got the job……

The colour Purple

No post for a few weeks, mainly due to family commitments, work commitments, and stuff like that. However, I’m excited right now. I’m finally going to get some tunes played on an upcoming internet radio show. More details to follow after 10pm (UK time).

In the meantime, you can get hold of all my music for free. See the previous post for details….

Zen and art of selling music

Some people have been asking where they can buy my music. Well, the simple answer is: you can’t. It’s all free to play/download over the internet. You can listen to it and download it, make your own compilation CDs from my tracks. As long as you don’t sell it on or pass it on as youre own, I don’t mind. I’m trying to get my music into film, tv, adverts, that sort of thing, so the more people who listen to it, maybe the more chance that some music supervisor somewhere will hear the tracks and want to use it. That’s the idea….

“mistrust music” can be downloaded here:

TV Tunes (10 tracks) at MusicFreedom (including: Dubcrazy, Paul the phone is ringing, All roads)

Making Movies (8 tracks) on MusicFreedom (including: Never Alone, Happy Birthday)

Making Movies EP on Nishi Netlabel

Myspace

If you prefer me to send you a physical CD, I can send one out to anywhere in the world for just a small price to cover printing, postage and packing, with either the list of tracks that are on MusicFreedom/Myspace or a “pick and mix” selection of your choice.

Click here to contact me if you want a CD….

If anyone wants to use my music for film/tv/advert work etc., please click here to discuss your project with me. Have a look on Youtube for examples of my previous film work. I’m already signed to Candy Cover music library on a non-exclusive deal…