Almost eight years ago, my friend Scott_M and I gathered at my house to record tracks on his four-track cassette recorder.We spent a single Saturday laying down an album called Vibrating Electric Fields. Although our intention when we began was to create an album of ambient music using three electric football fields, Scott's guitar, bass and baritone ukelele as well as kazoos, a slide whistle, and other similar little instruments, our end result was not really ambient music at all, but instead a fair bit of noise and some melody. The album sold a few copies on eBay (to aficionados of the fields). One track got featured on The Odd Music podcast.
Because Scott was kind enough to spend a Saturday on this vaguely quixotic mission, all manner of good things happened. My friend queenseye suggested that I join the ccMixter community. I uploaded a few samples there, all of which were primitive. A remix contest featuring queenseye was held, and I developed an interest in remixing in order to support my friend through remixing one of her songs. I got a five dollar value studio from Magix, combed the internet for freeware electronic music devices, and acquired a music notation program called Musedit. My first remixes were very primitive and more than a bit experimental. Yet as time went on I made friends, found collaborators, and learned more about making music. Thanks to verian I co-own a netlabel. Thanks to the kindness of still other folks, over 450 viral videos have been made featuring my music. One, "Lake of Stumps and Staubs", has alone been featured in over 200 videos, if google video's search engine is accurate. I've been granted the privilege of being a co-moderator of a sound installation at a museum in Oslo, I've had music appear in public radio programs in Canada, Australia, and the Netherlands, and I've had music appear in a televised drama in the Netherlands, as well as in an award-winning animated short in this country.
I've had songs featured in films shown in video festivals, as well as in films more akin to home movies than high art. None of this would have happened but for Scott_M and queensye.
Today Scott_M and I spent two and a half hours recording together once again. Rather than
his little four track cassette, we used my Magix Samplitude Music Studio 14, and a group of
VST effects I have plugged in to that host. Scott laid down guitar tracks and acoustic bass tracks. He spent a lot of time recording little samples I'll use for other songs in other ways. Tonight I used a recording of queenseye's voice to to create a synth melody for a percussive melody I wrote tonight. I think I was into percussion because I read a book with a section about John Cage.
I'm grateful that Scott and queenseye helped me get started with this hobby, which has been a great deal of fun for years now. I'm also grateful today for a helpful clerk at Radio Shack who got me the splitters and wires I needed, to my wife for grilling hot dogs, to the city of McKinney, whose fireworks display could be seen in the distance as we stood in our front yard.
I'm grateful that I got to walk our dogs at 6:45 a.m., and that I am taking tomorrow off.
Today was a good fourth of July, and now I have good intentions and fife samples.