Total Playing Time: 40:10
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I wrote all these songs a long time ago. Only recently has technology progressed to the point where it became feasible for me to release them (this CD was mastered between the dates of 12/14/97 and 12/21/97). Here I will present to you the history of the songs.
Every song on this album has been sitting on DAT since I was between the ages of 16 and 19. All the songs were created in my home studio using the following equipment: Roland D-50, Korg M1, Roland S-770, and Boss SE-50. It was all originally recorded onto a Sony DTC-700 DAT.
1. Hit Stab & Spice - Completed sometime before 5/89.
The first two words in title refer to terms from the synthesizer music world. 'Hit' and 'Stab' are notes that accentuate the music, much like an exclamation point in a sentence. At the time I named the song, it never occurred to me that these same terms were used to describe violence.
2. Ultimate Challenge - Completed sometime between 6/89 and 8/90.
I had an incredible hesitation in writing this song, because I felt a portion of my main theme was used in a video arcade machine, and I was afraid of being sued. To put myself at ease, I went to my local arcade with a tape recorder, taped the video game in question, and after extended listening sessions I decided that they were very different. Can you guess which video game?
3. Redline - Completed on 6/4/91.
One day I happened to be at a computer trade show and met an individual who was producing a video of computer graphics. He wanted me to score the music, which I proceeded to do. Actually, my first song idea was tossed out as inappropriate; this song is the second iteration. The resulting video was then shipped inside a software product as a demo tape of what the product could do. The car and plane sounds in this song corresponded to computer-generated cars and planes that existed in the video.
4. International Spy - Completed on 10/25/90.
I love creating musical pictures in people's minds. If I had my druthers, I would rather that people listen to this song without knowing the title, then tell me what they visualize after they hear it. It is always a compliment when people say that the song makes them think about a 'Spy' without first knowing the name.
5. The Dreamer - Completed sometime before 5/89.
Of the twelve songs, this one was created first. I paid special attention to the flute melody; when I played the part on my synthesizer, I also breathed out through my mouth. When I ran out of breath, I lifted my fingers off the keyboard until I renewed my breath. Since a real flute player cannot play when they are out of breath, this technique made the melody more realistic.
6. Panther - Completed on 7/1/92.
This was my second song that I scored to video. My means to record music to video were always very low-tech. Specifically, I ran a 40 foot cable from my VCR to my synthesizers to synchronize them. Then, with remote control in hand, I watched the TV from across the room to get an idea as to what was going on. Then, I played something that I felt was appropriate. I would then rewind the tape and continue this process for hours on end.
7. Big Change - Completed on 9/15/91.
This is my 'hard edge' song of the bunch. It was difficult for me to come up with a grungy sound on my synthesizers, so I took samples of a distorted guitar and assembled them together to form the melody in the middle of the song. After the guitar melody comes a part of music that contains a very odd sound that was made by a technical mistake. Some people consider technical mistakes a nuisance, but I consider them an incredible source of creativity and inspiration.
8. Space Bar West - Completed in 10/90.
People tell me this title could refer to two things, either a tavern in outer space, or the widest key on your computer keyboard. I had the former in mind when I named it. I figured, even space-faring travelers needed fun and musical entertainment.
9. Runaway - Completed on 4/16/92.
This was the third song that I scored for the video company. There is an interesting story about how this one was created: I was at a computer trade show demonstrating software to visitors. During the first day, the video company received a rush job offer which had to be completed before the last day of the trade show. No problem, right? The catch -- I had no synthesizers to play the music. It turned out, after each of the 10-hour days on the show floor, I had to type in each and every note of this song on a computer keyboard. Not only that, but what I typed in had to synchronize with a video that didn't exist yet! Fortunately, the results were a success, and this resulting video was also shipped inside a software product as a demo tape.
10. Midnight - Completed around 12/90.
For those that know the Yamaha FM series of synthesizers, this song contains many samples of the ever-famous DX-7. It even has the 'Taco-Bell' bell in it.
11. Cyber Cyti - Completed on 11/11/91.
A ballet dancer, also a good friend of mine, choreographed a beautiful dance to this song in June 1997. Ballet and powerful instrumental music make a highly potent combination of entertaining art! I had tears of joy streaming down my face when I saw this dance. Of the twelve songs, this song was created last. I can feel my growth, both technical and musical, that occurred between The Dreamer and this song. What do you think?
12. World Of Power - Completed on 5/17/89.
This song pushed the limits of my equipment at the time I wrote it. Despite the technical limitations, this song owned my life while it was being written. I feel it was well worth it. I paid an incredible (almost anal) amount of detail to every note. I even had the Hi-Hat's play little games in the middle of the song. Can you find them?
In closing, I hope these songs can bring you some of the joy they have brought me throughout the years. Enjoy!