Archive for July, 2013

People frequently ask me if I’ve ever taken music lessons. The answer is “sort of.” I never took a music theory class of any kind, but I did take four hours of beginner guitar lessons at UNH in 1993. For $20, I sat in a group of ten people, and our instructor Stephen showed us the very basics of chords and some simple songs. The class was an hour long and lasted four weeks, and I remember that the first session was pretty much devoted to tuning everyone’s guitar. Stephen did print out a few diagrams and chord charts, but essentially, that was the end of my “formal” training. Everything else I’ve learned has been by figuring it out on my own, here and there having someone show me a thing or two.

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Although my DJ career had officially taken off with my first gig, I was still nervous about actually playing music at functions, so when the opportunity came to do a wedding, I hesitated. First of all, even though I was getting into a career of public performance, I was still a shy 16 year old. And second, I had only one gig under my belt, and this was someone’s wedding – not something to be taken lightly. But my mother was mighty supportive and strongly suggested that I take the job, since it would only help me gain experience. So I booked it.

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In 8th grade, I had the pleasure of taking the Home Economics class, which was essentially learning how to cook and bake. One of the things we learned to bake was cookies. They tasted pretty good in class, so I decided to surprise my parents one afternoon and make cookies before they got home. What a nice kid!

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I’ve been sharing my music with people since 1996. Back then, a cassette tape was considered the normal way to exchange songs. It was good enough, but by no means great. The affordable recording machines of the day, however, were cassette-based, so it’s what we used. When recordable CDs became more mainstream and affordable, we were able to release full albums of respectable quality, and with the help of a decent printer, it was fairly easy to make a quasi-professional looking CD package. Except …

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I took a music recording class in 2004 at Berklee College of Music in Boston. It was a couple hours every Monday evening for four weeks, and it covered the basics of recording and music production. I figured I had most of the basics down at that point, but it felt like a good idea to take an official course right before I headed west to open a recording studio with my brother. The online description of the class said that there would be an exercise in which all students could participate in making a group recording and that all students would be allowed to take home a copy of that recording.

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It’s been a while since I made a video, and since I’ve been enjoying the song Awareness the most from Sansbeat, I thought I’d give it the treatment. I put it against a fractal backdrop video created by Jérémie Brunet using Mandelbulb 3D. Enjoy and share!

Click here to watch the video in YouTube.

fractal01

My third band was called Thought Brigade. Unlike the first two, which were more hard rock, Thought Brigade’s music was reminiscent of 80s alternative rock, when R.E.M. ruled the underground airwaves (lovely visual there) and you didn’t need polish to garner a following.

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