Hello, and welcome.
I've been a member for just over 4 years, and 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. I am investigating a solution, but it seems to me that hearing aids would impede the use of headphones.) Also, my participation is somewhat sporadic, like a number of other members. There are times when I want to be here every day, maybe even several times a day, and then months go by without a visit. (There may be a correlation between my musically productive and more fallow periods.) I try to spend as much of the summer as I can outdoors.
I have no formal music training, which some of you will no doubt say is apparent, other than an elementary school introduction to playing the violin, and a couple of months in a boy's choir. I remember having been in a rhythm band in primary school. "There was a crooked man, who walked a crooked mile…" An aunt bought me Kingston Trio albums for birthdays and Christmas: I listened to them so often I could sing every word on each album (including the banter ;-) before I got the next. I taught myself to play guitar (by ear) in my mid-20s but reached that point where I knew that to progress any further I would have to get serious and spend a lot of time and energy practicing. Unfortunately, with a young marriage and a new baby I had neither time nor energy, so music was put aside, or rather making
music was put aside, while I got on with life.
A life still full of music: The Toronto FM station I listened to switched from classical to album-oriented rock programming in '67 or '68 (I actually won a copy of the Beatles White Album for writing a "bad" poem about the station); annual Mariposa Folk Festivals on the Toronto Islands, rain or shine; rock concerts (especially Santana); shelves loaded with albums by Bach and Mozart as well as Pink Floyd, J.J. Cale, and more. Meanwhile, either professionally or as a volunteer, I've been a graphic designer, book typographer, writer, editor, teacher, waste-management co-ordinator, groundskeeper, and several other things I've forgotten.
Five years ago I discovered GarageBand and started having fun arranging the supplied Apple loops into generally breezy and usually percussive music. I joined MacJams in the hope that knowledgeable people would be able to give me useful feedback. Fortunately for me, I was welcomed and encouraged, though my early attempts at music were properly and politely ignored, for the most part. I've learned a lot about production and mixing, though I still have much to learn, and I think my arranging skills (such as they are) have improved tremendously.
Of the pieces I have posted below, everything prior to November 30, 2009, except "Glorious Noise" and "Lollapalooza" are loops only
. Glorious Noise, created for the 9th Loop-It-Or-Lose-It Challenge, is loops only except for two vocal tracks (by me). Lollapalooza is loop-free -- my first post that is MIDI-only -- though the midi was generated by an online TuneToy algorithm using the word "lollapalooza" (and its reverse) as the input, and then manipulated in GarageBand. Generally, everything posted since then is a mix of loops and midi, and lately I've been using only midi generated by me, with varying success.
I have collaborated with other MacJammers on several tunes, either actively or passively ;-)
"Alien Dance - remix w/ Skean
" was originally constructed with loops over which Kent Andersson
added some fabulous percussion;
"Chasseurs - remix by Paul F. Page
" and "Enchanted Garden (remix w/ Paul F. Page)
" have beautiful additions and changes made by Mr. Page
"I Can't Sleep w/Char
" is an odd little dub tune I wrote, over which Char
sings of angst-ridden new love.
"Smokey's Bell in Another Valley
" is a remix I made of SmokeyVW
's wonderful holiday tune, "A Bell in the Valley
" and this past Christmas I did another version "A Bell in the Valley 2012 (w/ vox)
"NovaEmber or Ember's Glow
" is a remix of Drakonis
In February of 2011, my song "Daddy's Little Girl
", was produced by Daughrin
for the Producer's Challenge that year. You can hear his version here.
I think he did an amazing production job, in terms of sound quality, general interest, and story-telling, but it is no longer my song: mine was supposed to be a happy tribute to my daughter but his is something else, rather dark, and leaves you with a question of whether the daughter is a figment of an old man's imagination. Really, a fine piece of music but his, not mine, even though I supplied most of what he worked with.
In November I collaborated with ic42
on an entry in the 2011 MJ Space Race Challenge, "Starsong Lullaby
", one of my three entries in that challenge. I know it seems excessive but I actually started over a dozen others. My planets must have been aligned just so ;-)
In December I posted "Summer Nocturne (feat. awigze)
" which I was fortunate to get Andy Wigzell
to throw down some amazing sax work on a little rhythm track I made.
On New Year's Day 2012 I posted a reworking of davisamerica
's intriguing "Emma
" which I called "Emma, Reincarnate
", and later the same month, fellow Canadian and MJer Doug Somers
posted a gorgeous piece called "Angels Riding the Nightwind
" inspired by, and utilizing tracks from, my tune "Trio in Gm (Ride the Wave)
". 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
In February I added a few things to an "Open Collaboration Idea
" posted by michael2
: I call mine "Myopia
In March, the very talented Sam Dixon (sammydix
) added some wonderful, pointed lyrics and vocals to an instrumental piece of mine called "Bruddahs
", and the equally talented Andy Wigzell (awigze
) added some of his magic Sax to round the tune out nicely.
And, most recently, in September, I wrote some lyrics and sang them over a fabulous finger-style blues backer by Adam John Prawlocki (Six-Nail-Coffin)
called "Moccasin Blues"
Anyway, feel free to have a listen, download them if you like, and please leave a comment. I appreciate honest feedback.