Listening to Tape

March 3, 2011

Recently going through old stuff, I moved my collection of tapes. For a long time, as that collection just collected dust, I thought I’ll probably never go back to this collection; I just replenish it the collection with CDs instead. However, over half the tapes were old recording of compositions I wrote and produced as a teenager, so those were obviously excluded from the plan to remove and replace.

Then, one sunny afternoon, probably the first day of 2011 when I drove with the windows down, (I guess it was February 23 according to what is about to follow) I heard a piece of story on NPR about cassette tapes. I recall thinking just how the tape medium really suites certain kinds of music, so I got excited about playing some tapes in my last functioning tape deck — in my car.

I found some old Megadeth tapes I made (from CDs I owned), and took them to the car. It’s just amazing how tape sounds on hard rock music — the drums, the harsh guitars, the sizzling cymbals — it just works with tape. It’s just amazing how hard rock music sounds on tape — the drums, the harsh guitars, the sizzling cymbals — it just works with tape. It’s almost like the foggy filter on soap operas that make everyone look better than they do in real life. I also listened to some Music Instructor hits, and given my spoiled ears of highly polished digital electronic music, the tape nicely glazes the gaps in the old-school 808 and other synths going through an analog board and probably to analog tape. I’m looking forward to listening to the rest of the collection.

Visiting an Old Friend

December 7, 2009

Yesterday, I reconnected with another old friend, Kirby, and we had rejuvenating conversation. As I expected, Kirby challenged me, which is really why I went to him, and force me to vocalize my personal plans.

Kirby has been there for me providing moral support ever since I became serious about music. It was because of him that I published my very first demo CD when I was 16. He explained to me that I will never feel completely ready to move forward or to make a leap, and that one simply must leap. Also, he explained to me then to never let anyone be the reason why you don’t pursue a dream because otherwise one will always resent that person. I’ve caught up with him over the years since then, but 11 years later, I am in the same boat in similar waters, just on a different part of the river and with more complex obstacles for consideration while navigating.

Because my plans are somewhat innovative, conveying all the concepts required effort to overcome predetermined facts of the music industry that are considered the norm. Basically, I walked away feeling that my efforts towards personal growth (which yielded the innovative ideas for business models) were not wasted efforts. Many people around me do not see the work I put in to educate myself about the world, and instead, people around predominantly see that I am not making music. I always knew this was a price to pay since I chose not to jump into the normal path of an aspiring artist, but Kirby also made me feel the price was either less than I currently believe or that it will yield greater fruits than I currently imagine.

I also met some interesting people at Kirby’s place. This was my first close encounter with a deaf person, a friend and collaborator of Kirby’s, and my first close exposure to sign language. This was the first time a deaf person’s thoughts were directed towards me and were translated from sign language, and it was the first time my thoughts were translated into sign language. The one thing that took me most aback was when the deaf person asked that I explain the kind of music that I do. When I was first exposed as a kid to the problem of explaining sound or music to a deaf person, I quickly concluded to never put myself into that kind of position, but there I was. For electronic dance music, we explained the culture of drugs and parties (although I don’t do drugs), and very hypotonic minimalist music. Then for the other kind of music (I left out Trip Hop) Neo-classical, it was described as where Bach and Beethoven would be today, excluding film scoring; it’s very jazzy and anything goes.