Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Music: tastes, habits, and talents

I've kind of been letting my Youtube channel and blog separate themselves. I tend to discuss and post music on Youtube, and mostly have game, programming related or techno-geek content on this blog. I'm going to try breaking that up, starting now by discussing music here.

Just don't get lost in here, I still like programming better.

Let's start with my musical history. As a young kid, I heard all kinds of stuff. Nursery rhymes, hip-hop, punk, rock'n'roll, classical, country, folk, gospel, and more. I didn't really care much for composition, I just liked certain sounds of certain instruments. I happened to like electric guitars a LOT, giving me a sweet spot for punk, metal, and rock'n'roll.

As time went on, I kept acquiring new tastes. My love for instrumentation stayed, but composition started playing a bigger role in defining my taste. I took a liking to blues, jazz, and classical. I especially liked piano solos of these three. Eventually, I started some piano lessons. Here I learned about theory, composition, and a lot more. I still take lessons from the same teacher, and I'm sure there is still more to learn.

I eventually learned some improvisation. Although I'm still new to it, I can lay down some blues in a fashion I quite enjoy. I composed a few of my own pieces, mostly to play at yearly recitals. My new ability for composition, despite being quite simple, still ushered in a desire to make music myself.

I kept doing piano, but started experimenting with guitar and electronic music. I never really could play guitar much, but had a kind of perseverance for electronic music. I started on the only machine I owned at the time, which was only powerful enough to run DOS. I couldn't even afford that, so I went with FreeDOS. Although primitive, this operating system came with a program that would compile text files into MIDI which could then be played through the PC speaker. I contented myself playing around with this until I got a slightly less obsolete machine which I ran Slackware 10 on.

On this machine, I experimented with Audacity. I generated tones and whitenoise, then applied effects and pitch-bend. This didn't work so well, but it didn't last long either. I finally got a machine that was barely obsolete, allowing me to get some real music software. I didn't know where to go at first, but eventually ended up spending quite some time playing with BEAST. It was here that I finally gained some knowledge of electronic music, and picked up a lot of experience that traveled with me to the next stage.

As time continued to pass, I eventually got a modern machine. Determined to find some real software, I came across FL Studio. I messed around with that for a couple months, but pretty quickly discovered LMMS. LMMS was perfect for me. It was there that I built my musical home, and have used LMMS for almost a year now.

So, about four and a half years after my first piano lesson, here I stand-erm sit. In a chair. In front of a cutting edge machine. It wouldn't seem so weird if I didn't consider what I might think of my music five years from now. Music that I thought I had made awesome back then, seems really terrible now.

Anyway, now I've got a really weird set of tastes. To explain what I mean, I like really hardcore and grungy punk. I also like me some uber-happy drippy and stupid pop. Did I mention Gilbert and Sullivan make really awesome music? I love Hardstyle, Trance, House, and many other forms of electronic music. Opera, classical, and ragtime also sound pretty good. Actually, there are very few genre's I don't enjoy, and even fewer that I don't respect. There's just a few, but they're there.

So yeah, that's pretty much all there is to it. It's also why you'll hear one style on my album, and then a totally different one in the next track. I don't really like to listen to one sound for too long, I get board fast.

Rock On, opera fans!


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