At the age of 9, I began my formal music education. For 4 years I continued with private lessons, primarily keyboards, which in hindsight taught me to read both the treble & bass clef along with understanding the various Time Signatures.
My influences were any sheet music that I had in my possession to read/practice & play.
At the age of 10 I was in a band with my brother and two of our cousins. We were playing the Wedding, Communion, Confirmation and Birthday Party local circuit.
Looking back...we never rehearsed, we individually learned the written music, then we just showed up with our box of sheet music, opened it up onto our music stands and read & played whatever songs that were decided before the set or requested during the set.
The only musical prep-work that I can remember was the transposing of some harmony parts with my brother. We had a pretty good idea what songs to have on hand as our Uncles who preceded us years before, had suggested. They were also kind to us by handing down most of their sheet music that we would perform... and even at the age of 10 to 12 we had a pretty good idea what songs were expected at a wedding, gig, etc.......
When I was 16, I bought a bass guitar and self taught myself how to play that. By then I was working out new music from a 1/4" reel to reel tape player, radio, LP's and EP's, I.e. learning the songs by ear.
At 24 I helped form a local band, with like minded friends called Shadowfax.
Shadowfax wrote and performed "a lot"of original songs along with covers of a similar genre. We had a loyal following and always had a great time performing. This band had the best potential for original music.
As lineups within the band evolved it was determined that we were to go on the road, abandon the original music for covers and so we headed out to the mid-west and all points in between. The road was for the most part......enjoyable and a unique experience to say the least. However the winter of 1976 - '77 throughout the Mid-West and (especially Buffalo) Western New York was "Deadly-Brutal at Best" along with an "Equipment Truck from Hell", that sucked the life out of any hope or dream of profitability and at times, threatened survivability.
On the bright side.... I got very good with playing Bass Guitar, performing 5 or 6 days a week will have that effect and I had the permanent string grooves in my fingers to prove it.
After the road came to a conclusion, VaporVoyce was formed around 1979-80. We performed rock songs and the band fared well with local fans. We began writing collectively but could not get beyond the limitation trappings of a cover band.
In '83 I departed performing and started writing and recording.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) was just born. I had just bought an Analog Roland Juno-60, MOOG-Source and then a Yamaha DX-7, TX81Z & RX-11 and....as luck would have it, they threw in a free Yamaha CX5M Computer. The computer helped immensely with the vastly obscure task of programming the Frequency Modulation Synths (algorithms, operators & carriers) on the DX-7 & TX81Z .....a great brain exercise!! So now, for the first time, with the computer hooked up to a CRT Monitor I was able to get visual feedback as I changed program parameters on the synths, samplers & drum machines.
Shortly there after I bought a Roland S-550 Sampler and MIDI Keyboard Controller. Sampling was new in the early '80's and just another great mathematical brain exercise for your minds eye back then, I suppose.
So...I got very much back into the Keyboard based/Synth, FM Digital and Analog Programming, Sampling, Computer Sequencing, Inter-instrument communication aspect of this technology. I had controllers talking to Sampler modules, synths talking to Effects Units along with other Synths, drum program changes from song to song and the computer in sync to the drum machine, while playing the synths etc. Exciting stuff for the 1980's, for me anyway......and I've hung on to most of my vintage equipment from the '50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's and.......I have personally kept it all operational.
I took another (Keyboard Inspired) stab at performing around 1988 but after a great start, the original writing/performance collaboration eventually fell back down into that "cover band" rabbit hole.
It was at this point that I personally realized that I have absolutely no desire to preform a song that someone else wrote, over the music that I have written. I'm not saying that my music is better but what I am saying is that logically I personally needed to move on and stop wasting my precious life on other peoples songs and submit my own compositions.
AUDIO RECORDING, MIXING & MASTERING:
Recording had always for the most part been around me superficially since the 1960's but now I began to study the techniques, starting with (THE Old School) analog to the current digital formats
Since '94 my investments were towards Digital Recording (AKAI, DR-8, 8 Track Digital Recorder), Processing and Mixing Hardware which then technically evolved and matured into Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) software based recording, processing and virtual instruments.
In 1999 I began studying any aspect of Lead Guitar, Effects and Amplification along with their maintenance, repair & modifications.
I continue to study & practice the Audio Art of Mixing and Mastering and
my original writings & recordings will be posted as they become available.
'till Niagara Falls and Love,