Format: Audio CD (double disc), remastered off DAT tape Date: 1993 (CD remastered 1997) Software/Hardware: Passport Encore (scoring), Passport Master Tracks Pro (sequencer), 386 PC running Windows 3.1, Roland SC-7 general midi sound module
These two pieces of music were created not long after I got my first Windows PC, running Windows 3.1, while using some pretty mediocre technology of the day. I had previously been using a Yamaha QY-10 small, hand-held "music work station" to compose some music. It was even more primitive (see notes on "In Search of..." and "Semenal Musickal...". Despite the limitations on my new PC, I was very happy to be able to see the musical scores of what I was working on and to have something as simple as 16 tracks to use for composition. I believe it had 16 note polyphony, as well (that many sounds could play at one time). It used a computer subset of midi known as the "general midi" format (128 specific sounds assigned to that many specific "instruments" in an attempt to be cross-platform. To augment my sound card, which was not very good at the time, I purchased and attached a small Roland general midi PC music device (SC-7) to the computer using a serial port, and though most of the musical sounds seem pretty tacky-sounding to me now, they were so much better at the time than I had before.
"Alien Abduction Rêverie" revolved around a story I conceived and wrote as I composed this music (it is once again, after a long hiatus, posted on my web domain in pdf format now. The plot revolves around a second-chair viola player from a symphony orchestra who was abducted by aliens and taken to their planet, where their species communicated only through the use of music. The abductee learned their language and the music is the supposed interactions between him and the locals. Pretty lame, but not the usual alien abduction story you hear every day. And you rarely hear any 2nd viola stories at all. It had a happy ending when they returned him to his human orchestra.
"The Creation of the Universe and Other Christmas Legends" (originally named "The History of the Universe and Other Christmas Legends" were a number of pieces that ended with a satirical look at Christmas (which I now always term "Xmess") music. The last long piece was inspired by a story I wrote entitled "The Truth About Xma$," written in about 1982, in which it was revealed Santa Claus was the last living survivor of an alien space crash millennia ago (there is a trend here). The other music in "Creation..." are selections I came up with experimenting with what were still my relatively new toys.