Format: Audio CD
Software/Hardware: Passport Encore (scoring), Passport Master Tracks Pro (sequencer), Pentium PC running Windows 98, Roland JV-1080 synthesizer module with orchestral expansion board
◄ Compositions List
I had used an external Roland JV-1080 synthesizer module since I composed the music of "Symphony for the Impending Republican Armageddon," but "Bennis" was the only album I produced using the orchestral expansion board that I added to the synth a month or so before I began work on the album. The music was composed (I'm sort of guessing) in July, August, and September of 1998 (possibly it was begun starting even a month earlier, in June) "Bennis" and was not long before my first aortic dissection, which, if internet addiction hadn't put enough of a crimp in my composition hobby, changed it forever along with my entire life. It was a defining moment, but not a pleasant one.
I loved the richness of the patches (sounds) on the orchestra expansion board, and set to work trying to use them to their fullest. It's ironic that much of the music I feel pride in was as much a function of the technology I had as it was of my talent for composition.
The first slow piece, "Adagio," allowed for smooth string instruments which were nothing like I had available before. For those of you who know about this type of electronic musical production, I was not a great one for making or tweaking my own patches; in fact my attempts at that ended rather disastrously. So the prepackaged ones I liked were just fine with me.
The piano sounds a lot more realistic than previous ones I had. "August for Two Pianos" (written in August), gave me a chance to experiment with music that at times even the best duo of virtuosos would not be able to manage, though technology can (ergo it has really limited practicality).
"Street Sounds" came out pleasantly enough, but was initially conceived of as a bit of satire on the repetitive dance music I was hearing in bars (nowadays "clubs") at the time. It ended up being a lot different than I'd imagined, and even potentially more interesting than my fantasy music would have been. (That was not the first time such a thing happened while composing music.)
And finally "Love to Love You Baby" was an attempt to recreate with better sounds one of the songs I originally input note by note into the old QY-10 synth when I first purchased it. That original used some Maxwell House coffee jingle music with it. This one didn't (though I tried, I didn't find it as amusing or fun sounding with the new technology). That initial song is #4 in "Semenal Musickal..."
There are mp3 files for all the tracks of this composition.
CD Art and Gear:
Roland JV-1080 (with Orchestral Expansion board):