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Decline and Demise of Figure SkatingThe Decline and Demise of Figure Skating in North America
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In Search of Australopithecus
Semenal MusickalSemenal Musickal
In Search of Australopithecus Brummicanus

Format: Audio CD, remastered off DAT tape
Date: 1992-1993
Software/Hardware: Yamaha QY-10 sound module (and my brain)

◄ Compositions List


"In Search of Australopithecus Brummicanus" was not in CD format until after almost all the other CDs were made, though it is a lot of the first music I composed on the primitive QY-10 work station. They languished unassociated with any album until I finally decided to dig them all out again and compile one.

When I first bought the QY-10, ostensibly to make a little original background music for the videos I was making at the time, I would practice by entering the data off sheet music (by hand), one track, one note, at a time (I later found out notes had volumes attached to them!). The display did not show what was going on within the three tracks you were not using at the time, and every single note required about three or four buttons punching (as I remember it, although copy and pasting did work as well and was very useful). Memory would be used up at about 4 minutes, sometimes less. Stereo pan options were only "left, right, and center." If you understand midi-speak, you get the idea. If you don't, just be thankful you've never done this. I rant about people texting on cell phones nowadays, but holding this device and entering music was not much different, even if it probably did require a bit more brainpower to think in musical terms.

Although it was a major pain not to be able to see what I was doing (really even after it was finished), it required I use up my own personal memory trying to remember the position and activity on other tracks when on any one of the others (some of the early, dissonance I notice re-listening to this music was from those difficulties more than having a very exploratory nature on my part. Well, somehow I did manage it.

Once I added a PC to the whole experience, it didn't help with most of the primitive technological limitations of the QY-10, but it did open up the ability to interact with all four tracks, and made knowing what was going on within the music a lot easier. Sometimes what I had done was appalling.

The four pieces I put in "Opus One" in the samples below are out of order numerically but numbered according to their chronological composition and the way I decided they should appear. I think No. 2, placed after No. 3, was probably numbered originally No. 1; I know one night I lost the whole song accidentally after I composed it, and really amazingly was able to re-create it from personal memory. Such was the what my brain started to do when working as a (analogy) musically blind composer in this world of notational Braille.

The "Opus Two" were songs dedicated to a friend upon his being laid off from his job. Very appropriate nostalgia for today's 2011 economy. The song "An American in the Unemployment Office" was my first real homage — to a Gershwin Prélude I played as a kid. Many pianists can name that original tune in three notes.

CD Art and Gear:

Roland SC-7 Sound Module, Turtle Beach Maui Sound card:

Roland SC-7 Sound Module Turtle Beach Maui Sound Card

Track Listing and Files

Opus 1

Track 1: No. 3 — Fantasie de Cathy Hennessy Pow Wow en Green Bay

Track 2: No. 2 — Untitled

Track 3: No. 4 — The Life of Hector

Track 4: No. 5 — Classical Radio Remote on a Sunday Morn

Opus 2

Track 5: No. 1 — Laid Off! No Job (Lee Mah Nya Nya)

Track 6: No. 2 — Résumé Reflection/The March of Word Perfect 5.11

Track 7: No. 3 — An American in the Unemployment Office

Track 8: No. 4 — Lotta Time, No Calls

Track 9: No. 5 — Interview Hope, Interview Sour, Interview Amen

Track 10: No. 6 — 4th of July Unemployment Blues (and the Neighbors 'r' poundin' & screamin')

Track 11: No. 7 — Night Waltz of the Hopeless

Track 12: No. 8 — Trickle Down, Trickle Out, Trickle Bye Bye

Track 13: No. 9 — Ballade

Five Unnamed Pieces

Track 14: Unnamed Piece #1

Track 15: Unnamed Piece #1

Track 16: Unnamed Piece #2

Track 17: Unnamed Piece #3

Track 18: Unnamed Piece #4

Track 19: Unnamed Piece #5

Rev. 2015