For some reason I always had a fascination with computers, I think maybe it came from watching Doctor Who and Star Trek in the 70s. I was at school before computers were found in the classroom and in fact I can remember the first video recorder which seemed amazing at the time and certainly not something you had at home
Home computers were also very rare but I discovered that a friend had a Sinclair ZX 81 complete with 16 K memory pack that he had no interest in so I immediately borrowed it. On this I managed to create games in which aliens made out of various letters could be shot down by ‘>’ spaceships firing ‘.’ bullets.
I eventually managed to get my own Commodore 64 which I quickly realised could be made to produce music. In those days this was mainly done using notation programs, in other words you programmed it by putting notes on staves as in traditional written music. Though the SID chip in this machine was a bit limited in its capabilities I remember programming a decent version of Maple Leaf Rag with a reasonable piano sound. The irony is that you can now get virtual instruments for PC or Mac to emulate the old SID chip as people want to get back to that simple sound.
Once I had upgraded to a Commodore Amiga I discovered sound-trackers and the joy of combining sounds, both representative of real instruments and newly invented to create new music which people seemed to like. These allowed you to have up to four short sounds play at the same time, using a graphical interface to sequence sections that could be combined into songs.
I then went into a period of my life when I wasn’t really in direct touch with other musicians and the computers, initially the Amiga and then ever more powerful PCs enabled me to carry on making music. As time moved on several important strides were made in the technology, firstly the ability to actually record several minutes’ worth of audio and then the ability to record and listen back at the same time so that over-dubs were finally possible. I could now create a drum track and then record live bass and guitar over the top.
This led to the advent of digital recording as we know it now, not something everyone thinks it’s for the better! At last computer-generated sound could be combined with real instruments and this was the canvas I was waiting for and has lead me to the music I am creating today.
Go here to download my new album “Space and Time”