When I was in late high school / early college, I wanted to make electronic music. I didn’t have gear or experience. My knowledge of music theory was patchy: I am a classically trained violinist, but knew almost nothing about chords. What I did find and manage to use was Buzz Machines. Sort of a tracker on steroids, it’s a very customizable software DAW with “machines” as plugins to be synthesizers, samplers, effects (reverb, EQ, volume, …) Through the process of trial and error I managed to bang together a handful of trance-styled tracks that never got released. Eventually other demands on my time crowded out my efforts and I haven’t tried to write anything in many years.
Well I’m combing through my hard drive and now I’ve found some MP3s that I had recorded “way back when”. Most of these were composed while trying to find my way around all the features of Buzz Machines… hence the album title “Test Patterns”, since that’s essentially what they were. When a pattern grew into something more closely resembling a song, I’d cut a WAV file and then encode it to MP3. Those exact recordings are what I’m packing up and finally releasing now, 7-9 years after they were originally composed. Five minutes in GIMP to create a CD cover, a little iTunes ID3 editing (the original files were named after things lying on my desk: “pocketknife”, “checkbook”, “two monitors”) and a ZIP file later… I’m a self-published recording artist.
There’s more raw material in another folder but installing Buzz Machines and tracking down years old VSTs is beyond my time or desire. Will there be more releases, this time with new material? Certainly I have no plans to write anything right now. If I do decide to try that route again in the future, I want to take a different approach: one that is grounded more solidly in theory, keyboard practice, live recording, and careful song structure. The work involved in polishing those basic skills would require far more time than I have now. And if I do end up releasing something, it’s not going to be under the Hornpipe2 alias. That’s a holdover from my first email address back in 1995, and I think it’s time to ditch it. I’ve changed a lot since then.
So Merry Christmas, readers. Enjoy the one (and only) album release.
Download Hornpipe2 – Test Patterns – ZIP archive, 26Mbytes