Friday, 9 December 2011

ADVENTURES IN ELECTRONIC MUSIC.

I've blogged in the past about my love of electronic music, a genre not well known to most people. In fact, the work of one pioneering band of musicians from Germany inspired me to compose my own pieces. Though I'm far from being an accomplished musician, I did create some fascinating sonic landscapes. Some of my compositions were aired on radio stations in cities such as Moscow, Warsaw, Paris, and Helsinki.

In When a Man Loves a Rabbit (Learning and Living With Bunnies), I briefly mentioned my passion for this synthesizer-oriented music. Here's an excerpt that explains how I combined my twin loves of electronic music and bunnies.

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Over the past fifteen years, I had composed and recorded my own form of experimental music. My passion for that genre began in 1975 when I became an instant fan of Kraftwerk, a German electronic music group. I heard their hit, Autobahn, played on 630 CHED, Edmonton's rock music radio station, and I bought their first three albums.

Listening to them, I felt inspired to create my own sonic textures. Other electronic artists intimidated me with their racks of expensive synthesizers, but Kraftwerk's earlier music could be produced even by poor musicians.

During the late seventies, I had tinkered with various circuits and acoustic sound-making devices in my home. It was for my own amusement and I never mentioned it to my friends
because I never dreamed that anybody would be interested in my sort of compositions.

In December 1984, I discovered a program on CJSR radio called Departures. The host Marcel Dion played all sorts of fascinating compositions and he invited "home tapers" to submit their music for broadcast.

In March, 1985, believing that my work might have a chance of being played, I copied all of my experiments onto a cassette and hand-delivered it to Marcel while he was doing his program.

Those early recordings were very primitive, but as time passed, I bought better gear and improved my technique. During the summer of 1998, and in honour of my beloved Gideon, I recorded an album called Lagomorph.

The title refers to the family of animals comprising of rabbits, hares and pikas. When I visited a web page containing the word rabbit in different languages, I decided to title each of my new tunes with those names. It took me a few months to record and manufacture the album at home, partly due to my freelance writing work and also because of other interruptions.

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When a Man Loves a Rabbit is filled with many more fascinating stories of life with house bunnies. These vignettes range from the tragic to the hilarious. Read more about this memoir here. You're also welcome to contact me directly for more information.