Tuesday, 26 November 2013

MY "AUTOBAHN" TO CREATIVITY

Which musical group had the most profound effect on you? For me, it was the German electronic music group Kraftwerk. Their early works inspired me to make my own electronic music.

A local radio announcer named Len Thuesen played the side-long version of "Autobahn<" in the spring of 1975. I immediately fell in love with the band's analogue synthesizer masterpiece. Sadly, the music store I visited had sold all their copies of Autobahn.

Two years later, I happened upon Kraftwerk's albums at the music store. I purchased Radio Activity as well as Ralf and Florian. A couple of months later, I purchased Trans-Europe Express and instantly fell in love with the new musical direction the band presented. I continued buying Kraftwerk albums until I had them all.

Listening to the first two Kraftwerk albums, I felt amazed by the simplicity of their sound. Since there were no drum machines in the early seventies, Ralf and Florian made their own. You can see it in action on a video clip from the BBC's Tomorrow's World TV program. I believed that if they could make their own music without tons of synthesizer keyboards, so could I.

My early experimental sounds were very crude. All I had was an old guitar, a 10-In-One Electronic Project kit, and an old chord organ. I also used radio interference from my TV and a fluorescent flashlight in some pieces.

In December of 1984, I happened upon an electronic program broadcast from CJSR, Edmonton's university radio station. This was the music I'd been yearning for. When Marcel Dion, the host, asked for home recordings of electronic and experimental music, I gathered my tunes on a cassette and hand-delivered it to the station. Marcel was particularly impressed by a tune called "That Feeling You Get When You Stand in a Forest and Feel Time".

Thanks to Marcel's encouragement, I purchased a second-hand synthesizer and a few Casio electronic keyboards. He also loaned me his four-track cassette recorder so I could create more tunes. One piece from that period was "Echoes of Childhood".

I bought my own four-track open reel deck a year later and eventually recorded fifteen albums of music.

Recently, I made videos for many of my pieces. You can hear and see them on my YouTube channel.

As for my mentors, view Kraftwerk's page at Kraftwerk.com.

I mentioned my electronic music compositions in my When a Man Loves a Rabbit debut memoir. It and my Deliverance from Jericho paperback are on the Bruce Atchison's books link.

How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is distributed through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.