About 15 years ago, I lived with a musically inclined roommate who actually built a full audio studio in the basement of the house we lived in. Yes, it was a full studio. It had sound-proof walls, large glass windows between the different rooms, high quality microphones, a very large mixing board, racks of audio components, keyboards, guitars, a Mac computer for sequencing, etc. He produced his own music and ran his own recording business. He’s since moved to Hollywood and has worked with Blink 182, Pink, Rancid, Richard Marx, STYX, and the Tubes, among many others. He’s very talented, and none of his success is a surprise to me.
Being that I’m a geek with a few years of piano lessons under my belt, I always enjoyed tinkering around in the studio coming up with my own tunes when I had a few hours to kill. In the process, I learned a lot about sequencing, MIDI, SMPTE time code, mixing, and lots of other interesting stuff. I rarely—if ever—worked on a song for more than a single sitting, so most of my tunes are no longer than a minute or two. Back then, I was into dance music, and as a result, many of my short songs tend to focus on rhythm.
Well, as I was transferring files to my new computer the other day, I happened to notice some old audio files that I hadn’t seen in a long time, so I decided to listen. How completely and utterly embarrassing! However, in the interest of maintaining my humility, I offer you four songs that should never have made it onto the public internet (all in WMA format).
- Burtdance (1:02) – I wrote this one around the time that the Prince song, Batdance, was on the radio. But, in my version, I pictured Burt Reynolds in one of his cheesy movies running through a parking garage and jumping over car hoods. Did I actually just write that!?
- Halloween (1:39) – I’ve always liked John Carpenter‘s theme for the movie, Halloween, and I wondered how much I could twist the theme into something with a dance rhythm. I’m not sure I succeeded, but for this version, I was fortunate enough to have my roommate play some psychedelic electric guitar to add to the eeriness. Believe me, he can play guitar much better than this…he specifically went crazy at my request.
- Chase (2:40) – One of my earliest movie “chase” themes with a dance rhythm.
- Caribbean Theme (1:18) – Although I’ve made it sound like I only wrote dance music, that’s not the case. I frequently ventured into unknown territory to push my musical limits, and I often never knew what I’d end up with. This is one example.
My apologies if you actually made it through all four of these. Comments are welcome…I think.