Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Old Skool Music Technology

I bought a copy of The Wire today. It is a magazine that focuses upon new and experimental music, and I bought it because the author mentioned below has written a couple of emails about my blog posting and also because there is a lengthy and interesting article about Daphne Oram in it. She was a mystical person, which is not apparent at all in the display at the Science Museum.
It also for some unfathomable reason jogged a personal memory of working in the 1990s in what was then South East London Technical College (or Seltec) but is now Lewisham College. I had a jobshare in a Business Resource Centre where mouthy students handed in their work, looked at Company Annual Reports and copies of the Financial Times and swore at us (plus ca change).
It was boring and I found a Basic computer programming language manual on a shelf one afternoon.
It didn't take long to work out how to programme musical tones: proper programming, not using music software. I would sit there and type in 'SET SOUND ON' and fiddle about with the lines of code until I had made a phrase of music. My boss came in one day and told me to stop playing Oh My Darling Clementine. I was miffed, not at being told off, but because I was playing a childrens' nursery rhyme that I had written about Neptune, the god of the sea!
I wonder if this would give me credibility in the Wire community?

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