Tell Us A Little About How You Got Here

i'm now taking a second term of music classes at the community college. and i realize that this is real. this is me yearning to learn about this monster that has consumed me forever and my mind is trying to find ways of putting it into words and action.

i'm taking a credit course this term. and the class is way more "real." i.e. mid-terms, syllabus, finals, labs, etc.. as i was sitting in first class i thought, "should i be here? this is like going back to school!" and it is. and it's great.

they always start the first class with going around the room and asking, "tell us why you're here." and i said, "well, i played drums and dj'd for years and now i want to get on the other side of it." something like that.

and i'm sitting here reading the assigned chapters from Modern Recordingn Techniques, and suddenly i started thinking about how i really got here. and in my mind it went something like this:

it started with punk rock. in my teens i went to all these shows, dragged along by my childhood friend chris, and i was awestruck by the power of a live show. but i didn't really analyze it any more than that at the time.

then, i got into the grateful dead. i listened to these bootlegs and was amazed at the power, variation, and affirming quality of the live show. then i attended some shows and would always leave in awe again. of the sound, the experience, the transendence.

then i got into hip hop. still a teenager. and this time around the music hit a similar impulse in me to move and dance and get caught up in it. to feel it. i started going to see scratch dj's and competitions and beat-boxers and started to really appreciate the art and talent behind it. i was getting older, had more language for it, was closer to it.

then i started DJ'ing. and the performance was there. moving the crowd. i started to get an ear for what made people respond, from the content to the sound system.

and i put that together and dreamt about going on the road and doing sound for a band that moved the crowd, to get caught up in all that. that's when i bought the "sound bible." Yamaha's Sound Reinforcement Handbook. i tried to read that thing. it was like trying to read the dictionary...with math!

i ketp Dj'ing, kept collecting, listening to music, while it all swirled around my head subconsciously.

as i kept DJ'ing i yearned to become a musician. there are turntablists. but i didn't practice. so i never felt like a musician so much. i was a "selector." and that's all and good. no doubt! it still stokes me heavily.

my boy Mark was a drummer and somehow or other he ended up giving me a set of drums and then i found a band. and we learned 2 songs and played a warehouse party. and it all just kept building on itself to stoke the fire. i started going to more live shows finally. seeking out the bands that moved me. many memorable shows: shortcut and z-trip! bracket! countless good stuff at Great American Music Hall.

then our company put together a band for the christmas party and i DJ'd with the band. we played the fucking Fillmore SF! then we got invited to play the Great American! performing! and while i was performing i was enamored of the sound guys. geeking out on the technical shit. sound reinforcement. that's probably when i bought the sound bible.

then i moved to portland, was in a band with friends for a couple of insanely fun years doing the most outlandish shows, albeit on an unknown scale. and i was still fascinated by the recording/sound reinforcement aspect of that. that's also when i learned that making music meant dealing with personalities. oy.

and then the dystonia. no more drumming. still DJ'ing, but i was more interested in the creation of music (which DJ'ing most definitely is, but i wanted to make the music the DJ's were spinning!).

so i bought some computer gear to make music at the home studio. i bought and read tons of books, dabbled in many of the DAWs for my mac. but i needed guidance. and the yearning for knowledge. so i looked up some classes and that's how i fell into the Mississippi Studios class. and that made the spark really burn!

so here i am, trying to learn, from every damn angle. and it makes the head spin. so much to learn. so much joy in it. but it hasn't all gelled yet. so i pursue. and smile.

but that would be too long to go into in that brief synopsis the class is looking for and i thought i'd try to puke it out here from my head.

maybe it makes some sense?

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