cords are patched back and forth, switches thrown

i guess it does make me better than you.  herbalsex (15k image)I went to private school around 6th grade. Public school just wasn’t doing it for me. I wasn’t learning anything sitting in those over structured walls like a chicken in a coup. Looking back I always thought it was my fault for not learning like everyone else did. But in fact it was just that the school didn’t teach the way i learned. It was their fault. It was a complete waste. I think the reason I learned differently than the average Joe, was that I had a few seizures just a few years prior. I think it changed some of my brain. For the good? For the bad? Who knows… A teacher would say for the worse. I would say looking back it has made me what i am. So me and my parents researched schools. I interviewed at a few schools. I took IQ tests. Standard testing. And what not. My results were, to say the least, not too shabby. So obviously I had something up there, but the school i was at was not stimulating me enough.

So i ended up at a school called Green Acres in Rockville. It was uber progressive. Pretty much ex-hippies and ex-peace protesters taught and ran the place. There were 20 kids in the grade and 10 kids in a class. It was ultra hands on. We studied the Beatles and the Stones and the 60s Civil Rights Movement. We studied the stockmarket. And what did we do? We fucking went to NYC and visited the stockmarket. I never heard of Cold Spring Elementary School doing that. We didn’t learn about how Abe Lincoln supposedly abolished slavery or how George Washington had a wooden tooth. We learned real shit that i still remember now and use on a daily basis. And i recognized this even at such an early age.

I took my first photography class there at age 6. And fell in love with the chemicals. The formulas. The darkness. The time it took. The places Victor had gone, just to take their pictures. It amazed me. And around the same time I started taking music classes there. They were just overviews of music, but still we dove right on in. We started studying the works of John Cage and the likes of 20th Century contemporary/modern composers. It was Cage who explained to me, at age 12, that music didn’t have to based on melody. There is so much more. And when you think about it, most traditional music is pretty darn predictable and boring. Music can be based around rhythm or lines or numbers or envelope or tape manipulation. And from that we started working on a unit on electronic musical instruments. Each person in the class got to do a research project on an instrument. Someone got the theremin. Someone else got the Sequential Circuits Prophet 600. I got YAMAHA’s Diskclavier. This rather large unit was virtually a digital player piano. It came as a baby grand or an upright. Yes, it was an acoustic piano, but each note had a sensor on it. And the keys could move by itself as well and could play songs from a floppy disk.. It was also midi based. So for 1989 this thing was pretty revolutionary, especially for me! I really did just want to learn about the theremin though. Ugh. And i had to go to these pompous piano stores to talk with the unwilling sales people to pull information on the diskclavier for my rather lengthy (at the time) 10 page essay. When i was that age, that was a full novel. But i did it, and it sparked my huge interest in keyboards and creating sounds.

It was around that time that I got a Casio SK-1 for Channukah. This thing was exactly what I wanted. It was one of the first all-in-one sampling units. It was also a consumer based model, so my parents could afford the $60 at the store. I think that SK-1 changed my life. At the time i had been playing piano for four years. But everything had changed with that keyboard. I could actually manipulate the sounds with this unearthly machine. I could change the envelope. I could add portamento. I could fucking sample my voice and change the pitch of it. I could sample my ass farting. That amazed me, that my palate was literally algorithmically endless. It was then and there that I did anything i could to learn about the properties of synthesizers. And it was all because of those 2 nocturnal seizures. And i am a bigger and better person due to that fact.

And you know the schematics for a synthesizer is pretty much the metaphor for my life. It’s kinda cheesyball, but true.

1 Response to “cords are patched back and forth, switches thrown”


Comments are currently closed.