Friday, April 29, 2011

Oh, Midi...

As I mentioned previously, I recently went through all of my old tapes and discs to catalog and backup my very amateur, and sometimes hideously bad, recordings from way back when. One particular era that has been preserved was the period in which I composed a small library of midi pieces.

The setting was mid 90's, high school, a year or two after I had completed my short stint as a cornet player in the school band. It was the age of first person shooters like Doom, Hexen and Duke Nukem 3D. I was intrigued by the backing music from games like these, so I picked up a copy of WinJammer, a MIDI composing tool, and began experimenting.

Despite my years in band, my knowledge of written music was quite rudimentary. I didn't truly know how key signatures worked or how chords looked on a staff. I had been playing guitar and writing songs, so I knew how basic progressions were formed, but translating that to proper notation was a lengthy process of trial and error. This tedious routine didn't seem to phase me though, as my incredible ability to focus on music was unparalleled by anything else in my life.

Though the musical output of this time may not have been sensational, I believe that it was one of the most important stages in building my musical foundation. In my mind, learning to compose by one's ear is much more effective for creating unique works than simply utilizing the many theories documented in textbooks.

Now, with the help of a conversion tool from HamieNet, I am able to share one of these "masterpieces" with you. Can you hear the influence? (It's rather blatant.)

Game.MID (Magic Soundfont) by Nick Olman

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