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Obstructed View: Ruins
ruminations on recurring themes of decay and decrepitude

Writing various bits of doggerel, bad philosophy, and political/religious diatribes has been a clumsy hobby of mine since high school. I have been playing guitar since I was about 30, in 1990. Sometime around 1995 I discovered that if I played loudly enough I could pretend to sing in the background.

I started trying to fit some of my literary attempts to bits of music I had "composed". What I call "composition" has usually been the end result of my failing so badly at copying something that it sounds original. A few seredipitious mistakes along these lines led to some sort of idea that I could write songs.

The next thing I knew, I had made the mistake of creating five or six "things" that I really liked (not a good sign for popularity!), and wanted to "do" something with them. As an alleged grownup, I decided that rather than striving fruitlessly for stardom, I would attempt to produce a package of the closest I could get to finished versions of these songs so I would have something to listen to in the car when the radio was hopeless.

The first stage was producing rough demos, with me "singing" and playing a few guitar tracks into my four track tape recorder (TEAC 3340s) at home. I've mixed most of these down and listened to them way too much in my car. They need drums badly. At least this focuses me on what I like and don't like about a given song, and gives me encouragement that I am indeed improving when I listen to earlier versions. True to the musician type, as I have observed in other, real musicians, anything I did more than a week ago is an obsolete embarassment!

With a brief excursion into using a beautiful but flawed 8 track Studer Revox analog machine, I have ended up with a 16 track digital studio (Alesis ADAT-based) to work in, and the capability to burn mixes directly into the compact disc format. Vive la revolution!

My goal is now to work through a process of making better and better "demo" versions of the songs, until the finished product is up to the production standard of a commercial recording (or better, considering how badly made many commercial CD's are).

As I do this, I keep generating CDR's of the work-in-progress. I listen to them copiously to try to avoid making the same mistakes again, and to notice what I did that I like. I also keep downloadable copies of the latest versions of the songs here.

The final release form will either be homemade CDR's with nice sleeves and printed discs, or, if the costs are not too high, a short run of professionally manufactured units.

And if I'm lucky enough, someday I will hear a song of mine on college radio. If I pay the DJ enough.