Bought my first piano, a classic black upright with candlestick holders when I was 15 or so and started writing pop-songs, dozens of them, once I had figured out a chord or three. Waited tables at the restaurant across the road, together with my younger sister, to make enough money for our first reel-to-reel taperecorder and a decent mike. This all ended up in the barn behind the house, in the tiny "studio" where I wrote the songs (most of the time title first, then the melody and then whatever kind of lyrics). The best title I came up with, I still remember, was Don't blame the bird for its song
. The song was never written as I could not figure out what it meant. In hindsight, decades later, I realize I was probably thinking about myself and my confusion about being "different".
Occasionally I invited musicians over, mostly my sister's friends, for a recording session of sorts.
Arthur Provoost on guitar, Sevrin de Vries on electronic organ, Sjoerd de Vries on bass-guitar and probably one more player, with myself doing the vocals. English is obviously not my first language, so overlook my Dutch accent and the grammer and vocabulary in my lyrics. This song was most likely inspired by Fool On The Hill
by The Beatles and the lyrics are very sixties!
In the course of one year we recorded a dozen songs at least; recently back in Europe where 25 years ago I had left behind most of my stuff, I unearthed a box full of tapes with more songs ready to be digitized. I may post one or two more here if they turn out to be post-worthy.
My first sequencer, a software program for Atari 1040 called Notator, was actually pretty powerful given the limitations of the computer. The search for a decent synthesizer with samples of orchestral sounds ended up not bad either. The synth was called Proteus
and I even brought it with me when moving to the United States.
Just for fun: here are a few samples of instrumental pieces I was able to put together using the full range of functions that were available to me at the time. Listening to the tracks below, I must have been in my Latin Period, don't know why! Or maybe I do: it's all about the exciting rhythms I guess.
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