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Sound & music

This is where I love to express myself.

Sound design

I’ve been tinkering with sound since at least the 1970s. I remember playing with my dad’s reel-to-reel, speaking backwards and then reversing the tape to make alien speech, splicing ad tapes to make goofy sentences, and other fun games.

At Atari in the 1980s, I was the world’s first videogame sound designer, doing sounds for dozens of Atari 2600 and 5200 carts.

I also worked at a games startup “The Software Machine”, where I wrote an additive synthesis utility for the Mac in 1984, and I had fun putting sound to picture in my film classes at Diablo Valley College.

I’ve been quietly messing with synths and libraries in my private space since the 1990s, and have become interested again in collaborating on real projects.

Music composition and performance

I love to create music—either by myself or together with others—in any way at all. My main instruments are the guitar, bass, and piano, but I’ll play a tin can if it helps the ensemble. My most recent acquisition was a trombone. Jamming on a groove, engaging with other humans via music, nothing beats that.

On the more solitary side, I’m now working on scoring films (currently doing some film scoring contests) and I have a collection of songs and musical ideas that I’ve been gathering for years.

Audio engineering

I’ve worked in radio, recording studios, and on concert sound. Starting with my internship at WFAS in New York and my assistant engineer gig at Hyde Street (aka Wally Heider) Studios in San Francisco, I was headed down a road of much fun but not a lot of money. So rather than pay my dues, I went in other directions professionally. (See “Atari” above.)

But I keep coming back to sound!

For a number of years I ran sound for Cazadero Performing Arts Family Camp, and since then I’ve done various independent gigs recording bands or doing live sound. I get the biggest thrill from live concert events: there’s the energy of the crowd, showtime hits, and then for a few hours every second matters.

Nowadays most of my sound-guy energy goes into my home studio, for my music composition and my wife’s voice-over work.