For much of my life, music has been my greatest interest. Strangely enough, I have never learned to properly play an instrument. However, that has rarely stopped me from making music of my own.
In early 1987, I experimented with a Casio SK-1, making a series of lo-fi recordings I referred to collectively as Sample & Mold. In 1988, while living in Tokyo, I bought my first synthesizer; within a couple of years, I had added a synth module and a computer, expanding my palette from 8-note polyphony to something much fuller and better constructed. I continued on this path upon my return to Seattle; from 1993 to 1998, I released a series of DIY cassettes and one CD (most under the name Tinty Music), and appeared on four compilations released by other labels. My focus during this time shifted from ambient sounds and textures to various permutations of noise and improvised sounds.
This period was also the start of my interest in graphic design. Upon observing that the folks doing the artwork for my CD were using Aldus Pagemaker, I figured I could be doing it myself; I went to Half-Price Books (back when they were still selling used software), bought a copy, and was soon doing all my own design. This interest would eventually lead me back to school to properly learn the basics of graphic design. But I digress…
The theft of most of my equipment in late 1998 effectively ended that phase of my musical activity. Once I had the capability to record and edit audio on my computer, I would occasionally work on new pieces, usually starting from recordings I had made with other media (e.g., digital video, existing audio fragments).
In 2014, I remastered most of my catalogue and made it available on Bandcamp. As part of this burst of activity, I revised an album (Meditations on the Inescapable Self) that I had intended to release in 1999, but changed my mind after sending out a couple of review copies; released four EPs of material that hadn’t put out earlier; and assembled all my pieces of less than two minutes in length for a new compilation (Short Forms).
Since 2016, I have released eight one-off singles and a short album (Bed in which I pretend to sleep, but am really plotting my own downfall), also through Bandcamp. Most of these have been assembled from recordings made in Propellerhead Figure.
The embedded players below will enable you to listen to selections from the currently available releases. All are available for purchase, but can be listened to in their entirety (except for bonus material) for free.
Recent works (2016 – present)
The in-between years
The Tinty Music catalogue
The nature of silence video was made as a test run for a collaboration with my friend Vincent Booth, who was making what he intended to be the world’s first documentary filmed completely with a cell phone. The music is a piece of the same name I had recorded several years earlier; the video combines footage from Vincent’s cell phone with some of my leftover video feedback footage.
The documentary, which had the working title of Sky Doc (which Vincent intended to produce under the name V. Sky), was to function on numerous levels, from depicting his life during a difficult period to political commentary, reflections on the nature of art, and a host of other things I could not decipher from the voluminous notes he was giving me on a regular basis. Unfortunately, his deteriorating mental state and my status as a full-time student quickly made working together as intended impossible. We parted ways in early 2008; Vincent died two years later.
This is a video I put together for my friend Rhett Redelings’s R-Three project. When he asked me to consider doing something for this, I demurred at first, not being sure that I would be able to do justice to the material. Then I saw a set of fake candles in a chiropractor’s office one day, and I recorded a few minutes of video, which I purposely shot out of focus. I put the video together with the song, and it fit surprisingly well.
Sureru was an experiment with video feedback and editing. By hooking up my simple digital camera to the TV set and pointing it at the TV while recording, I was able to capture a variety of feedback. I overlaid some parts, edited out the bits that didn’t fit, and slowed everything down until my very short video ran to almost 50 minutes, creating a slow progression of indistinct images. (YouTube’s algorithms now identify the music as a piece that not only bears no resemblance to the soundtrack of this clip, but also was made seven years after I made this video.)
I made the video for Fluorescent lighting (version 2) in 2005, shortly after getting my first Mac. I had some footage of fluorescent lighting I’d shot with a digital camera, so putting it together with my piece of music of the same title made sense. The combination turned out to be less than exciting, however, until I applied one of the iMovie effects to the video, resulting in this clip, in which the kinetic motion matches that of the music.
(Updated 4 May 2019)