The last organic instrument I tried playing was a ukulele. When I say organic, I mean, non-amplified, non-electric, non-digital. In Costa Rica that dream was shattered, along with the Ukulele, in a strange shamanic ritual involving some green tree frogs and lots of Cuba Libres. Wait, maybe I should start from the beginning here. This piece is perhaps about my oldest, unrealized passion: creating music and sound. Yes, all those that know me well, know not that, really, truly, I want to be a musician. In middle school I tried the viola. That stint lasted about two weeks, in which time my parents declared me talentless and thus, I lost my motivation to try and live out my dream.
Yes, as is almost always the case, it was all my parents fault. Had this happened a few years later, perhaps I would have rebelled, just for the sheer pleasure of rebelling against my beloved family, and subsequently, society at large. But, that didn’t happen and I was forced, for years, to live in denial, in repression, in the shadows of my unrealized dreams. However, all that was about to change in the month of April of 2011.
This is the place, the space, loyal reader, where I shall reveal the most formal, all encompassing, intrinsic truth about all of the 6.8 billion inhabitants of this world. I hope you are ready to confront yourself because here it is – EVERYONE WANTS TO BE A ROCK STAR! Everyone! Even your toothless grandma, your gay uncle, and that terrorist next door, Osama Bin Laden. Especially your Gay Uncle. Everything you do in life is just a compensation because you are not a Rock Star. Trust me. I meditate for 12 minutes a day. I’m giving you the facts. Here is how I confronted my own self deception and how you can too.
All those bongos, ukuleles, flutes, pianos, and such just weren’t for me. They required formal musical training and time, which I had squandered because my parents didn’t believe in me. From high school on I wanted to be a DJ. I envied those that could mix music live, that could scratch, and make mixtapes. But all that equipment was pricey and my parents just laughed at me. I tried to make them believe by making mixtapes using an old dual cassette tape JVC boom box, but that just added more resentment towards me. No immigrant son of theirs was going to do something so preposterous.
Later when I had a chance to practice on some decks, I discovered how hard it was and realized that I had squandered the time it takes to become a DJ. Such is life, huh bub?
No, if I was to make music it had to be with something I could understand, something cerebral and self-organizing, something with it’s own computing power. Flash forward to present day. I had heard of these things called,”apps” and as luck would have it I inherited a machine called the, “Ipad” that utilized these apps to run all sorts of tasks.
Searching through the musical apps, I came across The Electribe by Korg. For only $9.99 I could have a digital version of The Korg Electribe R released in 1999 as a dedicated electronic drum machine. What does it do I wondered? As I manipulated the Ipad’s touch screen, I discovered in no time this explanation which magically entered my mind: the sound is generated by digital signal processor circuits but can be manipulated in realtime (analog modeling synthesizer principle). No shit. Needless to say, in one fell swoop I had entered the music making arena. For the first time ever, I felt confident that time was relative and that dreams do come true for little manboys who dare to dream.