During the COVID-19 pandemic, I started a YouTube show with an old friend in which we listen to cool albums. I observe, organize, and categorize. I take a lot of photographs. I watch lots of movies, too.
I dream of doing nothing other than making music and having the freedom to travel. 🙂
I was born in two feet of seawater off the coast of Corpus Christi, TX in May 1964 ♉. It was the most memorable moment of my life. Alas, I have forgotten the experience.
When I was ten, I lived in a commune in neighboring Portland, with four of my siblings and my parents, Mama & Papa. My fourth-grade birthday was the third most memorable moment of my life (and this one I still remember). I had a costume party, and all of my closest friends dressed up as their favorite TV characters. It was great.
My favorite title is “Supreme Ruler of the Universe.” Be sure to call me that when you see me next.
I love music. I have fond memories of singing with my family in the car, harmonizing in rounds and singing along with the radio to the Carpenters, or in the living room to the Sound of Music.
I have always loved the sound of human voices harmonizing together, raising each other’s vibration, both simultaneously giving voice to other-worldly Spirit and being driven by that same otherworldly Spirit to connect with something larger than any one of us alone; and thru this higher connection, realizing the true joy of our common, divine identity…
I love the universal humanity of singing: the voice is the cleanest, purest instrument of audible human expression. Such qualities are the most direct way to the heart.
But I’m interested in stretching myself too. I love reaching for more expression of feeling, in experimenting and manipulating my music in service of expanding emotional experience. Such stretching reflects one quality I love about science fiction: in sci-fi, humanity stretches its vision into possible futures and all sorts of places that the promise of our hopeful imaginations can take us. In that way, I often imagine my music as a soundtrack to beautiful and otherworldly sci-fi/fantasy settings, utopian futures that I love to daydream about…
A little musical history:
I’ve always had music in my life. I grew up singing rounds of “Frere Jacque” and “London’s Burning” with my family. I sang in the church choir and in high school, I made the Texas All-State choir.
I started composing music in college, using staff paper and pencil, then learned enough keyboard to pluck out melodies and chords, at which point I started using two cassette decks to bounce multiple takes and thus layer instruments and vocal harmonies. Also in college, I took a composition class which gave me access to their electronic music lab. The lab was built around an ARP 2600 which was both exciting and frustrating: you had to plug in at least a few wires (in all the right places!) to even get the thing to make a sound. But, as frustrating as that classic synth was, I was hooked.
My friend Dell Little and I (together known as Syntax) continued to compose music however we could: we purchased a used TEAC A-3440 4-track open-reel deck and instantly had quality multitrack recording capabilities. Dell then bought a Yamaha DX-7, and I bought a Roland SDE-1000 digital delay, and we were off!
Syntax led to Renjeaux, our first band, which, after a few months of weeding, settled into me and Dell, along with drummer/keyboardist Domingo Leija, guitarist Luis Longoria, and artist Lawrence Garza. While Renjeaux never officially played a gig, we composed and recorded originals of uniqueness and sufficient complexity to impress Donnie Jones and Chris Fisher of Shreveport‘s the Late Show, which was an extremely talented and rockin’ working band who were simply masters of progressive ’80s synth pop. Chris and Donnie invited us up to Shreveport to pool our gear and take a crack at the commercial music industry. While we never made any money working out of their studio, Arthurized Music, we did make some really cool music, and I hooked up with prodigious musical naturalist Geoff Walden to produce the first King Felix album, 1987’s “Rivers and Veins.” KF even played two gigs with new members Wade Ozment on guitar and Mitchell Player on bass.
I’d had enough, though, of being a starving artist, and went back to college, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and then continued on into grad school because I wanted to create a Master’s project, which eventually became 1996’s “logos, eros, cosmos,” a 48-minute original music and 416-digital-image multimedia piece. I had purchased a Yamaha SY-85 workstation synth with gift money from my first degree, which begat 1994’s “cloud-hidden,” the first official yugenro release.
Also around that same time, I was joined by Keith Krause and Gregg Willman to form (officially the second incarnation of) Makak, an all-drum, world-beat, gigging party band. Makak played quite a few shows in the Corpus Christi area, always to excited audiences, and also released a full-length album, 1995’s “Visiting Dog.”
Since then, I’ve been composing tracks here and there and compiling them into loosely-themed “albums,” including 2014’s “Inner Space,” 2015’s “From Whence Cometh (Channelled Manifestations)“, and two early-2021 albums, “Chiekra,” and “In Mysteriohm.”
Music I’ve Been Listening To
PS: check out this blog entry which details my musical history:yugenro.com/2009/09/19/yugenro-music/
- “Brian Eno – 40 years of changing music” (marvinallen1.wordpress.com)
- The Amazing Benefits of Music Therapy (everydayhealth.com)
- HW digital effects going thought the same as analog synths in the late 80s? (gearslutz.com)