A look into my obsession with guitars, amps, effects, synths, and recording!

I became obsessed with music pretty early in life. Most of my creative momentum can be traced back to (living with and having) a very creatively interested maternal grandmother. Whether I was drawing, building something with Legos, or making something out of a cardboard box, my grandmother Mena was always deeply interested in what I made, why I did it, and how I did it. It REALLY went a long way to giving a sense of purpose and importance to creativity for me. I’m not really sure I would be as confident a creator as I am had it not have been for her early encouragement and validation. My musical interest really flourished because of her, but I also had a pretty musical family (though not in the professional sense).

I remember sitting on the couch and watching TV with my grandmother and seeing a clip of some bearded guy come on playing fantastically captivating guitar and being mesmerized. I can even remember what he looked like, and that he was playing a Fender Stratocaster though I didn’t even know what one was at the time. I later discovered it was Eric Clapton during his shaggy bearded phase in the early ’70s. My grandmother had played some guitar in her time and I remember her saying “It doesn’t even look like he is even touching the strings….how is he playing so effortlessly?”. For me, it was like being hit by lightning: THAT’S WHAT I WANT TO DO. So yeah, 30 years later….still trying hahaha.

Around 1995 I saw a scene in Hunt For Red October and a guy manipulates audio in a computer and I was like “Hey that sounds like a cool idea, how can I do that?”. That launched a long and winding love-hate relationship with making cool sounding things with software which continues to this day.

In my endless pursuit of cool sounding things, I’ve also gotten into analog synthesizers (after they came back around the second time), and more recently gotten into modular synthesis in the Eurorack format which reminds me of the endless opportunities of guitar pedals only with even more flexibility.