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"Milestone" Liner Notes
Notes from Miles Eddy
Original synthesized music Composed, Performed and Produced by Miles Eddy
Peace Through Music
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Miles Eddy discovered synthesizers in 1979 while attending college in Colorado. At the time, the school had an old ARP-2600 monophonic analog synthesizer. With no manual or concept of modular synthesis, he taught himself to navigate the tangle of patch wires and knobs to produce the unique sounds available from this new kind of musical instrument. Equipped only with a two track reel-to-reel recorder, Miles learned the basics of multi-track recording including bouncing tracks and using tape feedback to create an ethereal texture of stereo sound.
Aspiring to learn more about using technology in art, he corroborated with the universities' music and computer science departments to earn significant independent credits towards his Computer Science degree by creating and modifying computer controlled music equipment. In this era before MIDI, Windows, and desktop computers, he used early microprocessors and discrete digital logic circuits to interface with his Yamaha CP-35 electric piano. The composition "Changing Filter" was inspired by using this computer controlled hybrid to modify the keyboards sound while playing. Programming in 6502 Assembly, he implemented in software basic techniques such as additive and subtractive syntheses and frequency modulation (or FM synthesis) years before the first digital MIDI synthesizer. Using three microprocessors and a custom build interface to his modified electric piano, he was able to demonstrate these concepts to his professors. However, the 1982 technology used was not adequate to make this prototype synthesizer useful for more than academic purposes.
While continuing his degree, he acquired additional music and recording equipment and worked on music as he could. After graduating in 1983, he followed the path of conventional wisdom and worked in downtown Denver as a computer programmer. In 1986 he left his job and compiled two cassettes of his earlier music, Miles High and Miles From Nowhere . He left Denver to explored performing as a professional juggler and to return to music. Living at Renaissance Festivals, he equipped his camper with his synthesizers (including a DX-7, Ensonic ESQ-m, and Korg K4r), an Amiga computer, and a small gas generator and continued working on music. The main keyboard track on "Desert Wind" was originally improvised during this time in a sand store in the Arizona desert. For most of the 1990's, Miles Eddy worked as a juggler and contract computer programmer, but knew that music would eventually resurface as a priority.
In 2000, equipped with a modern computer, up-to-date software, and a small straw-bail studio powered by solar panels and a wind generator, Miles Eddy reassembled his old equipment, dusted off his four-track tapes, and digitally re-mastered his earlier works. Sampling each track individually into the computer, he was able to use software-based signal processing such as noise reduction and digital effects to remix for the Digital Compact Disk era. While the 1986 cassettes Miles High and Miles From Nowhere were grouped by musical style, Milestone is more or less chronological. Taking the best from the previous tapes and rescuing some previously unreleased pieces, this CD is his best effort to represent his early musical inspirations of 20 years ago.
ABOUT THE MUSIC
1. "High Rider" - This was the first piece to use a four-track recorder instead of two tracks. It was originally intended to be included on Miles High , but got overlook.
2. "Intersect" - Originally written and licensed by Miles Eddy as the title music of a PBS series produced by Colorado State University, a "draft" version was created for review before a new four-track version was attempted. However, after several tries, it was decided that the original "jammed" version was best. Although the CSU program never aired, this was still the first music income made by Miles Eddy. Twenty years latter, this little ditty makes it premier.
3. "Haunting" - Originally improvised, it came to an abrupt end and was never finished.
4. "Beyond the Wing Tip" - Originally called "Space Wave", the underlining "wave" effect was created using a four-channel tape feedback loop. Since quadraphonic was never usable, two tracks were used and other parts added.
5. "Dirge for Mickey" - The name of this piece was inspired by Miles Eddy's mother. While listening to this piece, she visualized a death march for Mickey Mouse. Can you hear Minney Mouse crying?
6. "Always Forward" - Primarily one track played live, this early piece was challenging to play all the way through without mistakes.
7. "L5-Ball" - Visualize a zero gravity, formal ballroom dance in space! This piece was improvised one track at a time. This is a shorten version of what was originally on Miles High .
8. "Royal Peasant" - Although composed before named, it was reminiscent of a scene in the original store "The Wizards' Fool" where the renaissance peasant is approaching the castle for the first time with hopes of being the kings jester. Short version of original on Miles From Nowhere .
9. "Changing Filter" - Uses a custom build computer to control a modified Yamaha CP-35 electric piano while playing.
10. "Harpsy-Flute" - The melodic harp track started as a finger exercise and later inspired the improvised flute harmony.
11. "Snoopy Hop" - Equipped with a new Yamaha RX-11 drum machine, this is the first piece where the rhythms were composed first. Jamming with the RX-11, three additional keyboard tracks were added to become one of Miles Eddy's favorite original.
12. "Buckaroo" - Having not been put previously on cassette, this performance was almost lost. Originally composed on piano, this is a live recording from 1985 playing synthesizer with a drum machine. The ending was never played adequately so it fades out. Would like to re-perform this piece at some time.
13. "Mystic Choices" - This piece was improvised one track at a time. The first track was created jamming with the drum machine. Two additional tracks were added by jamming with the previous tracts to create an intricate interplay of harmonies.
14. "Miles From Carolyn" - Motivated in memory of an old friend. Live performance in 1986 on electric piano with harmonies added later.
15. "Limits Edge" - A shorten version of the piece that debut on Miles High . Two stereo tracks create a blend of ethereal movement that defines the unique quality of this changing soundscape.
16. "Outside the Sphere" - Mixing several synthesizers simultaneously, two stereo tracts were improvised to create this mellow blend of sounds. Shorten version from original released on Miles High .
17. "Miles High" - Title track from album of same name. Together with "Limits Edge" and "Outside the Sphere", these three pieces made up the first side of the original cassette. Shorten version from original release.
18. "Miles From Nowhere"- Title track from album of same name. The hypnotic trance created by these two electronic stereo tracts could be called "space music". Way out there! Shorten version from original release.
19. "Desert Wind" - Originally improvised while playing a portable studio in the Arizona desert during a sand store. Harmonies added later while camping in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This is a shorter and different mix of the same piece that is on The Wizards' Fool .
TO ORDER PLEASE CALL (719) 379-0308.
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