View Full Version : Inner Geek: (n) G, A, G, E

08-20-10, 08:50 PM
The very first set of notes that I learnt from my grandfather were G,A,G,E - the start of Silent Night. Thinking back to my childhood, maybe I should have taken his wise words about learning to play an instrument more seriously.

Today, I would consider myself ‚??tone-deaf‚??, but technology and musical production and experience is still a big part of my life. In fact, my inner geek is music.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4081/4911121998_95a38deb78.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvidia/4911121998/) My relationship with music first started¬*while listening to classic rock and roll with my parents. Soon after, I purchased my first instrument ‚?? a bass guitar (second left in the photo, above). I also had a stint with drums; unfortunately this did not continue (much to the relief of those around me).

Increasingly, I started to recognise music used within games and film. I even listened for the squeaky sound of the IBM PC speaker, the one¬*that took forever to get working (having a sound card at this point was considered a luxury, MIDI music was a gift from the heavens when you got IRQ ports right). A particular soundtrack stood out for me ‚?? Transport Tycoon Deluxe. I would listen to this soundtrack for hours on end (both in game and out), to the point that even now I can hum the tunes in the correct order down to the individual note.

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4119/4910520651_98cf1a8838.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvidia/4910520651/) With film (or more anime in this case), the soundtrack to Eureka SeveN was a favourite of mine. After being suckered in to the storyline ‚?? I literally watched all 50 episodes in one and a half sittings - I noticed how the music formed perfectly with the actions portrayed on the screen.

I find myself writing (or should I say ‚??imagining‚??) music whilst watching films or shows, muting the sound, and¬*hearing my own version of how the score should follow the action on screen. In fact, I've¬*written many of my own¬*instrumental tracks as accompaniment, some more beautiful than others.

I continue my imagining and visualization even while doing my job at NVIDIA. I¬*look at how a programming function works and visualise the proceeding execution. I guess that‚??s why I program better when listening to complex classical music than simple rock riffs (though when you‚??re hammering something out nothing beats the angry thrash of overdriven guitars). Throw on a headset, play a nice 60 minute symphony, and at the end you‚?¶ well‚?¶ sometimes get a bit of code!

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4121/4911122204_c7c2a0f4af.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/nvidia/4911122204/) I am James ‚??Bazil‚?? Scott, and I am a geek musician.

I don‚??t always know where to start or how I will end, but I love every minute of the journey. As a special treat for the readers of the blog, I am exposing my bare soul with a track¬*that was inspired while writing this post,¬*called South to the Coast. I've only been playing the piano for a little over two weeks, but I hope you'll like it. ¬*Let me know what you think in the comments.

Click to Play: South To The Coast - Lovers Gliding Past (Scratch Demo) (http://blogs.nvidia.com/files/south-to-the-coast---lovers-gliding-past-scratch-demo.mp3)


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