Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Untitled Song

During the Summer of 1989, affectionately referred to as "Vizator Summer" (more on that in future posts), I had a very uncertain future and was at a personal crossroads. I had just finished my first year of college at Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP) where I was majoring in Music Education and I was in the process of transferring to West Chester University to continue my studies.

While trying to make sure that my transfer went through, I continued to play in a band called Vizator which was located in Pittsburgh, I was looking for an apartment with Scott in the West Chester/Philadelphia area, and, in between, I would unpack my car for a day or two every week in Shippensburg where I was "officially" calling home for the summer. I was also struggling to keep a long distance relationship alive with Mitzi Moyer (my girlfriend whom I met at IUP). I even managed a trip to Meadville, PA during that time to visit her.

Needless to say, I was stretched very thin, on the edge, essentially living out of my car with the last of my student loan money, and trying to pull it all together. Luckily, while in Pittsburgh, I was able to crash with Dave Irish (Vizator) and his mother and, while looking for a place to live with Scott in the Philadelphia area, Jackey's (Scott's future wife) parents (Pat and Gloria Dickey) gave me a place to stay and food to eat. This was pretty remarkable considering the fact that, at that time, I was really only a friend of Jackey's boyfriend. I owe them many thanks for what they did for me that summer and for the years that have followed!

Now, since the backdrop for this tumultuous time has been laid, I'll get to the song that I want to share. While staying with Scott, Jackey, and her parents sporadically over the summer, I was working on mixing the final release of The Secret Society cassette. In between mixing sessions, I created my very first complete song. Up until this point, I had worked on song ideas and completed songs as part of a group effort but never had I completed a song from start to finish on my own. It was done entirely on an Ensoniq ESQ-1 and was the first time that I had ever used a keyboard for sequencing. My previous sequencing experience was limited to my Korg DDD-5 drum machine.

The song that I created was simply called "Untitled Song". Though it is very raw and, obviously by listening to it, I didn't know how to quantize on the ESQ-1, it probably remains the most "emotional" and "personal" song that I have ever written. The crescendo of choir strings, Minimoog lead, and analog drums which is reached during the chorus of the song still evokes very vivid memories of this time in my life.

I wish to thank everyone that I mentioned above for helping me through my "Vizator Summer" and, as cheesy and clich├ęd as it may sound, this song was for Mitzi though I don't think that she ever had a chance to hear it. Maybe she'll stumble upon it now...


P.S. Thanks to Mitzi and her sister for taking the picture of me during a Vizator show at PPG Plaza in Pittsburgh, PA (Summer 1989).

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