Virtual Music

I count the teachers of my music classes as some of the most influential in my life experience. In junior high and high school, I took advantage of all the music classes that those schools had to offer. Two of my favorite hobbies growing up were music and electronics, and it is during those years of the mid-1970’s that electronic music started to become mainstream. I was particularly impressed by the work of electronic/space music pioneer Isao Tomita. His innovative interpretations of well-known classical music compositions brought a new perspective to my favorite music genre. Tomita’s renditions would often be note-for-note transcriptions, but nearly as often, Tomita would add other elements – sounds and themes which might be described today as “inspired by…”. My dream at the time was to someday be able to do what Tomita had done – apply technology in my own reinterpretations of my favorite classical music.

After high school, came a long career at Hewlett-Packard, during which I learned about CD technology. I studied the technical details of how audio data works by writing my own audio mixing software. I started experimenting with mixing different instrument snippets together to create primitive tracks of electronic music, often with vocal accompaniment. But this music still sounded like it was made by a computer toy (because it was). My dream of using real instruments to create new interpretations of my classical music favorites was not yet realized…

It wasn’t until 2015 that I discovered the Vienna Symphonic Library. This company sells libraries of recorded sounds for a variety of instruments. To help organize these sound library samples into a playable musical score, I used Sibelius 7 First software. I wrote out and recorded the part for each instrument separately, and combined the results using the audio mixing software I had written previously. The Virtual page on this website has three examples of classical pieces that I have transcribed for percussion and varying numbers of pianos using this technique.