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#172854 - 09/26/04 10:09 PM 20 Years Ago Today - Keyboard
The Pro Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 1087
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
FWIW: In the October 2004 issue of Keyboard magazine on Pg 14 is a short blurb under "20 Years Ago Today" regarding a 1984 Keyboard article about a little known synthesist from Macon Georgia who performed in planetariums and toured with symphonies doing sci-fi movie themes.

It was a strange year for me but lots of fun. I was using a Commodore 64 with the first MIDI sequencer made by Sequential Circuits and a Sixtrak synthesizer, a Minimoog, a DX-7, a Korg Polysix, an Oberheim DX-7 drum machine and a Fender Rhodes. And through a series of competition wins and contacts I managed to get some interest from some show producers, on my way towards a recording contract bid. I toured with two symphonies and did a short tour of planetariums performing live. I'm a former USAF A/V engineer and I had designed my own circuits for interfacing the computer and graphics sequencers hooked to banks of movie and slide projectors. Sequential Circuits supported me and gave me their first multi-timbral MIDI sequencing software, and to my knowledge I was the first to use MIDI files in live shows. The real trick was triggering the shows on the computer and performing musically in total darkness at times. The symphonies, the Chattanooga and Fort Worth Symphonies, came up a series of imaginative sci-fi concerts with lots of special effects. One of my favorite moments was the opening of the show with the Theme for "2001", which opened with a subharmonic note from the Minimoog fed through banks of subwoofers placed around the concert hall. I also had my own solo segment with the MIDI'd synths. The show finale involved lifting my spaceship on a hydraulic lift 30 feet above the symphony and then set off a "Death Star" type of ending. Fortunately, it's all on video somewhere. I also managed to get a music video on MTV. Well it was weird act and no surprise when the major label passed on it. But it was lots of fun.
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Jim Eshleman

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#172855 - 09/27/04 09:27 AM Re: 20 Years Ago Today - Keyboard
acctjm Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/31/04
Posts: 30
Loc: Eastern PA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by The Pro:
[B]FWIW: In the October 2004 issue of Keyboard magazine on Pg 14 is a short blurb under "20 Years Ago Today" regarding a 1984 Keyboard article about a little known ...

Pro,

By coincidence I happened to find that issue (or some followup issues/articles) while cleaning out the basement a few months ago. Wasn't there some controversy stirred up when some people interpreted the article to mean that there would be a whole slew of 'planetarium gigs' that would be available to synthesists?

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#172856 - 09/27/04 12:40 PM Re: 20 Years Ago Today - Keyboard
cassp Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/21/03
Posts: 3707
Loc: Motown
Hey, I've got that issue from 20 years ago, AND every darn isuue before and after that. Anybody want them? They're worth over $300, but the shipping would be another $100+. I'll take any reasonable offer.

Cass
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Riding on the Avenue of Time
cassp50@gmail.com

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#172857 - 09/27/04 01:17 PM Re: 20 Years Ago Today - Keyboard
The Pro Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 07/09/02
Posts: 1087
Loc: Atlanta, Georgia
Quote:
Originally posted by acctjm:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by The Pro:
[B]FWIW: In the October 2004 issue of Keyboard magazine on Pg 14 is a short blurb under "20 Years Ago Today" regarding a 1984 Keyboard article about a little known ...

Pro,

By coincidence I happened to find that issue (or some followup issues/articles) while cleaning out the basement a few months ago. Wasn't there some controversy stirred up when some people interpreted the article to mean that there would be a whole slew of 'planetarium gigs' that would be available to synthesists?


Yes - I was a total newcomer to planetarium-anything and some of the established performers in that field were quick to defend their turf. Also, the people running planetariums didn't want their facilities being seen as entertainment venues rather than the education centers they were designed and funded for (although many were doing "Pink Floyd Friday Nights" to raise money). They ran off tight budgets and were not going to be seen as the hot new market for synth acts. The production company I worked with thought it was a good venue to showcase a guy with synthesizers, an A/V background and a spaceship and thought my performing there would look good to potential record company execs, so that's what I did but I only did a few. Got me 14 1/2 minutes of fame.
_________________________
Jim Eshleman

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