• roland gr-55 guitar synth

    roland gr-55 guitar synth

    I literally had to hide my Roland GR-55 Guitar Synthesizer under the couch, safe from view. This unassuming piece of gear (it only sports a few buttons and five main foot controls), started taking over my life — 15 minutes just to “test out” a new sound design became 2 hours and 15 minutes later. … [continue]

  • serpent’s exile

    serpent’s exile

    Being a rockstar is the nuanced balance of creativity and drive, topped off with a strong dose of delusion. And rockstar status is not just about rock music: you can be a rockstar classical violist, a rockstar architect ;-} or a rockstar yarn knitter. What matters most is what some might call ‘flow.’ Try too … [continue]

  • X-ray of the Past and Future

    X-ray of the Past and Future

    In the wake of another recently broken bone (this time my foot!) I’ve been thinking again about pain and its role in our lives. It’s indeed an interesting matter: Like the age-old mind/body split, popular thinking separates pain into physical and mental states. If you follow this train of thought, pain is either ‘outside’ or … [continue]

  • roland gk-kit gt3 pickup

    roland gk-kit gt3 pickup

    Somehow, a strap-on keyboard can pass as dorky/cool, especially with the rise of “nerdcore.” But IMHO, a synth guitar is just… well… dorky, and always will be. Just check YouTube for shredders playing drum kits through their axes, and wince at their geeky outboard retrofits. I can poke fun because I too am a geek … [continue]

  • Black and White

    Black and White

    “I’m done playing music to a bunch of white guys standing around in a room.” Being lily-white-male himself, this was quite a proclamation from Nimmo. But it was less a rejection of the audience but a scathing damnation of ourselves and the music we were making at the time. And it was true: by the … [continue]

  • b3nd3r


    Just as houses like 16:16 haunted the music, the asbestos shingled hovel at 295 Beacon street in Somerville, Massachusetts (or as some of us lovingly called ‘Slummerville’), housed the lo-fi alchemy of B3ND3R. It was 1995 and Stephen Bender (bass), Andrew Nimmo (drums) and myself (guitar and voice), lived upstairs while Jin Suk inhabited the … [continue]

  • B3ND3R: starting over again

    B3ND3R: starting over again

    I’ve gone on about being addicted to Reverb, my drug of choice. My previous recordings and collaborations were drenched with the stuff but with B3ND3R it was finally time to go cold turkey. After years of dosing my sound, I realized I couldn’t play my instrument if it wasn’t drowned in effects. It was time … [continue]

  • bicycle ride

    bicycle ride

    There’s deadlines and then there’s drop-deadlines. For this soundtrack for the award-winning firm SsD (more on them later ;-) I had 5 hours to write, perform, record, and mix the music before the video was submitted to an exhibit at the Modern Atlanta Museum in 2011. Without leeway to experiment, was it time to give … [continue]

  • c’ville box

    c’ville box

    In 1990 I took my first photography course under a die-hard disciple of the Bauhaus (not the band, but the art school in germany ;-) On the first day of class the intimidating professor glared at me through his perfectly round metal frames and informed me that he would fail me if I didn’t purchase … [continue]

  • nakamichi bx-1 cassette deck

    nakamichi bx-1 cassette deck

    So many of us geeks that grew up in the ’80s and ’90s were moved by Rutger Hauer’s ‘Tears in the Rain’ monologue at the end of the movie Blade Runner. It encapsulates the awe-inspiring paradox of the fragile line between today’s state-of-the-art and yesterday’s obsolescence. Throughout the movie, Replicants represent the pinnacle of technology, … [continue]

  • roland octa-capture

    roland octa-capture

    roland octa-capture Published in Tapeop #82 15 March 2011 Several years ago, I wrote about being a Nomadic-Utopist — a true “N-ut” being someone that believes that utopia is not fixed in space and time, but can occur anywhere, anytime, and anyplace… and in a blink of an eye, that fleeting moment might be gone! … [continue]