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I always remember wanting to make music. Although, I never really saw myself as a someone who played music; maybe conducting an orchestra. In those childhood fantasies, I was really trying to bring all of the many voices that were playing in concert in my head out into the world.
When computers entered the music scene, I knew that I had found my calling; that one day I would be able to plug a cable into my brain and let the music out.
By late 1985, Stephen Carver and I had formed Hardware Lies, and during the heyday of MIDI, we learned to connect all the wires and get the computer to play the hard parts. Left over teenage angst provided the motivation, synthesizers and sequencers provided the means. Hardware Lies produced nearly 3 CDs and performed amongst the avant-garde elite of Austin, Texas, through 1990.
I have continued to write music on my own, although I have found I have a lot less to say these days. Still, Stephen continues to be a motivating influence to my music.
Stephen and I have often talked of producing a movie based on one of our performance pieces from the time of Hardware Lies. I would write the soundtrack. I have always wanted to create a soundtrack, although for some reason, I always imagined that I would write the soundtracks for porno films.

MUSIC

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    Hear Them All - ASX
    Radio Neverland - (1995) MP3: 4.54mb
  • This is the first piece that I wrote after moving to San Francisco. Just a few weird loops, a melodic line and some random percussion, but I immediately liked it. I also immediately knew it would never play on pop radio.
    This Walk of Mine - (1995) MP3: 8.14mb
  • Stephen, at one point, asked me to start thinking "soundtrack". To me, this meant length and transitions. I realized as this developed, that I had produced a soundtrack to my own daily walk. It starts off slow and careful, and even ducks back in for its sunglasses after its first confrontation with the glaring sun, then finally reduces itself to the hypnotic monotony of the trip and has to be jarred awake when it gets to where its going; just like me.
    A Little Bit of Country - (1999) MP3: 595kb
  • For those who know me, it kind of makes sense that my first time using Acid would produce something that sounds a little bit country. (Sonic Foundry's ACID Music software, that is!)
    Personal Rage - (1989, with Stephen Carver) MP3: 5.19mb
  • This song is probably the pinnacle example of the collaboration between Stephen Carver, who wrote the lyrics and sings, and myself. One of the last pieces we completed while working as Hardware Lies, I think it makes fun of pop music of the 80s, while trying very hard to demonstrate the confusion of the suburban generation we came from.
    Solaria - (1987) MP3: 3.27mb
  • After Isaac Asimov died, I began reading his Foundation books, in the order he defined, this took about a year and a half. Afterwards I wrote Solaria. Solaria was a world that Asimov defined as being inhabited by humans to whom being alone, and never actually meeting with another person, in person, was the norm. Security through independence and distance. Fitting then I guess that this should be one of my favorite solo works.
    The Cutting Room Floor - (1999) MP3: 1.74mb
  • Building up music from pre-assembled loops leads to some very interesting results, but I bored of the method pretty quickly. This is the second thing that I created with Sonic Foundry's ACID Music, then I lost the disk.
    Alive and Alive - (1987 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 2.49mb
  • This song is about my cat.
    Finally - (1987 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 2.68mb
  • I got really interested in time one day, and wrote a few different songs with themes about the objectivity of time and the futility of man's concentration on it.
    When Shakespeare Calls - (1989) MP3: 3.73mb
  • There must be some really abstract something behind this song, I just have no idea what it was. It wants to be a song about how there is always someone special in your life who that when they are around, reality just kind of gets weird.
    When You Looked Into Heaven - (1988) MP3: 4.16mb
  • This song has a lot of messages, some more controversial than others. I try to believe that it is mostly about the need to question things that are just "excepted", but it is probably just a rant about Christianity.
    Whatzit Tooya - (1995) MP3: 7.67mb
  • Take several rhythmic ideas and mix them together, then meander around them stoned for a while. What you come up with is usually crap, but sometimes it edits down well. But, What's it to you.
    Somewhere in Time - (1987 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 3.14mb
  • Here's another piece about the objectivity of time. I think that the concepts of quantization allow us to imagine an existence where each instant of time can be seen as an individual and distinct slice, then events would be collections of these slices. It would be very difficult to comprehend individual slices taken out of context of the whole, and so usually they are just ignored.
    Organization - (1986 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 2.90mb
  • This is the first song that Stephen and I wrote together. I remember it well, I was in the front room, playing this rythmic stabbing riff on his new keyboard, and Stephen went back into the house somewhere, and listened and thought "Ok, Reese and I are gonna DO music.", and wrote these lyrics. The music has undergone many changes since that first version. You can hear the first version by clicking below. The recording has a glitch towards the end; it was a REALLY old cassette tape.
    Aspiring Alley - (1990 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 4.90mb
  • Art is Pain. The creative drive is a drug that wears off occasionally, leaving you hung-over and in need of a fix. This song was one of the most painful things I every squeezed out of my head. It was also one of the first where I really trusted my own musical style and stopped writing melodies like equations. At this point in my writing I started creating the music by feel; playing stream of consciousness with an instrument.
    Hour War - (1991 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 5.86mb
  • The first completely televised video game war happened during a period when I was unemployed, and so we sat in front of the television, twenty-four hours a day, and watched eight channels worth of coverage. The full title of this song is The 100 Hour War, but we cut it down to just Hour War because it made a very interesting play on words.
    2013-CyberStimulus - (1986) MP3: 9.12mb
  • Ok, this song is completely William Gibson's Nueromancer but its kinda fun. The second half, CyberStimulus was a completely seperate piece, but the fit together so well, that they eventually just got attached. Here I started to experiment with different forms of vocal and sound processing; it is one of the few things that I have done all the vocals on.
    Ghost - (1989) MP3: 5.68mb
  • Completely stream of consciousness, except for one great loop on the Roland D-50. Its called Ghost because its got this spooky rumble in the background, and I think that it is the kind of music ghosts would dance to...
    A Nightmare on Helms Street - (1989 with Stephen Carver and Kyle Tyson) MP3: 5.64mb
  • Do you recognize the sample at the beginning of this song? O Jesse Helms, I guess he only gets away karmicly with being so nasty, because all the artist hate him so much. Kyle and Stephen wrote the original poem, that I then edited, re-arranged and put to music. The music is homage to Laurie Anderson. It performs surprisingly well, loud!
    Perched on the Threshold of Agony - (1989 with Stephen Carver) MP3: 4.03mb
  • Safe Sex was pushed on us hard in the late 80s. The text is almost completely stolen out of the pages of Drummer magazine, which, although no longer in circulation, still represents all that is gay male masculinity, leather, and s&m. Unfortunately it is another victem of bad tape glitch towards the end. I really want to redo this song with Stephen one day, and use a real piano.
 ©2001 - 2012 Reese Armstrong, some rights reserved.