Music created by professional audio production equipment manufactured in 1988 and 1989, controlled by an ATARI ST (which is a personal computer — not video game console — considered to be professional audio production equipment [more on that later]) via the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI, which is the 30 year standard by which professional audio production equipment talks among itselves, and here we see why the ST was considered as such; it was the only PC ever to have MIDI built into its motherboard giving it an advantage even over today’s computers) by misusing one algorithmic composition program† (not, even by a longshot, a professional music production tool of any epoch) contained in 208kb of data on a 3.5” floppy disk‡, steered clear of most serious accidents and straight on towards virtual sunsets using projective geometry, at cruising speed, with occasional stroboscopic lighting and some smoke and a few 3D renders with phong shading keyed in tastefully.
Vague Authorship§. Melody Curation. Based on ever changing parameters and 24 year old algorithms. Extremely limited self-releases on laser etched cassettes. Live-mixed unrendered spontaneous improvised electronic music via 1MB RAM. Always recorded with a Sony WM-D6C Professional Walkman onto Type II and IV tapes. Erase heads. Demagnetization. Yamaha.
† This program in question is part of a genre unique to the ATARI ST that essentially, for that era and with the means available — technology wise — to non-musicians, brought to reality the vision of “Computer Music”, generated by the computer based on random permutations of what was thought to be the principles* of modern music.
* Of course we are talking about the kind of people who, at the level of computing power — which I shall remind you was above the brain power of common bacterium but less than that of a Nematode worm — available to PC users in the late 80’s (namely the 16/32-bit architecture, also known as “ST”) thought that listenable — or even enjoyable — contemporary music could be quantified, methodologized, discretely mapped to flowcharts, then coded into a single screen** software program with four pages of HELP and thus generated (the music) by these said “powerful” computers and but so it would still sound realistic or coming from a human.
** 640×400 monochrome.
‡ Apart from 2.8” quick disks (QD), this is the professional audio production storage standard of 1988 and 1989.
§ Nat Fowler (Nat Munari) is from Baltimore where he played in the band Oxes and is currently based in Berlin.
Text by Nat Fowler himself.