My name is Tim, but on the Internet, I'm known as C.H.U. which stands for "Clyde's Human Unit".
I have been a musician all my life. I started playing the piano at the age of two, received extensive choral training and sang in the Glee Club, have performed in Renaissance Ensembles (playing recorder) and Madrigal groups (renaissance chorus). I have played the Psaltery (a type of early harp) in the "Play of Daniel". I studied composition under the composer, Amelee Russell in New York, and musicology with Victor Mattfeld at Richmond College, also in New York. I was graduated with Honors in musicology. I have been both an apprentice and master pipe organ builder in the Boston area, have built clavichords, harpsichords and restored 19th century reed and pipe organs. I have written music for all of these instruments-- most notably My Lord of Clavichorde, His Booke which is a parody on the famous Fitzwilliam Virginal Book. I even started composing an opera based on the novel Frankenstein and am currently working on Concerto for Virtual Harp and Orchestra. Many of the MIDI Clyde Tunes heard on this album are based on my earlier work, while others are brand new. Oh, and the term, MIDI, simply means a control interface-- it isn't music, it's a computer code for electronic musical instruments. MIDI itself produces no sound at all.
It may seem odd, or even impossible that cats would have anything to do with music, but this is not the case.
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The Musical Cats
Cats have been inspiring humans in music, song and literature for centuries. The ancient Egyptians in the time of the Pharaohs glorified cats and carved beautiful and elegant statues of these creatures. Cats appear in paintings, sculpture and literature the world over. Who doesn't know the "Cheshire Cat" from Alice in Wonderland, or the beautiful musical, CATS?
Cats have superior senses to humans-- they can see in almost total darkness and most importantly for music, they can hear several octaves higher than humans. Those high octaves are important because musical harmonics-- tones that make up the unique characteristic of an instrumental sound-- occur in this upper range. People can't fully hear them-- we feel them, but cats hear them quite clearly. This makes the musically appreciative cat the ultimate musical advisor! Often, when we play music cats DO listen! (Read Wonders Never Cease) (They also watch TV!) Cats have a vocabulary of about 300 distinct sounds-- most of which are musical in nature. Scientific analyses of the cat's meow have shown it to be made up of complex quasi-musical tones, not the guttural sounds and fricatives that characterize human speech. In a way, cats actually sing, and their tonal combinations are much more complex than any human music. So, there IS a connection between cats and music!
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A New Musical Style
The music on this album is composed in an entirely new style based on the romantic classical tradition, and naturally I have dubbed it "Cattical". What makes it different and special is the WAY it is composed. I watched my cat, Clyde as I arranged and "played" the music, for his response. If he liked something, he'd purr or rub or roll over on his back with a grin on his face (yes, cats can grin), and if he didn't like something, he'd flatten his ears or simply walk away. Cats have the emotional and intellectual development of a human 2-year old. So, if I could get Clyde's attention and hold it, I was definitely on to something. The music that he liked turned out to fascinate my human friends and family-- especially women and children. They couldn't explain what it was, but there was something in the sound that moved them deeply. And that's the connection between cats, humans, and my music.
I soon started posting my music on the Internet at ClydeSight2.0! in MIDI format. The fans loved it! Because Clyde was so "instrumental" in helping me develop my new musical style, I gave him credit as the composer (it's a cat lover's thing), which the fans loved all the more. Tragically, Clyde died in 1997 from CRF (Chronic Renal Failure).
The loss was devastating, and one fan wrote a beautiful eulogy for Clyde. Since then, I have continued to compose music in the new style, and my current feline companions, Gertrude and Eddie DO listen and "comment" on my arrangements!
My music is performed by a computer controlled software synthesizer. There's a simple reason for this-- it's too complicated to be played by any human. The musical arrangements are spread out across 16 individual tracks all playing simultaneously (polyphonic response). This, in part, explains the rich sound on the album. I conduct a complete virtual orchestra. But there's more.
I discovered the secret of generating a large orchestral sound from a single simple synthesizer. Traditional orchestral scoring methods aren't effective when transcribing for synthesizer. There are many reasons for this, which I won't bore you with. But you may have heard other synthesizer albums that are transcriptions of classical music and found them somewhat thin, electronic or unsatisfying. What's needed is a very different approach.
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They Said It Couldn't Be Done
I discovered how to maximize the potential of my software synthesizer and compose and arrange music "outside the box", thus getting a sound that technically is supposed to be impossible. I've heard from musical and electronic experts who have told me "What you are doing can't be done! How'd you make it work?" My compositional technique involves a combination of pre-and post- processing similar to what is done in most recording studios. With the exception that there are no musicians! Everything occurs in a virtual world and is then recorded for "real" world playback. The result is a rich full bodied combination of orchestral and electronic sounds and even some unique instruments that don't actually exist-- the "Floboe", the "ThunderBoom" and "AhHa Chorus" among others.
Later I went on to establish the XV Orchestra, a unique virtual orchestra based on the Roland XV-5080 Sound Module Synthesizer, which you can hear in the BONUS CD selection "Grand Overture".
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Hear What Love Can Do
Because of its unique origin, this music album is dedicated to cats and their humans-- but it is really for any music lover. This album, while it is "Music Inspired By The Love of a Cat" isn't about cats or cat-music-- it's human music for humans.
Take a look at REVIEWS and see what they have to say. Many of these folks are "cat people", and others are not. Regardless, cat, dog, horse or any animal lover-- music lovers all hear the special quality in this album and it delights them. It will delight you too. Try the SAMPLES and hear for yourself what has them all a-buzz.
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Artist Who Created Symphonia Felina Album.
copyright©ClydeSight Productions - 2004