Showcase #7

The OC explains how he got here from there:

Things change. I’ve been getting a heavy dose of this lately, not because of the health issues, but because last month was the 30th anniversary of the release of MIDI 1.0—the industry-standard Musical Instrument Digital Interface—and my inbox has been filling up with related email. Some messages are from old friends I haven’t talked to in years, wanting to reminisce about the glory days. Others are from reporters or grad students, hoping to cadge an interview.

Did I mention that thirty-some years ago, I was on the design team that developed MIDI?

There are many things I don’t talk about but perhaps should, because they helped lay the foundation upon which Rampant Loon Press and Stupefying Stories are built. For example, I didn’t set out to become a writer. I intended to make my mark on the world as a musician, and for many years worked very seriously at it. Before I started writing this editorial I went out to Wikipedia and took a deep dive into the section on Contemporary classical music, intending to write a proper article that puts it all into historical perspective.

But, no. Some other day. The editorial I started to write quickly deteriorated into a series of shout-outs and name-checks. Yep. Knew him. Knew her. Worked with him. Was there. Did that. Did that, too, but would rather not admit it.

I wish I could say there was some epiphany, some brilliant and unforgettable moment when the skies parted and the Minor Gods of Creativity thundered in antiphonal chorus, “No, thou shalt not be a musician! Thou wast meant for a greater calling! Thou shalt become…a science fiction writer!” It would make for a more dramatic column if I could describe that moment.

If it had happened, I would, but it never did. Instead there were only years of slop and overlap, spent in hard work on projects that went off in six different directions simultaneously and therefore never really went much of anywhere, with many tiny points of change that taken together still don’t add up to even one decent low-budget epiphany. Somewhere in there I discovered I was not cut out to sell my soul for rock ‘n’ roll, and that watching my friends who were made to live that lifestyle self-destruct and die young wasn’t much fun. Somewhere else in there I discovered that while I really did like theater (and if you’re at risk of taking me too seriously, you may take a moment now to imagine me in full pancake makeup and period costume, singing and dancing in the chorus line of a production of Mame), I wasn’t cut out for that lifestyle either, and watching my friends who were cut out for it self-destruct and die from AIDS wasn’t any better fun. Somewhere in there I learned to play the arts grants and commissions game well enough to succeed at it, but in the process lost most of my respect for the game itself. Somewhere else in there it became clear to me that my hopes of getting into major recording studio and soundtrack work were about as realistic as my chances of becoming a starting center in the NBA, and eventually—

Check out the stories too.  I thought there was something vaguely Poeish about Anatoly Belilovsky’s “In Vino Veritas”.