The Lady Who Sings
Musician, computer wizard and life-long under-achiever
I was born in London, England. My first ambition was to live somewhere else. This was achieved at the age of nineteen, when I came to Exeter as a student, and stayed. My children are Devonians.
Before achieving this laudible aim, I prepared for adulthood by learning to sing. My first teacher was Miss Hilda Allured, who drilled a small group of unappreciative children in scales and arpeggios and showed us where our diaphragms were. Later I began actually to like singing, warbling dreamily through my teens until joining the grownups entirely unfit for any purpose. I had only modest academic achievement, and little in the way of financial acumen, emotional maturity or contentment. Worn down by domestic drudgery and a lack of any discernable ambition, my voice became weak and croaky; even my singing was but mediocre.
Fortunately a benevolent force eventually comes to the aid of existential failures like myself: this is called
The mid-life crisis.
This happens when you review your life, and what you haven't done, and realise there's not a lot of time left to do it. Warnings from my guardian angel prompted me to take some further education and to get fit. I took courses in art and computers, and confronted my water-phobia by learning to swim. And after a hiatus of more than twenty years, with the guidance of Millie Taylor, I rediscovered my diaphragm and started singing again.
I started using my computer for music-making after the manager of one local music store told me that it couldn't be done - or, more precisely, was possible only by spending several hundred pounds on one particular brand of software, and that in any case no self-respecting musician would give computers houseroom when practicing his Art. Blinkered attitudes like this are not the norm among musicians these days, but ignorance is widespread, nonetheless. The first music program I used was an early version of the score-writer Mozart given away with a computer magazine; this allowed me to generate MIDI sequences, ideal for backing tracks to sing to, and so my adventures with synthesized music began. As my skill with MIDI developed, I began exploring other computer music applications such as recording techniques, burning the results on CD. Several sets of neighbours moved out, but the dog has gone deaf and doesn't complain.
My efforts producing web code began in response to a challenge from an email friend. The realisation that the most sublimely complicated sites are made with nothing more than a copy of Notepad and large stocks of Alka Seltza appeal to the cheapskate in me. The links on this page are to my earliest efforts - if nothing else, they demonstrate that I continue to improve.
Meanwhile, friends have begun to notice, and I sometimes get requests for web sites, or backing tracks, or both. Alas, I haven't studied Business Assertiveness, yet. Most people pay peanuts for my services, or cakes, though this is negotiable. For the benefit of potential clients, my favourite varieties are chocolate fudge and coffee & walnut.