Have you ever met the people who you’ve corresponded by letter with? Was it a good or bad experience for you? In September of 1993, I met some like-minded people in Portland Oregon. That became one memorable weekend which I spent there.
In 1990, an electronic music fan magazine called Synthesis contained an ad for fans to join Electronic Dreams. It was a fan club for aficionados of composers such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Klaus Schulze, Larry Fast (Synergy) and groups such as Tangerine Dream. A newsletter called Dreamsword was published monthly by Elana Mel Beach, the president and founder.
Since I had composed my own brand of electronic music for a few years, I decided to join. I also sent cassettes of my music to Elana so her reviewers could write a review. I, and the other “Dreamers” became close friends as a result.
When I took time off work in September, I decided to visit the Electronic Dreams group for one of their music-listening sessions. I had recently recorded an album called Brain Laundry so I brought the cassette with me for review.
Since nobody had room for me to sleep at their homes, I rented a cheap hotel room with a splendid view of a brick wall. Mike Birtchet, pictured above with Elana Mel Beach, drove me to his home and let me play the recordings which we judged. I felt pleased when Brain Laundry received a favourable comment or two from the participants.
As I sat with the half-dozen electronic music fans, I felt like the ugly duckling when he discovered he was really a swan. Most of my friends had no clue about the artists and bands I loved. Neither could they understand why I’d love such peculiar music. These people not only shared my passion for it but some even were fellow composers.
Mike and Elana took me to see the sights of Portland, including a pink apartment high rise called by the locals “Big Pink.” Though I enjoyed that part of my trip, the best aspect was meeting the folks who I had only heard or wrote to.
I’m now in the process of uploading my tracks to Soundcloud and making videos for YouTube. A fair number of listeners liked what I uploaded and some are following me. Technology has come a long way since I began dabbling in electronic music in the eighties. Yet new listeners are getting into the old analog sounds which I created more than two decades ago.
I mentioned my electronic music compositions in all three of my memoirs. The first two are featured on the Bruce Atchison’s books page. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.