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Mental Floss 
Handle: Mental Floss
Real Name: Andrew McCallum
Lived in: Canada
Ex.Handles: Andrew M., AndrewM, Big Brother, Andrew Mc Callum, Andy McCallum
Was a member of: ANSI Creators in Demand (ACiD), Axidental, Kosmic Free Music Foundation (KFMF), Kosmic Loader Foundation (KLF), Sonic Écstasy pc, TRaxx

Modules: 23  online
Interview: Read!
Pictures: 3  online

Interview


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            TLb.  ,dMP'          all rite, now you get the chance to read
             TML.dMMP            some facts about some of the major amiga
          ,nmm`XXMPX              musicians. read about their history in 
       ,#MP'~~XNXYNXTb.          the scene and their plans in future.yes, 
     ,d~'     dNNP `YNTb.       that's meant to be read while listening to  
    ,~       ,NN'     `YNb   their modules. read 'em over and over and over..
             dNP        `Yb.  
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    Handle: Mental Floss

    Group: Kosmic Free Music Foundation (KFMF)

    Date of birth: 08/31/75


  • 1-How did your interest for computers start? Which year was that?

  • My parents bought Texas Instruments 99/4A around 1982 for Christmas with
    some games and a version of BASIC. I think the games took most of my
    attention but I remember doing a bit of programming.


  • 2-What machines did you previously have? What did you do with them?

  • Before that? None :) But afterwards my dad bought a C=64 for his home
    business and my brothers and I mostly played games. Later on I started
    to use a program called MusicCalc that was my first introduction to
    making electronic music.


  • 3-For what specific reason did you end up making music rather than gfx,coding?

  • I've been playing Piano since I was 5 so it made sense. I liked the
    sound of synths but they were too expensive to buy, so when I found free
    music composition software I ran with it.


  • 4-Which composing programs have you been using? Which one in particular?

  • Mostly the bulk of the music I've done was either in Scream Tracker or
    Impulse Tracker, but I've also had a lot of fun with BuzzTracker. Now I
    mostly use Reason with Live -- the composition goes a lot faster and
    it's a nice format to work in for the type of music I've been doing.


  • 5-With which module did you feel you had reached your goal?

  • I didn't really have any goal in mind other than to keep entertaining
    myself and entertain others along with me, but I've definitely received
    the most feedback about Earthtones and The Return of Cornholio.


  • 6-Is there a tune you would like not to remember? For what reason?

  • Probably only little bits of stuff I haven't released (which is why they
    were never released :)


  • 7-In your opinion, what's the value of a music in a demo, game?

  • I always viewed demos as a type of music video. Sure there's a lot of
    amazing stuff happening behind the scenes (coding, graphics,
    organizational talent, etc) but the audience-facing product is
    essentially a collection of visuals driven by music -- it glues the
    whole thing together. Even the synchronization of the demo is triggered
    by data embedded in the music track itself. You can cut and paste
    graphics haphazardly and your eye/brain will make sense of it, but cut
    up the sound haphazardly and you'll make the audience ill.


    For games it's sometimes a different story, but a lot of designers
    regard music as complementary to the experience instead of having it
    complete the experience. Sound is the best tool you can use to
    influence someone's emotions and create atmosphere.


  • 8-At present, are you still composing? For professional or leisure purposes?

  • I involved with sound design for http://www.3dna.net (a 3D desktop for
    Windows) and I also DJ on and off around the Toronto area, but all of
    that's part time -- I work as a fulltime tech for TUCOWS
    (http://www.tucows.com).

    I've recent jumped back into composing using Reason and Live but I don't
    quite have the same amount of time as I did in high school to noodle
    around forever, plus there are other distractions (little projects with
    my housemates, social life)


  • 9-What do you think of today's pieces of music such as mpeg,wave,midi,etc...?

  • I think mpeg/MP3s had an impact on the tracking scene because it made
    the format irrelevant -- people listen to the end product, and it the
    tools don't matter as much. Which is good, ultimately, but part of the
    strength of the tracking scene was because of its ease of distribution
    and it's open-ness.

    The only way to get free computer music over the Internet or BBSs,
    without waiting for hours downloading raw audio, was to discover the
    "tracking scene" by download software and collecting music. This file
    format had a special feature going for it, since the samples that made
    up the music you were hearing were contained in the file itself. Being
    able to extract the source samples right from the track itself let other
    musicians create remixes, or use the samples for original work. It
    helped form a community out of this swapping/collecting/reinterpretation
    dynamic.

    I think people who are inclined to make computer music now will use a
    lot of the studio-oriented software out there like Reason and Cubase,
    and distribute their end product as MP3s. The non-tracking software has
    mass-acceptance, and it's well written, integrates with other
    software/hardware, and has a lot of expansion capacity. "Back in the
    day" if you wanted to write music, you had very few choices, and
    tracking software was near-free.


  • 10-Could you tell us some of your all times favourite tunes?

  • Dune seems to always come up with interesting music, I think one of my
    favorite tracks would be K. Necros and the music on his Progression
    musicdisk. Maelcum, who definitely turned my ear onto Kosmic. (his
    remix of Lush by Orbital)


  • 11-Are you planning to make an audio cd with some of your music remastered?

  • It's been in the works for years -- Aahz from Loud Factory did a lot of
    work mastering some of my tracks but the CD hasn't been released. At
    this point I'm find the music a little "dated" sounding, but I should
    probably finish it anyway :)


  • 12-What bands are you currently listenning to?

  • Big Sugar, Cymande, Telefuzz, Tosca, Bonobo, assorted hard evil
    drum'n'bass and whatever else happens to come across me :)


  • 13-What does/did the amiga/c64 scene give you?

  • Definitely an eye for computer graphics and sound, and lot of experience
    and knowledge in computers.


  • 14-Are you still active in the scene these days?

  • I did a presentation with two other sceners at design festival in
    Toronto called Digifest (http://www.dxnet.net/digifest) for the
    Demoscene Outreach Group (http://www.scene.org/dog/), which was pretty
    fun, got to sit next to the Unreal guys on a question panel :) Other
    than that, mostly because of time, I just don't have the ability to
    socialize the way I used to.


  • 15-Anyone to greet? Anything left to say? Feel free...

  • All the groups I'm in/have been in, Kosmic Free Music Foundation (KFMF),
    Sonic Ecstasy, and Axidental. Maelcum, Draggy, ChuckB, Astrid,
    Scirocco, Basehead, Necros, Dune, Anonym, Guillaume Provost, Veritech
    Knight, Mr. Kahn, MED, and all the other people I used to talk to every
    day but its been so long... *hugs *


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    please note: this interview is ©opyrighted in 2003 by crown of cryptoburners
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