In high school, my mother helped me put on layaway a Yamaha PSS-470 music keyboard. This instrument was so consumer-grade, it lacked MIDI, velocity-sensitivity, pitch-bend, full-sized keys...the works. But it had built-in speakers, had five octaves, a fairly intelligent stereo sound, optional reverb and chorus, was quite portable, and had 27 built-in patches with the ability to alter those patches or create completely new ones with a set of six five-position sliders on the upper panel (that's 437,500 possible combos). It was that feature alone that sold me on this instrument amongst all the other unmodifiable instruments on the shelf.

Over the next years, I played that instrument like my sanity depended on it. I learned how to move through chord progressions while keeping some sort of bass accompaniment. It was my only instrument for years, so that tradition of making-do with one patch at a time allowed me to, through playing style and configuration, make it sound expressive like two simultaneous patches or have faux velocity-sensitivity or pitchbend.

That practice paid off over the years. On occasion, I'd figure out a novel melody and run with it, completely ad-lib. On rarer occasion, I'd actually record it. This track is one of those occasions. In 2000, during my creative peak, I was noodling around with a melody that just wouldn't leave me alone. I recorded it straight into a wave editor on my PC. No metronome, no timekeeping, no prior motive or story. Just went. After I'd reached the logical, emotional end of the song, I stopped, replayed, and felt I had something worth saving.

The semi-monophonic sound of the recording aids in the quiet emotion of the track. I put in a little bit of stereo chorus to give it a bit of space. You can almost hear the digital bit-crackle in the louder impulses. The "tape leader" sound you hear at the end was a highly-amplified version of the last two seconds of the original recording where you hear the stereophonic crackle of the then-13-year-old keyboard's output circuitry. Beautiful.

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