For most of us music is an essential ingredient to the broth of life, reflecting our deepest emotions and representing who we are as individuals. It can move, excite, enrage or even conjure up vivid memories. As listeners we use music to echo the mood of a time and give us the soundtrack to our existence.
There are those among who us who are the songsmiths, crafting out the music from nothing but lyrics and notes. These are the true talents in our world, stars who are rightly admired and respected for bringing wonderful sounds to our ears. Then there are those whose talents slip under the radar of normal society. These true artists are misunderstood in their own time. They are often left to their own devices in secluded pockets of the cyber world. They are the ground breakers of sound, they are the masters of melody, they are kings among men; they are the individuals who convert ordinary songs into low quality midi files.For those of you who are unaware of these gems, midi files are faithful adaptations of regular songs, performed by people with a good musical ear and far too much time on their hands. With the help of nothing more than a Casio keyboard these melodic nuggets are the perfect way to listen to your favourite tunes in a completely new light.
I know what you’re thinking. ‘Where are these midis?’ ‘Who do I have to kill to get my hands on them?’ Well don’t fret. I was once like you, alone, incomplete, but then Louis pointed me in the direction of Gary’s midi paradise.
The name is no exaggeration as I discovered upon my first visit to this surreal wonderland of crazed unreality. With its dazzling nocturnal background and its phenomenal three dimensional graphics, I was immediately blown away by the prospect of the fun which was in store for me.
Folsom Prison Blues – Johnny Cash
The convenient A-Z library is bursting with recognisable classics performed in Gary’s own inimitable way. Just pick a song at random from this curious selection and you’ll understand why this musical pioneer is akin to the likes of the Beatles, David Bowie and Bobby Brown.Feeling raucous, irresponsible and wild? Well nothing captures the balls out rock and roll feeling of Steppenwolf’s ‘Born to be Wild’ quite like this version, as the heavy guitar riffs are ousted in favour of some camp keyboard work that’s reminiscent of a week in Butlins. If you’re a fan of Johnny Cash I strongly recommend this take on ‘Folsom Prison Blues’, with its swinging bass line and jazzy upbeat lead, the prospect of a long stretch in prison never seemed more exciting.
Midi music files have undoubtedly changed my life in a very minute way, when listening to music now I can’t help but think, what would they sound like played on a cheap keyboard accompanied by a bank of badly sampled instruments? I can only hope that in some smal way this post will help to remember these forgotten geniuses and convert people to this most majestic of art forms. The future’s bright, the future’s midi.