I was born in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia in 1961 in the suburb of Essendon, back when Melbourne was the perfect size of about 2 million. My parents were both University educated in a time when such a thing was comparatively rare and were both responsible and moral members of Australia's middle class. I grew up in an old solid-brick house with my brother and two sisters and walked to primary school and rode to secondary.
I was a precocious child, and with the encouragement of my librarian mother, read Thackeray's: "The Rose and the Ring" in grade 2 and adult newspapers shortly afterwards. Primary school tended to be something of a bore as a consequence and I amused myself by drawing.
At age ten I commenced piano tuition, when my engineer father decided to resume his violin studies. I took to it instantly and wrote my first piece of music a week or two later. A few years on I learned to play the harmonica by ear, and then started to do the same on the piano. At 12 I was given a piano accordion. At 14 I started playing bass guitar and was in a band at 15. I started writing songs and the classical piano tuition was discarded. I had found my calling.
In secondary school I took the hard science road, distrusting most teachers, whom I knew would mark me down if they could. Maths and Science with their purely objective assessment gave me a measure of independence from willful oppression. I also studied German and Mandarin during this time but not Art as I couldn't fit it in.
In my mid teens I discovered marijuana and other drugs and became interested in mysticism and the paranormal. I devoted myself to this study for some years and achieved enlightenment in Buddhism: where I saw the truth in the solipsistic line and the eternal nothing, Christianity: where I had visions from Jesus and the Devil and felt the "Holy Spirit", and my own revelations: where I crossed between the worlds and tried to balance the internal and the external.
Trying to live as a mystic with a completely different view of reality to everyone else was painful and unsustainable, and in a life changing decision at the age of 21 I resolved to drop the mysticism and the drugs and adopt a more conventional existence.
I discovered that I liked computers, and in 1984 I started a Computer Science / Instrumental Science degree which gave me a broad grounding in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Electronics as well as Computing. My natural intelligence reasserted itself and I found many topics to get my teeth into, along the way acquiring a solid foundation in the scientific basis of the Universe as well as a view of Academia and the limits of current knowledge.
I graduated with distinction in 1988 and back in the real world I discovered that shallow-minded self-interest and incompetence were still the order of the day, and that my deep understanding, precision and idealism were not wanted. After a succession of short-term jobs and general misunderstanding from all concerned I realised that I would never succeed in the conventional world and made the great resolution that I would move to the country and follow my muse for the rest of my life, depending only on the dole.
I had formed the unshakeable conclusion by this time that I had a special talent like no one else, and that I could produce works that were needed by this world that no one else could. I had held a similar view as a teenager, but this time it was backed up with a concrete body of work of unquestionable value.
I eventually wound up in Portland, where I bought a house, played Chess and reconnected with Music. It was not that I had ever stopped playing music, but in Portland I joined the local Choir and Community Concert Band and was a foundation member of the Portland Irish Group, and all these things together caused a tremendous outpouring and I started writing music again, except that this time I wrote down the notes and I began to do formal arrangements.
There was so much stuff coming out of me that I chose names to act as vehicles for my different musical genres: "The Martian Way" for my rock outpourings, "The Martian Orchestra" for my orchestral stuff, "The Martian Barbershop" for barbershop etc... I produced CDs and sheet music but my demos and approaches to companies and people were all rejected and rebuffed.
Along the way I pursued my interest in Linguistics, having learnt Italian during college, and constructed a modern-day version of the local extinct Aboriginal language. I also conceived my Universal Grammar around this time.
I take the notion of being a "Renaissance Man" seriously and strive to practice what I preach. Apart from a rational understanding of the natural and unnatural world I seek to live thoroughly and to this end I have loved and continue to love deeply, have made and kept many friends, danced, read widely, sampled other cultures, cooked, travelled, played sport, written poetry, ridden motorbikes and drunk much beer. Some years ago I also recommenced painting and drawing.
Being a computer whiz has been useful, (although trying to make computers behave has been a great irritation at times), and I have been able to get my work into a finished form on my own, in a way that would not have been possible otherwise. To my great irritation I have found that, (with the notable exception of the singing on LOTR songs, and some temporary help on SOT), no one will help me with my work, and thus every step of the way must carved out by me alone, all the way from conception to distribution. To this end computers and the World Wide Web are the sine qua non of my dream to transform my ideas into reality and get them into people's homes worldwide.
I also was bitten rather badly by the shutter bug some years ago, and photography has been a major leech on my time and energy ever since. Getting to the absolute bottom of the physics of digital cameras took me some years and involved a great deal of analysis, experimentation and disillusionment. I finally reached the end however, and my words on the subject I don't believe you will find any where else on the web. I continue to take quality photos, but don't bother to try and sell them, since the market is glutted and there are idiots in control at every level.
I do not expect proper recognition during my own lifetime. Nevertheless I plan to continue churning out my stuff to a disinterested world and living on a pittance until I die. In the meantime it is my challenge to enjoy life and live richly despite my circumstances.
I do my work and put up this website because I hope that one day the light will dawn and fruits of my labours will find appreciation and employment in a grateful society.
For the benefit of fans and the merely curious, I present a brief but comprehensive gallery of photos of myself in a number of different situations and times.
Click on the thumbnail for the full shot.
|2014 - With a cane toad at Newell Point, North Queensland.||2014 - Playing banjo and singing at Frances Folk Festival.|
|2013 - On the rim of Watarrka (King's Canyon), Northern territory.||2012 - Visiting Beethoven in Vienna.||2011 - Just finished my lagerphone.||2010 - On top of Beinn Chaolais on Jura.|
|2010 - Using the bluetooth headphones while checking out my G5 remote shutter.||2008 - Enjoying a cold VB at Isabella's.||2007 - Checking alignment of my refractor during the day.||2007 - Punching down the twisted pair during my house multimedia wiring.|
|2007 - In the workshop pose for Myspace.||2007 - Laying down the piano track for "A Home Of My Own" at the Portland Arts Centre.||2007 - Playing my old acoustic.||2006 - Recording vocal track for SOT.|
|2006 - Writing in my diary prior to starting "Songs of Travel".||2006 - With The Phoenix at Cape Nelson.||2005 - Infinite Dimensions released.||2005 - Posed shot for poetry section.|
|2003 - On top of Cape Bridgewater.||2003 - Playing banjo at Mac's Irish session.||2002 - Slim and fit after considerable cycling.||2001 - Working out the theory of continent formation with Alan To.|