UCCS Electronic and computer music Professor Stephen Bailey on the records of his life

5 February 2019

Eric Friedberg

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Bailey, in the field of computer music. Photo courtesy uccs.edu

    Arriving at UCCS just three semesters ago, Bailey teaches MUS 2150 – in high school, he was in various bands and always interested in sound engineering. Studying music composition in college and taking on sound engineering on his own, Bailey learned to master outside of the classroom.

    Finding it hard to narrow down his broad tastes in music to just five albums, Bailey takes a trip down memory lane to visit them – in no particular order – these are the records that brought Bailey to fall in love with the high fidelity.

Weezer – Weezer (sometimes called the “Blue Album”)

    “This was the first record I bought by myself with my own money. I think I was 12 or 13. This and a handful or other records I purchased around that time really were the first times that I started developing my own taste in music, independent of that of my older siblings or parents.”

DJ Dan – Beats for Freaks

     “Another record that served to define a period of my taste. I think I was 18 or 19 when I got this record and it really informed my taste in dance music and my subsequent DJing career for the next several years.”

The Royal String Quartet – Gorecki: Three String Quartets

    “This recording itself isn’t as important as Gorecki’s string quartets are in general. I happen to have this, but I prefer the Kronos quartet recordings. I really only picked this because the recordings by Kronos are spread out across several records. These pieces really were a revelation to me. When I heard them, I really had a “I didn’t know music could be like this” reaction. Again, these served to inform a lot of the choices I made in developing my own voice. My roommate during my bachelor’s degree worked at Twist and Shout briefly and picked this record up as a gift for me while he was there.”

Talbot and Deru – Genus

    “This is music for a ballet choreographed by Wayne McGregor, based on Charles Darwin’s discovery of evolution. Deru himself has been an influential artist for me and had been for several years prior to finding this record. I think I was 25 when I got this, which means I was between my bachelor’s degree and graduate school and probably working a shitty job that required me to take the bus or something. Hearing Deru’s work in this more “classical” context, along with composer Joby Talbot changed the way that I thought about what kind of music I wanted to write and helped me develop my own voice with my music.”

Amnesia Scanner – AS Truth

    “This is a more recent discovery for me. I think I found this on Spotify last year during my commute to UCCS from Denver. I guess it represents a continuation of an interest in experimental genres derived from hip-hop that originated with Deru about 15 years ago. Again, it’s informed the goals I have for one portion of my own musical output.”