If you’re here I don’t know why, but thank you for checking the blog out! This is just a personal blog where I share all types of things like personal projects, and honestly some pretty random content from time to time.
So who am I?
This is an interesting question for many reasons. I’m a father to my son; husband to my wife, son to my parents, grandson to my grandparents. Catch the drift?
I grew up in Athens, Ohio (USA) and lived there my entire life until I moved to Lancaster, Ohio (USA) when I was 27. Athens is a fairly small town, but a college town, home of the Ohio University Bobcats. It was a great place to grow up. There’s not much here besides the college so I won’t bore you.
I’m a recent father to this little booger.
It’s a blast! Seeing him grow and learn is the greatest thing I have experienced.
I could go on and on about my family. My wife is also… AWESOME. She’s the best.
Not to downplay my family, because they’re great, and the best part of my life. But, who am I outside of a family man?
Well, I write software. Specifically since 2010 I have worked at Ohio University in some capacity writing code and building webapps and web interfaces. In 2010 I was hired as a Student Web Developer, until 2013 when I was hired full time as a Web Developer. I worked that job, which developed passion for writing software, for six years. So from 2010 until May 1st of 2019 I was a web developer. I have recently changed positions at OU and now work on the software engineering team as a Software Engineer II writing angular, node, java, and grails applications.
I haven’t even began to answer the question though!
I’m also a musician of 15 years. So let’s see I’m 28 now (as of this writing), minus 15, so 13! Now I guess you could say but Brad, you took piano lessons before that, those count. Eh, not really in my opinion. I wasn’t a musician, but rather a copy cat. For a period of time I really did enjoy piano lessons as a kid. My teacher Gary Alton is a great guy, and a virtuoso. This kat hand writes his own pieces in notation form, and they’re equally beautiful as they are impressive.
So yeah, the piano lessons eventually stopped somewhere around 11 years old. But I grew up around music. My grandfather has had a recording studio he built over the years, for at least the past 20 years. At one point he hosted a local radio show called Hometown Showcase where local talent would be brought into the studio to perform and be played on radio. My grandfather (Ron Mash) and his recording engineer Dave Norris would interview the musicians and bands over the course of a 2 to 3 hour show. I would just sit in the control room, or in the recording room and just listen and soak everything in. Years of this really had an effect on me. After the first year, at the age of 13 I began to learn how to play the guitar.
The following years, so we’ll say 13 – 18, literally were filled with two things: playing guitar whether by myself or jamming with people; and Diablo II.
Oh my… Diablo II. Let’s just say it was an addiction. Quite honestly it was an addiction. I mean I had no responsibilities, or real responsibilities other than going to school and doing my homework. I had chores like weed eating, but all kids have chores. The amount of time completely wasted playing that game is sad the more I think about it. But at the time I had a ton of fun, and didn’t know better. It’s part of my life, I’m not going to just forget it or erase it.
I think the following facebook comment from my grandmother sums up the rest of my thoughts on this phase of my life.
Towards the end of my high school career, actually I believe my senior year, I started golfing. And that whole year, I golfed just about every weekend that wasn’t bad weather with my cousin Mike.
I mean hey, we golfed for a year. There’s not a whole lot to elaborate on there. But I will give you one story from our golfing adventures… and it may just be the time Mike and I went golfing together for the first time. To start, let me preface this by saying before Mike and I started golfing together, we didn’t really have much golfing experience – if any. So we show up at the Forest Hills Golf Course ready to begin our adventure.
Now I can’t remember their names, but in the picture above, the two younger gentleman ran the golf course. And depending on the day, usually just one of them were there. They’re both great dudes, and for that year, we became pretty good friends. But it wasn’t always that way…
We get out of the car and walk in the main office building for the course. I’m fairly certain at this point we didn’t have clubs, at least I know I didn’t because I can remember renting clubs. So we get the clubs, talk to the guy running the course for a few minutes, and he tells us to enjoy ourselves.
We walk outside. Where… do we tee off? Now, if you know Mike and myself, we are not the prideful type. And to be clear, we honestly thought we were teeing off at the correct location. We put our tees into the ground, and swing. Well, one of us took a big ole chunk of dirt and grass out of the ground and it went flying. Whatever, that happens. Before we know it the owner guy runs out of the office yelling and was royally ticked! “What the f*** are you two doing?! You tee off down there you stupid f***s!” Oh. So yeah, that’s the story of the time we tee’d off at the practice put area.
So in the timeline of my life, that puts me up to college. Honestly college was pretty straight forward for me. I worked (a job) through college, so I completed my degree in 5 years as opposed to 4 years. I graduated with a Bachelor of Specialized Studies in Computer Science and Communication Studies.
All that means is that instead of taking a predefined degree of coursework, I decided I wanted to create my own degree. And as awesome as it sounds, and it is, it was somewhat of a complicated process. I had to have two administrators in each field (computer science, and communication studies) be my mentor/advisor. These two mentors helped me define my coursework (the classes which would compose my degree) and signed off on the coursework. David Juedes, Ph.D. is a tenured associate professor and chair of the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and was my mentor for the Computer Science part of my degree (he taught parallel programming which was an awesome class).
And Dr. Tom Davis who held a number of high-level positions at the university working in the office of Advancement and worked as a dean.
During my college years, and I even remember where, I heard deadmau5’s music the for the time. It was sometime in 2014 in my office cube. Ah, and if you have been following dates, because yes I finished my degree in 2014, I was hired full-time in 2013 at Ohio University as a web developer. So working a full time job and going to school was, we’ll say, fun. But that’s not the point! So I was sitting in my cube one day and someone was like hey you can grab a copy of deadmau5’s 4×4=12 album for free today on Google Play! Uh, deadmau5? I mean to my credit, I had listened to electronic music before, but it wasn’t my go-to genre of music listening at this point.
It’s still my favorite electronic album. Having grown up around music, I hadn’t heard this type of music before. I mean, yeah, house music I had heard, but not like this. I mean love or hate Joel, you have to give him credit, his music is very well produced.
By this point I was slowly putting together a small studio of my own. But, all I knew was after I heard that album for the first time, I fell in love with electronic music, and started learning how to produce it. Now what’s funny is sometime before this the year prior I had downloaded a copy of Reaper (a digital audio workstation, or DAW for short). This is a program that let’s you create music like you would with a professional recording studio, but rather via software instead of physical gear. I played around with it. Now, after the revelation of deadmau5 I really began listening to a lot of other electronic music. But sometime in 2014 I decided I needed a better suited DAW so that I could really begin experimenting making electronic music.
Enter the world of Cubase. Cubase is just one of the many DAWs on the market. And quite honestly, when I picked Cubase from the plethora of choices out there it wasn’t based on anything other than my own research. I guess what I’m trying to say is that when I started with Cubase, there really wasn’t any real reason why I went with it. I just knew Reaper wasn’t for me.
After nearly three years of work I was finally finished with my first album. I won’t link all of my work here, as there is no real reason to do that. But, below is the first album I produced and released on YouTube in December of 2016 under the alias forrest MASH entitled Lost Without A Shepherd.
Since the release of that first project I have released 4 albums and two EPs under forrest MASH, all of which are on YouTube. I’ve also got another alias as Futzsyn that I’m experimenting with but we’ll see if it continues or not.
As of the time of this writing I’m announcing today that I am going to be starting my fifth studio album titled Where Are We Going?
You know as I wrote this I had to pull out the events and highlights of my life that help define who I am. There’s a lot left out, and that’s okay. I guess I will leave this off with why I am starting this blog. There are two reasons. One, the only life skill I have is being good with computers. I know how to program. That’s pretty much the only marketable skill I have. So this site will serve, somehow, as a reflection of that. Not that I care to flaunt it, that’s not my point. But hey, right now I’m still a working man and this site could become a resume builder let’s be honest.
And lastly, I hope to just share stuff. I’m sure I’ll be sharing musical projects on here, and I hope they gain viewership. And not for the numbers. I could care less about numbers for numbers sake. But for community. For the love of music. For creativity. For people.