Steev's Midi Music Page

Updated July 12, 2017

[IMAGE: Steev at age 2]
Steev at age 2.

Steev has been interested in music since he was a young child. He got his first piano at age two. At five years old he would sit at the big piano and play pleasing, melodic original tunes. He never just pounded or hammered at the keyboard; he seemed to know it was to be treated with respect and dignity. His early plunking later became more refined and he was composing meaningful songs while still in junior high. He was self taught with the help of some basic information on music theory he got from his aunt. His formal training came as a music major at Utah State University. He then went on to tour with the Blue Knights of Drum Corps International (DCI) in the front line ensemble. In his 28 years he has written many compositions which include a variety of styles ranging from New Age to Orchestral to Jazz.

Steev has a way of being almost obnoxious even overbearing when it comes to music and rhythm. (I'd know because I'm his mother.) It's impossible to be around him for very long without having to put up with his incessant leg slapping rhythms or his talking and questioning about one facet of music or another. He gets very impatient with people who don't share his intense interest in music. He can also be sickeningly perfectionistic about the technical aspects of his music. I guess this is a price we pay to be rewarded with the compositions we enjoy.

Trissa Fonnesbeck
3 January 1998

I like using a completely organic approach to writing music. As is always the case, I start out with an idea or motif and very little direction. I try not to plan too much and let the story or theme evolve naturally. In some cases I'll randomly throw notes at the staff to get the ball rolling the way someone would improvise on an instrument. This technique is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing in that I can let my ideas inspire themselves into new and interesting ways but a curse in that I don't have the luxury of using a keyboard. It's not that I don't have the ability; I just don't have the equipment. The trick for me is how to write music that sounds like I'm improvising or, in other words, I want the computer to play it back and sound like I made it up on the spot. Therefore I must plan the spontaneity. I will spend so much time arranging the accompaniment and then "performing" the arrangement that many of my compositions will take anywhere from months to years to develop. Performing in my case involves tweaking hundreds or thousands of midi events and parameters by hand to simulate human nuances. As this is a rather arduous process I tend to make little progress and, unfortunately, little music.

Stephen Fonnesbeck
May 2004

Note: The compositions on this page were all rendered to MP3 files based on the sounds generated using the old Roland SC-15 Sound Canvas wavetable sound module.

Steev's Compositions

All compositions on this page are copyright © by Stephen Fonnesbeck. All Rights Reserved.

  • A Dream Remembered (MP3) 18 Oct 1997

    This is my first piece of music I've ever composed using a SoundCanvas and Cakewalk 6.0 combination. Before this I was using a plethora of old Roland analog synths, DX7's and Performer 3.0 on a Mac SE in a studio underneath the concert hall at my university. That was back in 1988.

    Anyway, this piece originally started out as a silly little ostinato. While I was composing it, I just let it take its own course by basically entering notes with the mouse and letting the music compose itself. The only thing I was directing it towards was an orchestral like sound. Although the SoundCanvas lends itself well to it, it was quite a task achieving something close to it. Copyright © 1997, 1998

  • K-Bird (MP3) 3 Jan 1998

    This is the background music I composed for a NASA KC-135 student flight preparations video.

    I started composing this piece by "randomly" throwing notes at the staff and developing phrases that would result from it. It seemed to naturally fit a 7/4 meter and the harmonies became rather complex although the chord progressions remained relatively simple. It was fun to say the least and it seem to set the perfect mode for the video. Although I've never experienced weightlessness I can only imagine how fun it would be. I hope this piece of music is a true impression of what others feel about the experience. I also wish I could really play the piano like what is heard in this sequence. Copyright © 1998

  • The Final Hour (MP3) 11 Apr 1998
    (Based on motif No. 3 from the Sound Canvas Users Group)

    Reed Lamont Fonnesbeck died March 19, 1998. He was 75. His final hour was during the night while he slept. His heart was tired but his mind was like a child, dreaming what a troubled child would dream. He will awaken into a new reality, a reality free from the burdens of mortal existence, to a place of peace and a place of joy. A place where a troubled life is liberated and a tired heart can rest. Copyright © 1998

  • First Flight (MP3) 26 Feb 2000

    Apart from having the usual dreams about flying, I've always imagined what it would be like to be able to fly with out the aid of a machine. This piece was originally inspired by a virtual reality flight simulator that allowed for a "bird's eye view" of flying. I wanted to create musically what it would "sound" like to soar along without a care in the world and nothing to do but enjoy the scenery as it rushes by. Copyright © 1989, 2000

  • The Storm MP3 (MP3) 26 Feb 2000

    The storm I refer to is the storm in the mind. A difficult time in ones life where we feel left out in the rain, so to speak. Then, once the storm has passed, we are left to ponder whether the rain has washed our soul as it was intended or just left us soaking wet. If the "touchy-feely" explanation doesn't work for you then you can think of it as an actual mid-western storm with tornado and all. It was composed over the summer that I was in DCI so some people may notice that portions of the music reflect bits of that unmistakable drum corps sound. Copyright © 1989, 2000

  • Casey's Moon Dance (MP3) 26 Feb 2000

    When I started out to write this piece I was imagining an absolutely desolate landscape. Over the course of time it evolved to something with less feeling of melancholy and more of a celebratory feel. In the end it reminded me of mid 70's electronic music impressionism. Thus, it became a dance. A dance on the Moon perhaps. It's a very desolate place. Then I got thinking, who would want to dance on the moon? The only person I knew of that could go to the moon and dance in a celebratory manner is my very close but melancholy friend, Casey. So it became "Casey's Moon Dance". Oh Well. Copyright © 2000

  • Mystery (MP3) 15 Dec 2001

    I started with the basic bossa nova drumbeat. My intention was to write a nice light bossa nova using an organ as the solo instrument. As it turns out the drums and bass came off as too heavy. I kept with my original idea of using the organ and added the piano and the solo electric guitar and to harden it up even more. In the end I had something akin to the mystery and intrigue of the late 60's spy genre. Copyright © 2001

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