Jeff submitted a song in the worship contest last summer. After his song was chosen for the website, I discovered he was a quadriplegic. He is such an inspiration! Here is what he wrote about his life and song:
“I have a music degree (BME voc/instr) and I played drums, guitar, pno, and bass until a diving accident that left me paralyzed from the shoulders down. Now I create music w/th the computer. The original version of my song was written before my accident. I always liked the melody but felt the lyrics needed help as I matured and became a better lyricist.
I did a lot of writing and recording from the time I began high school. Every year I’d record the songs I wrote that year. I began experimenting with multitrack recording in college but I didn’t really come into my own as a serious songwriter until a couple of years after my accident when I met a writer from Nashville that tutored me for a couple of years.
I have music software where I have a blank score and I choose a note value from a selection of notes and drag it over with my mouse and place it on the staff. One by one, eventually I have a music score. I then designate each line or part to an instrument in my selection of sound modules, electric keyboard, drum machine or instruments circling me in my studio. These are all wired together to my computer in a process called MIDI (musical instrument digital interface).
I record the music to a digital 8 track, then add vocals.
Since I can’t use my hands, I wear a headset that has a little “eye” on it that sends a signal to a box on my computer. As I move my head, the cursor moves around the screen. I blow in a straw connected to the headset and it’s the same as pushing the mouse button. I type using a mouthstick which is, essentially, a dowel rod with a rubber tip to protect my teeth.
I’ve been doing this since I got my first computer Christmas 82, the day after I was released from the hospital. The music software came out in ’87 and I’ve been continuing my music ever since.”
You can read his story here – www.angelfire.com/mo3/jeffleslie
He send me some of his CD’s and I would to share one of his special songs with you. It’s called ‘A Million Ways’ and I think you’ll love it too!