Q: WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT IS YOUR CONNECTION TO NEW WAVE?
A: I entered my teens in the mid-’80s as New Wave music entered its prime. My imagination was captured by its emphasis on crisp electronic instrumentation, highly melodic vocals, and an expansive, multilayered sound that were characteristic of the genre — accompanied by its creators’ distinctive fashion choices featuring bold colors, cuts, and geometric patterns, exploring the aesthetic boundaries of science fiction/fantasy (a category that most of my favorite books and movies fell into), and paying tribute to the glamour of bygone eras “remixed” in new ways with modern sensibilities and emerging textile technology. Even the term “remix” itself was born of that era, when musical tastes and the evolution of audio equipment converged to the point of making remixing a widespread practice among DJs at the time. The fact that many of the artists who put New Wave on the map hailed from the UK and elsewhere in Europe also added to its appeal, connecting American listeners like myself to distant shores long before the Internet made global communications a given. New Wave helped to shape the person I’ve become in ways great and small, and remains near and dear to my heart.
Q: WHY DID YOU CALL THIS WEB SITE “BLUETOOTH MODE”?
A: To me, the name captures the essence of bringing a significant piece my musical past forward into the present and integrating the two. The “Mode” part of the name pays homage to what is perhaps my all-time favorite band, Depeche Mode, and the “Bluetooth” part of the name incorporates the quantum leap in personal computing that has taken place in the intervening decades, exemplified by having shelves full of vinyl records, cassettes, and (by the late ’80s) compact discs that can now be functionally replaced by a device that fits in the palm of your hand and can connect to a stereo console via the ubiquitous Bluetooth capability in electronic devices that has a mode named in its honor.
Q: ARE YOU A MUSICIAN YOURSELF?
A: Not professionally, but I’ve dabbled in it over the course of my life. I took piano lessons for several years as a child which, although revealing my utter lack of talent on that particular instrument, gave me some grounding in the basics of music theory, aural skills, and composition. Through extensive participation in school choirs and musicals throughout my entire academic career (including an a cappella group in college), I found vocals a more natural fit. In the early 2000s, I enjoyed a brief stint as a backup vocalist for a New York City-based goth band (whose influences included my beloved Depeche Mode) and performed at local venues such as CBGB’s, Korova Milk Bar, and Le Bar Bat, as well as small clubs in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. Following that experience, I set up a small home recording studio with the GarageBand software platform at its center that has allowed me to continue noodling musically on my own.