In addition to solo work, Tom has collaborated with many others including Bill Lehman in the bedroom rock project, Courtesy Patrol and experimentally with Lennart Ostman. Tom and I have have also done recording together.
My first trading partner was Charles Vrtacek of New Milford, CT. I had placed a letter in Keyboard magazine asking for pen-pals willing to trade home-made music. Another early trader was Lennart Ostman of Sweden. Both Charles and Lennart were the first responents to my letter. I also traded with comic-book artist and musician Mike Roden. I remember being very excited by the possibilities of both getting my music heard and being able to get music from sources outside of mainstream (or even independent) record companies. Trading was great fun and very fulfilling (it still is!) I remember trading a lot with John Oswald, of Mystery Tape Laboratories. I got many mystery tapes that were probably unique, or almost so (he was continually editing and reconfiguring them). The music I got from various traders was unique, creative, and beautiful, mostly due to the complete lack of commerical enterprise connected with it. Pure expression and joy of music-making. In turn, I would write reviews of the tapes I got for OP, then later OPtion and Sound Choice. Trading and networking provided a tremendous creative stimulus to me, and I was very glad to realize that we were creating our own outlet, our own media, as it were, bypassing the commerical pathways to getting heard and hearing others. I still create music and trade it (now on CD-R’s rather than cassette tapes) but not on quite the same scale as I did in the mid 1980’s. It is still just as gratifying and a creative stimulus as it was back then.