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[Back to Top] A Short Autobiography

The second part is a brief autobiography. It talks about who I am and alludes to significant events in my life.

Read on...

[Back to Top] The Real Me

My mom is from Germany and my dad is from Spain. I was born in Calgary, and have lived here all my life. My dad works as an engineer, and my mom just recently got a job at a fabric store. My parents enjoy travelling, so I've been around Europe, the United States and Alaska. I haven't really set foot into South America, Australia, Africa, or Asia...though one flight to Germany did stop off in Iceland! ;)

I used to be one of those "Legendary" students in Junior High... I wasn't quite as well known in High School. Though I do have the type of name that sticks in people's heads purely from it's interesting sound. And now in University? I'm just a small dot in a much bigger picture.

Passers-by most likely see me as being very cold and emotionless. When I'm going from place to place on campus I walk at a tremendous pace despite my heavy backpack. I always look to be very deep in though with a lax and serious face. I don't think of myself as looking particularly like a nerd, though it's highly likely that some people think I do. Well, my picture's right above, decide for yourself!

The truth is, I'm quite eccentric in my own rights. I'm completely convinced that it's hereditary though, because my parents are pretty weird themselves! But there's nothing wrong with being different.

In what ways am I strange, you ask? Well, the very fact that I appear to be a statue on the outside and am emotionally passionate on the inside. As I ride public transit to and from the University I always stare pensively out the windows, but I'm never bothered to help people out when they ask me something. In fact, I'm always delighted to help.

This is strange when contrasted with the fact that I used to be afraid of people when I was younger. This is most likely a scar from my experiences throughout elementary school. I was the type that seemed a natural born target to the school bullies. Friendly, trusting, and somewhat talkative. When I was in grade 3, an emotionally unstable 6th grader in the LD class decided to beat me up because I stepped outside of the crosswalk lines while crossing the street. I take consolation that I've inevitably ended up in a much better place than him. I was also always trying to fit in when I was younger. Unfortunately this lead to me hanging around with the wrong crowd. One guy turned out to be a pyromaniac and I'm still convinced today that he was the one responsible for burning down a group of shops down the road.

I'm so glad that the whole experience is long over. However, these are the events that shape a person's life. Although my grade 5 teacher never explicitly said it, it followed from her attitude that she never thought that I would ammount to much. My test scores on math drills were below average. Most of my over-all marks were S: "Satisfactory". But even back then, it was obvious that I excelled in art and language. Even my grade 5 teacher had to give me top marks (VG: "Very Good") for art, and I also got VG's in French. At the end of grade 12 I returned to my elementary school to visit my old teachers, including my grade 5 teacher. She told me that she was retiring, and she looked almost glad. When she asked how I was doing, I told her the unembellished truth. I had maintained honours marks throughout Junior High and High School. Although she most likely didn't remember, I knew that I'd proven her wrong. My experiences with the bad crowd taught me my high sense of morality, and my encounters with school bullies inspired me to rise above them.

Despite all this however, I did find some good friends. By this time, circumstance has separated us all, but I still keep in contact with most of them. Specifically Kelly Meeks, who I met in grade 4. I hold our relationship as something special and very dear to me. If there is one person in the world who has my truest trust, it's her. At the beginning of High School she moved to the nearby town of Cochraine, where she found a boyfriend. Unfortunately she had some tough times and eventually broke up with him, but I was there for her during that. In an email survey she listed me as her hero, and she is always telling me what an amazing person I am. I revere her equally, though I've never found the words to tell her in all my shyness. She is undisputably an amazing artist, and is currently studying art at the University of Lethbridge with the goal of becoming a cartoon animator. Unfortunately her move to Lethbridge has put a little more distance between us.

[Back to Top] My Approach to Art

Many of my concepts for my music, artwork, and stories stem from my dreams. The mind works in mysterious ways, and I try to capture as many ideas as I can from the subconscious. The following are pieces of artwork available on this page that were inspired by dreams:

-The flute accompaniment from my midi "The Dream Horizon"
-The melody for my midi "Sophie" also came to me this way, however I recognize that it seems to be a meld between the song "Only You" and something from Breath of Fire.
-The beginning to my story "Darrock", where Darrock climbs the fire escape to get a view of the city of Colrah.
-My drawing "Shape Shifter". What you see is the mask and cloak of the creature. Underneath it appears to be a human child, body marred by scars.
[Back to Top] My Goals

When I was little I wanted to be an astronaut but then the movie Aliens sure scared me from that idea! Then I wanted to be an inventor or a scientist. Well...that general idea stuck. It was incredible what I managed to make using cardboard, packaging tape, and other stuff that you can find lying around the house! One day, while playing a game on the computer which had a particularly annoying feature, I said to myself, "I want to make something better". I went to my dad (because he knew how to program mathematical programs for his work as an engineer), and I told him that I wanted to learn how to program. So he started me off with GWBasic, a very old language by today's standards. Within a year, I had exceeded what he could do. I started tons of games, but my attention span was very short, and I quickly moved onto newer and newer ideas. The very first game I came up with was called Drake's Quest. It was done with text graphics, and the beginning was a rip off of Breath of Fire™. Later came Dragon Trek, which I returned to many times. The Dragon Trek concept that exists today is a conglomeration of all my best and most original ideas that I had along the way. In fact, I got my Internet nickname "Draggor" from the name I came up with for the main character's hometown in the first Dragon Trek (1994).

I really admire the music of David Arkenstone as a kid. I had quite a few of them sized up for use as game music, but I gradually realized that it would violate copyrights. Slowly, I began to think about the possibility of creating my own music. I began to try to make music using computer beeps, but it was extremely difficult to get the pitches correct, and all in all, they didn't really sound that great. A friend of mine got the internet, and I learned about Midis...the poor guy, I had him download tons of midis for me, which I'd take home on a floppy diskette and listen to. They were mostly from Final Fantasy II and III, and Chrono Trigger. This is where I realized that I could make music in this manner. I began a search for midi creation programs. I began to get desperate, as tunes were coming into my head that I had no possible way to record, as I didn't know how to write music scores. Finally, I pestered my parents enough that they started to look too. Finally we found Cubasis at a music store, and I got it as a Christmas present. There was a moment of anxiety, when I thought the program didn't work properly, but I finally got started. My music was naturally very basic at first, but I stuck with it. I think I must have learned the most from trying to sequence my own midis from Final Fantasy. And, believe it or not, those old pieces that I created using computer beeps are alive and well as midis today. The ethnic drum rhythm from "Out into the World" was actually first created as pc speaker clicks. One of the main Dragon Trek themes (the main melody in "No Time" is only the beginning of the original tune). I also kept those simple tunes that I created as midis in the beginning, and quite a few of those are also present with my midi collection. "Fight, my Son!" was derived from an old midi I made called action.mid. Other examples are: "The Only Thing to Fear", "High Stakes", "The Angel's Message", and "The Dream Horizon". In fact, as I mention these, I realized that I have quite a few midis that I've never posted. Of course, some of the midis on my page are still in their original form. If you want to get a gauge of my composing ability near the outset of my midi composing, listen to "The Rural Life", "Reminiscing", "The Angel's Message", "Cave"...and version 1 of a whole bunch of others too.

Okay, so it should be pretty clear by now what course I want my life to take. Computer programmer, and music composer on the side. My long-term goal has been, and still is to bring Dragon Trek to the light of day. Something everyone can experience, rather than just something that that's all in my head. In a way, it's my ultimate artwork-in-progress. It would incorporate my music, my visual artwork, and my writing. Also, in a way the characters from Dragon Trek represent aspects of my personality. I am quite reluctant to accept artistic or conceptual help with the project because I want to keep it true to my expectations and my dreams. I do realize the amount of work it takes for an entire team of people to complete such a project and I have accepted a few offers that haven't gone too far. I've mostly put the project on hold while I get my education as a Computer Scientist. By the end of my 4 year degree, I'll have the means. The rest will be up to my imagination!

[Back to Top] Miscellaneous Stuff

I've never really had a role model or a hero. I suppose the closest thing to either of those I have are Nobuo Uematsu (Composer of the music for the Final Fantasy series), and David Arkenstone (new age composer). Most of what I have learned about music can be credited to them.

I don't read too many books. I suppose my favorite author would have to be Richard Adams. I really enjoyed "Watership Down", and "Shardik" was the longest book I've ever read (you can tell I liked it because I stuck with it the whole way).

My hobbies are all productive things, probably boring to some. Of course, Music is my main hobby, but I like writing, graphics design, and drawing. Lately, I've gotten into HTML and Web Page design, along with some simple Java, and judging by the praise I've received for my homepage, I think I'm having a lot of success with it.

I used to play soccer as a kid, but I don't really like sports nowadays. I'm a diabetic, but that's not my excuse. Many people live for the adrenaline rush they get from competition. For me, the adrenaline is something I've grown to hate. When my blood-sugars are low (which is a really terrible feeling), the adrenaline is there. When I'm in a bad mood, or when someone is confronting me, the adrenaline is there. When I'm doing something that I know is wrong, it's there. So, adrenaline has become something I try to avoid as much as possible.

I do enjoy swimming though. Snorkeling especially. We usually go down to the Baja Peninsula off Mexico for the summer holidays, and swim in the bathtub-warm waters of the Sea of Cortez. The underwater life there is abundant and amazing to observe.

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© 2000 Rob Diaz-Marino. All rights reserved.