About The Music Pavilion


The Music Pavilion originally began as Musicbytes.us in the Wordpress CMS with the intention of using it as a music blog. Musicbytes began development late September, 2014 and launched in January, 2015 with a goal to simply be a music blog that paid no mind to any particular genres and didn't draw lines on what could be reviewed and what couldn't. This quickly began to expand further and, periodically, additional features were added such as Artist Features. Other ideas came to mind, such as tour dates and tour announcements. Later, the ideas of supporting musical charities and other music organizations came to fruition.
After using the Umbraco Content Management System, based on C# (a Windows .NET programming language), at work while building a website for a client, I quickly got hooked by its' flexibility and scalability. Umbraco is more flexible that you can actually tie in multiple sites with on Umbraco installation. Getting everything configured with a remote web host took some time and the CMS is certainly challenging, but it's very rich in how much can really be customized and expanded. I knew that if I built a new Musicbytes website (likely rebranding), this was the CMS I wanted to use, rather than a PHP framework such as Laravel as I was and am still working on becoming proficient in it.
I started development on the rebranded site, The Music Pavilion, in the summer of 2017. While it's still in development at the time of writing this, my aim is to certainly have it completed and launched by the end of 2017. Since moving to a new web host with a great amount of helpful support, things have started moving a lot quicker. Due to Umbraco being more "barebones" out of the box, far different than Wordpress, I may still be working on some functionality such as tags and monthly archives of the reviews and artist features.

About Myself


http://brianwardwell.com

General and Technical Background

I reside in the Fargo, North Dakota area where I was born and raised. After working as a line cook and kitchen supervisor and customer service/order processing for many years, I finally entered college in the fall of 2012 at Minnesota State Community and Technical College for Web Development. I graduated in the summer of 2015, having taken extra credits such as Python programming. Included in the academic program and also personal training was Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), Javascript (front-end scripting), PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor, a server-side programming language), Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash, User Interface Design, User Experience Design, Web Applications Programming (I & II), Content Management Systems (such as Wordpress), and more. While I was a contractor at Microsoft for SharePoint Online and Yammer, I continued to take online courses at Minnesota State College: Southwest and North Hennepin Community College (based in Brooklyn Park, MN outside Minneapolis). Wanting to get much deeper into server-side programming, I studied: Java, C++, C# and SQL/Database Design.

I have been working with computers since 2003 with regards to minor self repair such as changing hard drives, replacing power supplies and so forth. I also began working with image editing software including Adobe Photoshop as of 2005 and have been using it ever since. I began working professionally as a Web Developer in the summer of 2016. While initially as a temporary contractor rebuilding a client's intranet site in Wordpress, I now work with a wonderful company using Laravel (PHP Framework), Umbraco, Vue.js, and many other technologies.

Musical Background

For as long as I can remember, my father was always listening to music of all types. He was a guitarist as well, particularly liking the acoustic guitar especially in his younger days. I joined a local boy choir, the Red River Boy Choir, at age seven and continued as a member until I was fourteen and my voice was changing. Only months later, I picked up a guitar for the first time and began self-teaching myself. It was a nylon-stringed acoustic which has a much wider neck, so it was quite difficult to get started. After a Fender Mustang was given to me as a gift, I began recording cover songs of various artists. I also began to start writing original music around this time. I had begun to narrowly learn on our piano upstairs and, within a couple of years, began playing keyboards in my recordings.

After recording a couple audio tapes of cover songs and a handful of original songs under the project name "SOS", I decided to go under a different name as it was more unique and wasn't similar to some other band names. I titled the new project Battle Cry and started to self-distribute albums on cassette tapes. I completed a debut album, "Odyssey" in 1999 that was actually completely electronic. I followed up in 2001 with "02 B.C" which included more guitar, though was still mostly electronic. "The Year After" followed in 2004 and included much more guitar as well as live bass guitar and "Decennary Retrospective", a collection of previous songs with a few new original songs, in 2005.

After taking a break from Battle Cry to work on an instrumental project titled LaconicAura, I finished a fourth album titled "Validity" before working on another LaconicAura album. In 2008, I finished "Decay" (under Battle Cry) which was far different than previous original work. It was my first work using a synthesizer workstation, a Triton LE and was more abrasive and emotional. Much of this album can, at the time of writing this, be heard on Battle Cry's Soundcloud profile. I recorded an EP (short album) titled "Fading Into Nothing" in 2010. Ironically, the title hinted at things to come. After collection of acoustic guitar versions of previous Battle Cry songs in 2011 and a collection over the 1999-2011 span, with one new song "Through The Years: 1999-2012", I parted from the very long standing project.

After focusing on training and studying Web Development, I've been starting to plan returning to recording music under a new project name. I am also in the process of developing the website for this project (along with information on the past projects: Battle Cry and LaconicAura). I will update this when the web link is available and that web application is launched.

I've been a music listener since I can remember. With my father's early influence, my tastes have been broad and even today, I am always hungry for more. My first concert was seeing White Zombie at the Fargodome in Fargo, North Dakota in 1995. Likely forty or fifty concerts later, I'm still amazed at how different the experience is of seeing a band or artist live. From the sound and acoustics to the performance and the audience, I still see it as a complete experience.

Musical Gear

Below is a list of music gear I either have used in the past or currently own: