About Me

My name is Tony Wallace. I grew up in Chelsea, Quebec and I currently live in Oakville, Ontario with my girlfriend and two cats.

Art

I started out in music. I spent most of my high school years playing guitar and trying to figure out how to write and arrange for small groups, like the school jazz and blues combo. I took guitar and piano lessons (regrettably, I'm still a horrible pianist) and played trombone in the school concert band. After high school I tried out the music program at Carleton University in Ottawa but bailed halfway through the year to study privately. The following year I moved to the Greater Toronto Area to study at Humber College. This was a good move. Carleton had some very good musicians on staff, but Humber had Canada's best. For the next three years, I studied guitar with Ted Quinlan, composition with Don Thompson and synthesis with Don Baird. Synthesis wasn't part of Humber's curriculum at the time but Don had a lot of synthesizers and I somehow managed to convince the music department to give me credit for playing with them.

Things became less interesting after school ended. Making a living as a composer and performing musician is difficult. I learned quickly that the most stable opportunities (music retail, teaching and commercial production) were often the least creatively and intellectually challenging. I worked in retail for a few years, but it pays poorly and is generally thankless. I disliked most of the commercial work I did (and I think that was probably audilble in the final product), but those gigs had a way of presenting themselves right around the time that my car needed repairs. To be fair, commercial production is probably a lot more interesting if you have a higher appreciation of (or tolerance for) generic pop music than I do. Teaching was better to me. I taught private guitar lessons for 15 years, 12 of those in my own practice, but eventually lost enthusiasm and patience for it.

I don't work as a musician or music teacher anymore, but I still work on music. My compositional interests lean less towards traditional instrumentation and more towards electronic and computer music. I also practice photography as a hobby. I find it refreshing that the composition and appreciation of a photograph does not require the investment of time that musical composition often does.

Technology

When I was in college I began building my own websites to promote my music. Initially I just used basic HTML (this was before CSS was a thing) but before long I found myself wanting to build tools to help run my teaching business. I picked up enough JavaScript, PHP and MySQL to be dangerous and began building sites and tools for family and friends on the side. I started using WordPress and learned how to build themes and plugins. When Apple released the first iPhone SDK, I bought an iPhone and began learning Objective C and C. Software development provided the intellectual challenge that commercial music could not, and gradually became my profession. Like music, programming takes practice. I welcome any opportunity to improve my methods and ways of thinking.

My interests as a programmer are influenced by my involvement in the arts. I prefer to work on tools for digital audio, video and image creation and I'm particularly interested in the design of new touch-based interfaces for musical instruments. I also enjoy working with the SuperCollider audio programming language.