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Two turntables and microphone Sgt. David Bolton

Army Pfc. Alec Normandin, military police, 591st Military Police Company, mixes music and layers tracks as he DJs at a club in Houston, Texas. Normandin, 19, has been DJ-ing and producing music for several years and has played at every major club in Houston.(Army National Guard photo by Sgt. David Bolton/133rd Mobile Public Affairs Detachment/Joint Task Force-GTMO Public Affairs)

NAVAL STATION GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - At the age of 16 he bought his first set of turntables and music equipment. He has performed at every major club in Houston, Texas, including “Kryptonite.” He once helped run an impromptu event just to see what the turnout would be. More than 300 people showed up. Army Pfc. Alec Normandin, military police, 591st Military Police Company, has a love of music, DJ-ing and producing that began when he was younger and has flourished into, what may end up being, a very successful career.

“It was something I always wanted to do,” said Normandin, “I figured it was too expensive and my mom told me it was too expensive.”

But she made him a deal. If he was still interested in mixing when they moved to Houston, he could continue on that path. And interested he was. Normandin, at one point, said he was working at a local supermarket making little more than minimum wage, but still invested his money into what he loved.

“I was working at Kroger making $7.25 an hour and spent like $10,000 on all my equipment,” said Normandin.

He received no formal training in learning how to mix; rather “Internet University” supplied the basis for his knowledge on DJ-ing. Normandin found others working out mixes on YouTube and decided he would try his hand at mixing some tunes of his own.

“I was just researching YouTube videos, just trying to figure it out, so I kept looking stuff up and kept teaching myself,” said Normandin.

Since his early days, Normandin’s skills have progressed. He said one of the hardest parts of mixing tracks involves knowing the key of a track and how to combine it with others so that there isn’t a harmony clash.

“If you don’t get the right chord progression, the music won’t sound right,” said Normandin. “They clash and they don’t make the right sound. Certain notes flow with certain notes, others don’t.”

He added that DJ-ing and mixing involves knowing the key of the track; so if two songs aren’t in the same key, the music will sound off.

Keeping everything in balance and in sync goes beyond the music for Normandin. Looking to the future, when he gets back from his current deployment to GTMO, he said he is going to go to college to get a music degree so he can learn and teach new things.

“I’ll probably go into music theory,” he said. “I know I’ll keep making music and keep playing shows and then just try to keep making tracks and send them off to record labels.”

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This work, Two turntables and a microphone, by SGT David Bolton, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:01.31.2014

Date Posted:01.31.2014 10:47


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