Wednesday, 21 February 2024
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Interfilk Guest : Brett Glass

Brett Glass is an Electrical Engineer, science nonfiction author, inventor, multi-instrumentalist, and songwriter based in Laramie, Wyoming. Known to the computer community as the author of Borland's "Turbo Pascal Tutor" (which taught tens of thousands of people to program) and as a columnist for some of the earliest computer magazines (including Dr. Dobb's Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia, BYTE, PC World, PC Magazine, InfoWorld, and Boardwatch), he helped to bring up the modern Internet as a graduate student at Stanford. He also founded LARIAT, the world's first wireless ISP, which has been operating for 25 years. He continues to run LARIAT and also Glass Rental Management, which has taken on the multiyear project of restoring the tallest building in downtown Laramie – built in the 1920s and suffering from years of neglect and a dangerously broken elevator – to its former glory.

The first records Brett owned as a child were Sheb Wooley's hit single "The Purple People Eater" and the soundtrack from the movie "Mary Poppins," both of which could be said to have shaped his musical tastes to this day. He has been composing silly songs and parodies (as well as some serious material) for as long as he can remember. Formerly the bass player for Jim Burrill's comedy music trio Sounds Like Fun and Margaret Davis and Kristoph Klover's Avalon (the precursor of Avalon Rising), he's a regular performer in the Marscon Dementia Track and at FuMPFest and pops up at filk conventions when he is able to escape briefly from his two businesses. He loves creating complex backing tracks stitched together with digital audio workshop software, but also loves to jam and improvise; he'll often take a bass or guitar to a bluegrass or rock jam with no prior knowledge of the songs being played, guided only by his ears and a view of a guitarist's left hand.

Conflikt will mark Brett's first full stage set at a filk con, and he hopes to perform many more. Brett thanks Interfilk for helping to bring him to the west coast this year, and also his patient wife Isobel Nichols for putting up with the clutter of his instruments and the woodshedding sessions into which he disappears to create new music and craft bad parodies.


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