Websites by which To Forge a Creative Life

512px-Petaluma_California_aerial_view, LLC, a website company, started with a hand-coded HTML website on music improvising, in 2005, from a location along the Petaluma River, in California. We formed an LLC in 2008, when new digital music technology became available which could slow down music recordings without changing pitch, and created 3 more music-related websites.  We’ve expanded to a few other ventures, including a science magazine-type curation website. Our core websites include:

In 2005, we wanted to share our knowledge of creative music composition and improvising, with

Our idea in 2008 was to extend opportunities for self-teaching of music using what we felt was a miraculous capability of digital technology to slow down recorded music to a tempo where ordinary musicians could play along.

Before 2008, publishers were offering sheet music with CDs, for play-along by instrumentalists, and sing-along by vocalists.  The problem was that, for student musicians, a professional recording was too fast for play-along. And occasionally, recordings and certain instruments were not tuned to the same exact pitch.

Prior to the availability of digital recordings, a musician could make a tape recording, the main studio resource at the time, by which he could slow down a recording to play along.  The problem was that the recording’s pitch would be altered when the tempo changed.

A new invention by TASCAM, the Trainer, had recently become available around the year 2008.  A musician could now alter tempo without altering pitch, to play along with a recording, but at the right speed for the performer.  The trainer could also adjust pitch so that the musician’s instrument could exactly match the pitch of the recording.

Music publishers also began to issue teaching recordings in several tempi, or including software which allowed changes of tempi, for play-along purposes.

The slowing of tempo and altering of pitch was also possible to duplicate with new audio editor technology, such as the free Audacity audio editor.

The idea of providing a recording for play-along with sheet music, as a self-teaching tool, was very much facilitated by this new digital technology and the TASCAM trainers.

Our first website store,, offered sheet music with CDs, TASCAM trainers, and electronic music equipment (the latter not being currently offered). extended the concept of self-teaching, for vocalists, by offering karaoke machines which could alter pitch.  Karaoke singers could read lyrics to sing along, without the need to own sheet music and read musical notation.  Although a karaoke machine generally would not alter tempo, vocal musicians could adjust the karaoke accompaniment to their vocal ranges.

Vocalists who preferred to read from sheet music, or wanted the option of altering tempo,  could obtain sheet music with CD, and utilize the TASCAM trainer for sing-along, instead of choosing a karaoke machine.  Not quite a karaoke machine, in that one could still hear a faint melody, the TASCAM trainer was still effective in functioning as a karaoke machine for vocalists. Using sheet music instead of a monitor for lyrics, the TASCAM trainer allowed expansion of repertoire for the karaoke vocalist into art songs and other genre not often offered in a karaoke format.

Newer versions of the TASCAM trainer use chip technology, so that MP3-MP4 audio files may be loaded into the trainer from the web or a personal device, for tempo and pitch adjustment.

That’s basically our story.

Since embarking on these websites dedicated to empowering the self-teaching of music, we’ve branched out into several other websites, our most recent being a science article curation website at, where we invite visitors to sign up to receive science topics by weekly email, and spend 15 minutes daily, or weekly, reading about science.

In short, we’re a small company serving that segment of the internet community which thrives on self-teaching.  We believe we fill some of the gaps where public schools may fall short in the teaching of these subjects, and where private funding may be unavailable to further one’s formal education., LLC, will continue to base its endeavors on the philosophy that, in those endeavors in which we excel, we are all  self-taught.

Thank you for your interest in our company.

Photo attribution: By Robert Campbell [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

This photo by Robert Campbell (attribution below) is an aerial view of Petaluma, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, USA. The Petaluma River flows through the center of the city and empties into San Pablo Bay about 12 miles (19 km) in the distance. This photograph shows only about one third of the city. View is to the southeast.