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Hollow Sun: Nightfall

So far in this six part series, we have covered Stephens earlier years: growing up in Wales and achieving a scholarship. Singing for composer Benjamin Britten in one of his operas to working at the local live scene. From writing for magazines to a serendipitous meeting that developed into a long term working relationship with AKAI! Stephen eventually founded Hollow Sun and created the series they are probably most famous for: the Laboratory Machines series of VST’s. 

But how is Stephen remembered? What did those he worked with have to say about him? What do the fans say? These are the kinds of questions this penultimate entry in the series seeks to answer.

The first indication of how well Stephen was regarded was by being confronted with ten pages of tributes on the KVR forum ANNOUNCEMEMT Stephen Howell passed away

Here are a few examples of forum tributes:

Hollow Sun’s whole ethos was the inspiration behind my starting Rhythmic Robot. (The Professor)

A kind, gentle and creative soul. (imprint)

A tireless defender of the rights of creative people. (tcollins)

Hollow Sun instruments are true originals. (secretkillerofnames)

I’ll miss his honesty, attention to detail and dry wit. (Whoomph)

His libraries were art and he was one of a kind. (Lode_Runner)

Steve was a true pioneer of sampling and a great asset to the community. I will miss him. (John Gibson)

A gloriously mad ranting Welshman and all the greater for it…kind hearted and generous on every level. (geigertek)

Stephen helped me out on a number of occasions and was a really really nice guy! (Bronto Scorpio)

Very sad. A great figure in the sampling world, and a very nice man. (Kriminal)

KVR forum 2014

Users and workers alike

These above are from just one forum, but, I’ve found that the words of condolence at other places online are much the same. I haven’t found a bad word said about him!

Another takeaway from all the entries is how musicians viewed Stephens creations as more than just sound generators. They were special and encouraged and inspired them to make better work.

From this I’ve learnt that Stephen had strong views on creative licences. Had a dry and witty sense of humour. Was brave enough to try new enterprises (i.e. creating his own record label).  Stephen made himself available to help others, even those he didn’t know particularly well. He seemed to have the attitude to just want to make the industry a better place. There are few better tributes than that.

Come back for the final part of the series Hollow Sun: Legacy, where we take a look at how the legacy of Hollow Sun is being continued.

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