It is with a heavy heart and with much sorrow that I have to report the passing of an incredibly dear friend of mine, and of this blog, Steve Howell. Steve was the quiet man behind Hollow Sun, a site that was initially all about sharing his incredible samples of classic synths for free and that eventually turned into a brand synonymous with quality instruments and sample libraries.
Steve was one of the industry’s good guys. From lugging around Tony Banks’ Mellotron when Genesis were but a mere sparkle in prog rock’s eye, to working with Peter Gabriel on his Passion album, from teaching at the Gateway School of Music & Recording Technology to designing sounds and user interfaces for some of Akai’s most important and influential samplers, from helping users around the world to make the most of their instruments to helping the likes of Holly Johnson make his debut solo album, Steve’s impact in the industry is not only considerable but long lasting and deeply appreciated by many.
It is because of this that I wanted to open this book of condolence so that our community could share their thoughts and sympathies and so that his dear wife and amazing daughter could see what he meant to us all and how he helped us make music, something his daughter does so well herself now. Steve was so incredibly proud of her and considered her to be his greatest musical achievement by far.
Please leave your thoughts here in the comments below. Once I have come to terms with this terrible news, I will put my thoughts and feelings into words and tell you all about a man I met quite by chance many years ago, who became a dear friend, colleague and inspired me to do many things, including this very blog.
Farewell Steve, my fellow curmudgeon…