Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Westchester County, New York which is about a half hour north of Manhattan.
What influenced you to get into music at such an early age?
Music was an important part of my upbringing. It seems there was always music playing in the house and given my parents' generation, I grew up with music from the 40's and 50's. When I was in grammar school, my parents pushed me into a few years of classical piano lessons which I hated until I stopped taking lessons, that's when I began to enjoy playing and composing.
What instruments do you play?
I'm a piano/keyboard player. I own an acoustic guitar, but that's still on my bucket list to learn.
How would you describe "New Age" music to people?
Wow, that's a difficult question as the genre is intensely relative. For me, a key element of New Age music is that it allows the listener to construct their own stories and emotions from it. The composer supplies the baseline and the listener fills in the rest. I have found that New Age is the convergence of Classical, Jazz and Pop, and I often say that it is meant to be heard, not listened to.
Growing up, what kind of music did you listen to?
Another difficult question to answer because although I was a child of the 70's & 80's, my musical tastes we highly eclectic. The pop music of the day was fine, but I also found myself with a dizzying amount of appreciation for all genres of musical genres from Jazz and Classical, to Country, Pop, Gospel and Blues. Throw in artists like Nina Simone, The Grateful Dead, Fats Waller, Frank Sinatra, and of course David Lanz and George Winston, and you get the breadth of my musical tastes.
Where do you record?
I have a small home studio in my basement with just the bare basics. A keyboard, small rack, and a Mac along with some mood lighting and comfortable decorative elements and I'm all set!
What is your process when writing and composing your music?
I have a rather unconventional process of writing and composing. I employ a process that I call "mind-mapping." I sit at the keyboard, find a sound I like, hit record and let whatever happens happen. It's as if my fingers are doing the work and I'm along for the ride. When the song finishes, I listen back and determine if it's worth developing. If it is, then I copy the recording to my phone and listen to it over and over for a week or two. If it passes the "listen" test, then I go back to the keyboard and learn how to play it as recorded while writing down the chord structure. I don't score the music, I only write chords. At this point, I play the tune over and over for another few weeks making changes to the progression etc. Once I've learned the tune, I record it again and this time listen for the "ghost" instruments that I add to the mix later.
Do you play live often?
Never. I did one live concert in a church in New York in 1996 after the death of my partner to raise money for charity. Exposing myself (and particularly my music) publicly for the first time was exciting and terrifying. Since then, I have not performed live. For me, the music is intensely personal and it's difficult for me to imagine a venue that is intimate enough to truly give the experience I'd hope to give to an audience. That said, I've considered it for the future. Maybe instead of a listening party when I finish my first album, I'll play the album live instead. (Grin)
Tell us about your latest project.
I've got a couple of tunes in the pipeline. "Home" will be released sometime next month (July, '17). Home was inspired by a photograph taken of my baby grand piano from my childhood home (yup, the same one I took piano lessons on in grammar school). The photo was taken around 2009 when we sold the home, so it's a bittersweet reflection. "Aphrodite's Wish" inspired by a trip I recently took to Cyprus for a music retreat. I expect this to be released later this summer 2017.
What can we expect from you in the future?
It's hard to predict what the future holds in store. I hope to complete my first album (likely a compilation album) in the not too distant future. I'm also toying with the idea of putting together a music consort of a few local New Age musicians to collaborate with. What I can be sure of is that I'll continue to turn out new music as often as I can. Inspiration is everywhere as long as I remain open to recognizing it and as long as my music touches even just one person in a positive way, then I'll continue writing.
Copyright 2017 Hardcorejamz/Mix
A breath of fresh air for New Age music lovers!