ISADAR – July 2008 Interview (News Article)

Artist Interview

 

July 2008

Q: Where did you grow up?
A: I grew up in a very small rural town in south Louisiana – Cajun Country!

Q: What made you realize that music was your path?
A: When I was 14, my brother brought home and played a copy of Kate Bush’s album “The Dreaming” and the recording deeply resonated in me for quite some time. It wasn’t until several years later (when I was exposed to 12″ remixes) and bought a copy of Janet Jackson’s “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” that it began to become apparent to me that I could or would begin a career as a music artist.  One of the mixes was an Acapella version. Through the thick vocal delay effects I heard something that I quickly figured out was the playback from her headphones (while she was recording the vocals) bleeding into the mix. I also noticed that her performance was identical to the musical mixes. I realized then that incredible manipulation was possible through multi-track recording and mixing. Up until that point, I thought all music was recorded live or at the very least, not in complete isolation as I was hearing. At that moment, the hairs stood on the back of my neck and I KNEW this was what I was going to do down in my bones – I virtually saw a recording studio as a canvas.

Q: How would you describe the music that you typically create?
A: I started out my career releasing solo piano compositions (similar to the very early music that was released by the Windham Hill record label). It has been described as “new age” and as contemporary instrumentals. I describe it as a hybrid of classical and jazz. It contains the technique and strong theory elements of classical music yet has the improvisational and “feeling” elements of jazz. The songs are like classical compositions, but they are instead contemporary / original and less rigid in structure and in how they are performed. My other music (what I started out making and which is also my current main focus) is entirely studio multi-tracked and contains my vocals. I’m like a one-man band. I do not set out to make music in any specific genre, but it tends to result in AAA/Adult Contemporary/Pop that is occasionally danceable.

Q: Who are your biggest musical influences?
A: My absolute biggest influence is Kate Bush, but I’m also very much inspired by artists who pioneered their music with the Fairlight CMI in the early 80s. Those artists include: Thomas Dolby, Peter Gabriel, Lindsey Buckingham (and his work with Fleetwood Mac), Prince, and the Pet Shop Boys. I also am quite inspired by Laurie Anderson, Madonna and Bjork. Regarding my piano music, there is only one influence – Liz Story. Her music and style of playing is the entire reason I made and continue to make music in this genre. I heard a recording she made in 1985 off of the original Windham Hill’s Winter’s Solstice CD of “Greensleeves” and I was enchanted from that point.

Q: What makes your music unique?
A: I rarely perform live. (Occasionally, I’ve performed solo piano concerts because of the easy logistics involved). Not that I can’t or don’t want to perform, but it would be a serious investment of my energy (i.e. hiring a band, teaching players my music, securing a rehearsal space, finding a venue that would be open to my music, promoting the events, etc.) So instead, I rather focus on simply making recordings of music since performing isn’t something I MUST or have to do in order to feel satisfied or accomplished. I produce my studio recordings from the idea of never having the task of needing to bring them to life in a live situation or performance – so this allows for experimentation.  I experiment quite frequently and profusely and approach things differently because of that aspect. I like things very off-center and not conventional. I like to think the work I create is alchemy – creating something that can’t really exist in the real world – or in the least, difficult to emulate.

Q: Has there been one particular moment in your musical career that you’re most proud of?
A: Yes, very recently I’ve started producing music videos to accompany my recordings (in lieu of me performing live). I’m extremely proud of these works (particularly, the clip I created for “Dream Of The Dead”) and feel that the visuals complement and complete the music as I tend to write songs from a visual standpoint.

Q: What’s next for you?
A: I intend to continue making many music videos to promote my music and will continue making new music as time permits.

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