1. When did you start composing music?
I have always had tunes running through my head since taking music courses in college but never developed any real songs until a few years ago. The foundation of theory was there but no creation.
One day as I walked towards my piano, for lack of a better term, I "saw" a pattern of notes and thought I could write a complete song. It wasn't great but it was a starting point. Within time I found a style that worked best.
2. What inspires you to create music in the ambient, electronic genre?
I was fascinated when I first heard experimental music on the earliest analogue synthesizers. I also liked the synth sounds used by Pink Floyd, E.L.O., and Vengalis.
Later the music of Enya, George Winston, and Yanni opened up a great interest in this type of music. The unfortunate moniker of "new age" has been used to describe this genre. I prefer ambient electronic and even then I write these songs to be listened to and not just some background sound.
3. Your album contains music which addresses several themes; what was your process in putting the album together and arranging the tracks to cohere as a whole?
After the pieces are written, sometimes I'll look at a piece and say, "All right, what is it? What do you call it?". Here is where many music writers give some vague, otherworldly or foreign name. I could name some pieces names like that but what would they mean?
One song on the album started out as a piece to be submitted for review by people who were a go-between for A&R producers. They wanted something that could have been written by Vengalis. Well, I had always been fan of his and knew his style. The song reviewers deep-sixed it, but I didn't. I included it on the album and called it "Los Vengalis."
In nature, nice breezes are soothing as they interplay with various trees and brush. They're spontaneous yet constant. The leaves make the same sound but in arrhythmic waves. I just love the sound of it. Jesus even speaks of it poetically referring to the spirit. It can be a gentle lullabye or an invigorating rush. I love winds, so I made it a recurring theme or element in the music.
The journeys aspect of the album is largely influenced by the fact that I and many of us have undergone crisis or been thrown under the bus, either by people or workplaces or even medical crisis. You learn to get through it, recover, and, hopefully, are the better for it. The song "Journey through Crisis" deals with this in that way. It, too, is broken into three sections. The music reflects everything starting out good, then lost in seconds, and lastly the recovery begins.
One song, "Niddle Dance" (a made up word), takes place in an imaginary pub and celebrates the recovery. I actually wanted to call it "I finally got rid of the dang thing" but didn't. :o)
4. Do you have a particular process you follow when composing music?
Actually, I do it all on computer, writing the midi notes as I go. If I were smart, I'd plan everything first. But what I'll do often is write a few measures, play it back, and see what it suggests. Sometimes things flow very smoothly with only some editing of small details, and other times I have to beat it to death to make it sound right. But I'll always try to keep style and methods in mind as I go.
5. What sort of work do you do for your day job, and how do you maintain a balance between your music and your other work?
I do assembly work in a manufacturing facility. I also do church music, so time management becomes important. I do hate having to quit creating and then pick up where I left off the next day. You just try to leave outlines on how to proceed when you start the next day.
Art is hard for us to make a decent living at it. It often has to be supported out of pocket and then you have to be a genius at promoting it. And then, I don't want my wife to become an art or computer widow. A healthy balance has to be maintained.