It all started on February 9, 1964. Like many of today's "Boomers," watching and listening to the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show was a landmark and turning point in my life that inspired me to pick up my sisters knitting needles and begin drumming on boxes and various containers around the house. My brother Don immediately gravitated to the guitar and the two of us formed a small neighborhood combo with our good friend Nick Baker. We played the R&B tunes as recorded by the Beatles, Stones, Kinks, Animals, and other Brit bands. At the same time we wrote and performed our own original material.
The band broke up and we went our separate ways. Finishing grade school, high school, college, beginning a career, getting married, raising kids, and living life was my immediate focus to survive while maintaining a living. But I never abandoned my love for music. Somewhere in the house I had access to a guitar, keyboard, or a set of drums to express this relentless passion for melody, harmony, rhythm, orchestral textures, any aspect of sound that stirred my heart.
I composed my first song in 1980 ("Nightingale") because I saw a poster hanging on a dormitory wall of a lonesome figure staring despondently into a pool. I realized this song was a spiritual journey of realization and liberation. In short it was about my life.
I had been practicing the teachings of Eckankar (Religion of the Light and Sound of God) since the late 1970's and began to compose songs with spiritual themes because it was a natural expression of my love for divine Spirit. It helped open my heart to God's unconditional love. In the early 1980's I wrote "Winds of Heaven," a song about the divine sound current, "Slumber Light," a dream journey into a heavenly world, "Theme 973," and instrumental dedicated to the 973rd Living ECK Master, Sri Harold Klemp, the Mahanta, "The Blues," a song about a little duck who is in search for his own sound. Then came a 20 year hiatus. Family demands superseded all other aspects of day-to-day living.
The kids grew up, went off to college, started their own careers and family life and my attention drifted back to sound. More specifically, creating sound from my imagination. Simply, that is how I compose music. I listen to an internal melody and then apply it to a musical canvas for coloring.
My creative juices began to percolate again at the turn of the new century and fresh material began to manifest on paper and tape. "Memories of Saguna Loch" was a new direction for me as I began to dabble with orchestral textures. The composition is a programmatic piece about souls who are led to a pristine lake of nectar to bathe in as they shed the last sheath of their material bodies before entering into the world of pure Spirit.
"HU (Sing HU)" was inspired during an Eckankar dream workshop I attended in December 2001. Half way through the event, a melody internalized and became very persistent as I struggled to split my attention on the speaker and this melodic phrase. Once I arrived home after the workshop I wrote down the melody in the exact key it was given to me so I could preserve the original essence of the gift. Over the next two months I composed "HU (Sing HU)" for voice and orchestra. It's a monstrous orchestral work written in 7/8 (it feels more like 4/4) in the B Phrygian mode and is supported with African and Brazilian type ostinato rhythms. The vocalist flirts with 3 octaves as the song progresses at a break neck pace of 275 beats per minute!
"Morning Glory" (title track) followed as a simple melody supported by a simple three chord progression in F# minor. It's a dreamy love song.
The last piece "We Come as Eagles" was written in three days in March 2004. It just gushed out as I have always loved and embraced the figure of an eagle soaring high on the thermals and air currents. The eagle represents myself as soul, an imperishable spark of God's love, that soars on the divine Sound Current into a world of just seeing, knowing , and being.
My love for music is in part a direct result of adopting many mentors in my life. They are a lengthy list that deserves to be delineated as follows:
Favorite 1960's band - The Beatles
Favorite 1970's band - Genesis
Favorite 1980's band - The Police
Favorite current band & musicians - Happy the Man, Peter Gabriel, Sting
Favorite rock albums of all time - "Close to the Edge" (Yes), "Trick of the Tail" (Genesis) and "Rubber Soul" (Beatles).
Favorite "desert island" album - "The Geese and the Ghost" by Anthony Phillips
Favorite composers - Grieg, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Howard Shore, John Barry, John Williams
Favorite orchestral works - Tchaikovsky 6th symphony, Shostakovich 5th symphony, Beethoven's 6th and 9th symphonies, Mahler's 2nd and 8th symphonies, Saint Sean's 3rd symphony, Dvorak's New World Symphony No. 9, and Stravinsky's Firebird Suite (the greatest piece EVER written, in my humble opinion)
In closing, music is an expression of God's love and is a reflection of HU (pronounce hue), the Sound composed of ALL sounds. Heard as a sound, seen as light, and felt as Divine Love. The Sound Current is the audible and visible Life-Force flowing forth throughout all creation as a life sustaining, pulsating wave of musical and luminous vibration. The sound HU is the sound within all sounds. To vibrate in tune with the Sound Current, sing HU for 10 minutes in the morning and in the evening before going to bed. Feel the Divine Love flow throughout your entire being. MAY THE BLESSINGS BE!!!
Check out the artist's website:
1. HU (Sing HU)
2. Memories of Saguna Loch
3. Morning Glory
4. Winds of Heaven
5. Slumber Light
6. Theme 973
8. We Come as Eagles
9. The Blues