Musician, Composer For Film & TV
Far Away But Not So Long Ago
At age six I wanted to play the drums but my dad heard from a work associate that it’s better to start on the piano. To this day I thank my dad, a mechanical engineer, for this great advice. In sixth grade there was the option to join the concert band, so I chose the trombone because it was “different”. I was intrigued by the mechanics of the slide and I seemed to gravitate toward low register sounds. Playing a trombone was a cool visual thing too, the long brass tubing lunging out like rays of sunlight. As a student trombone player I got a lot of exposure to the inner parts of an arrangement, the chords and counter lines that accompany the melody. Occasionally we’d get the limelight but generally we were the background element for whoever had the melody. I enjoyed it because I knew that a well written background can take an arrangement to another level or even a new dimension. It was like belonging to a special club that had it’s own language. Thus my interest in composition and arranging began.
Composing Away The Time
Long family road trips. The only thing to do was to stare out the car window and zone out, or exercise your imagination. In my case, it was to gaze at the passing landscape and imagine stampeding horses, tidal waves, and avalanches, to which I would compose soundtracks in my head. We lived in Las Vegas and drove to Los Angeles a lot. The long stretches of open space between the stops gave me a chance to work out adventurous extended interludes, sometimes transition material. Night driving inspired thoughts of outer space as the headlights of oncoming cars approached like intergalactic invaders and meteors. The barren desert was actually a beautiful canvas on which to compose in one’s mind.
Dorm Room Jams
My academic path led me to Berklee College of Music, a whirlwind education of jazz and life in the Boston’s Back Bay. After about 2 years I became acutely aware of how busy the bass players were. We were constantly doing jams, recitals and concerts and I got tired of always scrounging for a bass player. Thus my decision to start playing bass and experience music from the bottom up. I quickly discovered how powerful a position it is to shape the contour of the lowest voice and influence how the harmonic scheme is perceived. In spite of my new status as a happily busy bass player, my greatest satisfaction has always come from writing music and having people play it, so I switched my major from performance to composition and arranging. A life of gigging and band leading eventualIy led me to seek out more formal study, this time with Berklee Online, from which I completed a Master Certificate in Orchestration for Film and TV.