Motto and Manifest
All poets' common sense Must be resolved thus. All their beauteous ecstasy Is dubious mortality.
I craft original do-it-yourself home studio visionary recordings based on intricate composition techniques — learned while earning a Master of Music degree (M.Mus.) — featuring somewhat mystical lyric poetry and "dynamically rudimentary" electric guitar as well as imaginative synthesis. I'm a university-trained pianist and string bassist and an inventive MIDI progammer with a fair amount of experience creating improvisational electronic music.
The best insight into my recordings' feelings — as sound-images — compared them to Beethoven's middle period piano sonatas. That's accurate, and I'd go farther and bring up that my fundamental structural metaphor is found in the "eternal time" measures of pure conceptual piano in the Tempest Sonata, and that my fundamental structural method is to spin and spin a wild overflowing of the "O Freunde, nicht deise tone" melody, that impertinent interruption that anchors the 9th Symphony.
One goal of my compositions is to re-express and develop the mysterious Source best revealed by Jimi Hendrix. Since I am not as proficient at electric guitar as Hendrix, nor as inventive, I compensate through the much more developed structure and intellectualism of my poetry. The peculiar strength of Hendrix' phrasing is unmatchable, so I compensate through harmonic structuring and a more rigorous approach to note-choice. While Hendrix' counterpoint is blues-based, my counterpoint is much more intricate in its mathematics which are based on Renaissance models. Hendrix was fluent at speaking with his guitar while I'm merely good at reading and writing notation, yet can fly, think, in realtime musicmaking. Also, I can think through the intricate mathematical patternings involved in writing scored compositions.
The upshot is that I provide an access to the inexpressible vision of the strong and intelligent, bold and free Imagination — a vision introduced into our culture by Jimi Hendrix as he built upon the works of The Beatles.
And the voice? The voice. Suffice it to say that one goes to sing not with the voice one wants, but with the voice one has.
CONCERNING THE SUBTLE DAWN:
This work of visionary poems set to intricate composed music-finished in 1999 but never until now available-originated in the study of William Blake and William Shakespeare. I decided to go back to school in 1992 to learn how to compose music that could support the weight of my poetic style, and so earned an M.Mus. through Indiana University.
The nitty-gritty of the compositional language-as a rhetoric-is largely anchored in middle-period Beethoven. The style of the rocordings is largely anchored in the White Album of The Beatles and in the later works of Jimi Hendrix.
The album is a doctrinally presented dream-work, as a Blakean, interpreting my best friend at the time, Pei, whom I still hold in high honour and esteem.
I was dissatisfied with the stylistically-new ideational content of The Subtle Dawn; the work presented my intellectual stance in a dramatised summary, and communicated my creative and love motive as a quest-romance. Although I had just earned a Masters degree, I was spurred to engage myself in more detailed independent studies. During my next phase of life, from 2002 until 2014, I became a dedicated reader. The in-depth topics included British Literature, primarily Shakespeare, Milton, Blake and Shelley; religious studies centering on Temple Theology, Gnostic works, a bit of traditional esoterica, and the works of Dante; military affairs and some military history; and European history from 1300-1900. I also read deeply in the works of Harold Bloom, Northrop Frye and Owen Barfield.
My music-oriented studies centered on the works of Renaissance composers and Beethoven. In school I had became familiar with works of post-WWII composers including postmodernists and conceptualists and electronic music composers, up to around 1995. I gave detailed attention to Machaut, Dufay, and Obrecht, eventually becoming passably proficient at counterpoint.
It was late 2013 before I felt that I had not only greatly refined my worldview, but had also become able to articulate the structure, content, and import of that Blake-based worldview. The mysteries of creative motivation operated and I really set my hand to creating new compositions. I started writing a cello suite, WALKING PAST, A Dramatic Narrative for Solo Cello as a gift-letter my friend Pei Shen, then teaching at the GuangXi Academy of Arts in NanNing, GuangXi, PR China. The work expanded and grew more elaborate as I developed my skills; eventually it became a collection of 15 short pieces. In many ways the tone adopted resembles a great expansion of the "leading tone" structural-spiritual tonality symbol.
CONCERNING A PLATFORM FOR DREAMS
Heartened by the amount of enjoyment I got writing the work for Pei, and surprised by the quality and maturity of the developed voice, I embarked on a new CD-length collection of popular music. By now, I knew the genre was unique; I call it Rock Classical. Out of these efforts developed the now-finished A Platform For Dreams. This work has three Rock Classical instrumental works, all using counterpoint-based construction (one piece based on study of Dowland's lute songs). There are 12 other pieces in song form that display not only intricate settings of sometime difficult melodies, but some very distinctive guitar work.
Like The Subtle Dawn, A Platform For Dreams was recorded using "Alamogordo", my semi-professional grade equipment rack — now centered on a Tascam DA-38. The constraints of my life did not allow me to expand the equipment rig much over the years, so aside from the compressor the Alamogordo system is pretty much the same on both The Subtle Dawn and A Platform For Dreams.
However, the depth of my thought and the artistic life-philosophies expressed have become seasoned. The new work is intellectually and imaginatively sound enough to provide a foundation for the broader intellectual and creative goals of BackWords Recordings. I look forward to engaging with the media and the press and other creatives, using my work as a structure for what I call "interweaving".