Music has always been an important part of my life and it developed into quite a past-time for me. Growing up as a young boy throughout the seventies, I remember sitting in my brothers Ed and Ken's basement level apartment listening to a LOT of music. Countless albums... several times over. It opened my ears to a lot of Classic Rock from the sixties and seventies, as well as some Soul/R&B from back in the day. Some of my favorite artists back then were The Beatles, J. Geils, The Allman Brothers, The Doobie Brothers, The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, Boston, Steely Dan, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Billy Joel. Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, George Benson and Jeffrey Osbourne... from the Soul/R&B genre.
As I grew into my teenage years, during the eighties, I began to appreciate more music from the Classic Rock genre from artists like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Santana, Traffic, Genesis, Yes and artists like Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood among others. I watched for new music by these artists and others while listening to several local FM radio stations. This also allowed me to discover new artists and genres as I expanded my musical taste. In the early eighties, I discovered bands like U2 and The Police from a local station playing mainly post-punk or alternative music. This well before they became world renowned Popular Rock groups.
Around the mid eighties, I started to get into the Blues, largely due to a local FM station playing blues only at night. That's where I first heard the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray. Two of my favorites in the genre. Soon came my introduction to Jazz, initially a "Smooth\Popular Jazz" phase, which developed during my late teens and into my twenties, also through local radio. At this time, artists like Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, The Yellowjackets, Spyro Gyra, Acoustic Alchemy, and Bob James were some of my favorites. Some of these bands or musicians are actually known as "Crossover Jazz" artists. At one time recording less mainstream Jazz Fusion albums, before writing to please a more expansive pop music oriented audience.
The nineties rolled around, and I started branching out into more complex and fascinating forms of Jazz and Rock, after meeting Gino Foti. He opened my ears, and mind, to Jazz Fusion and much more Progressive Rock. My taste in music turned towards more interesting complex odd-time rhythmic based compositions, by performers of wizard musicianship. Soon, Jazz Fusion would become more of a focus of mine throughout the nineties, following artists like Al DiMeola, Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea, Lenny White and their work as a unit in Return To Forever. Joe Zawinul, Wayne Shorter, Chester Thompson, Jaco Pastorius from Weather Report. Others like Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Lorber, Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, John Scofield, Jonas Hellborg to name a few... also becoming favorites of mine.
In the late nineties and on into the new millennium, I began developing more of an interest in other forms of Rock than in the past, like the work and playing of people like Joe Satriani and Steve Vai in the Hard Rock vein. John Frusciante and bassist Flea from The Red Hot Chili Peppers, with their unique blend of Funk and Rock. There was also much more of an appreciation for great musicians of the past, for instance, with people like Bill Ward and Geezer Butler, who made up that great rhythm section in Black Sabbath, in the Metal genre.
After buying myself a low budget keyboard, I started practicing and playing along with my vast collection of music on CD, a few fake books, and jamming with several musician friends, learning some music theory along the way. Before long, I started to become interested in song writing and studied techniques. I then got involved in computer based recording, initially through MIDI, while researching using computers to record music more in depth.
Gino and I worked on a few ideas for compositions together. One, in it's infant stage, ended up being further developed as "Degrees Of Freedom" on his prog rock band Electrum's 'Standard Deviation' release, and another got tucked away for later, and it was further developed by me on 'Cycles Of Fusion' as "Crossing Pathways". As a result, I became more motivated to write and record. I ended up putting together my own home recording studio, building a Digital Audio Workstation and starting a library of samples and sounds to use within compositions. At the same time, I was really getting into what Joe Satriani was doing on guitar, and in the studio, to the point where I gave thought to actually playing a second instrument.
I was also asked by Gino to collaborate on a few tracks for his upcoming world fusion releases. I took the two songs and wrote piano parts, then recorded my performances, which can now be heard on the tracks "A Brief Eclipse" from 'Orbis Terrarum' and "Degrees Of Force" from 'Sphere Of Influence', both released in 2006.
It was also during that time period, I got the bug to play guitar. I knew a co-worker with a spare Fender Strat. He let me borrow it and gave me enough time to feel comfortable in taking the plunge. At that point, I had been playing keys for several years and wanted to pick up another instrument, meanwhile thinking about doing a music project. Eventually I went ahead and purchased a Joe Satriani Ibanez JS model, then began practicing to the point where I could do something useful with it.
With an eye toward doing a solo project, the plan was to do something performance rich. I wanted to play or have control over most of the instruments for compositions and not be locked into using mainly audio loops for a majority of the arrangements. Purchasing a much more powerful computer system gave me the ability to work with several digital audio applications and virtual instruments. In time, I had built an arsenal of piano, synthesizer and organ samples, as well as live bass and drum sampled virtual instruments, to go along with some useful collections of pro audio loops. This created the flexibility and control I needed to compose and arrange the music in my mind... over time. Instrumental music fusion. Compositions created by "fusing" Jazz, Rock, Blues and some Funk thrown in for good "measures", channeling the sound and work of my favorite bands or musicians.
In 2006, with focus and a goal in mind, I had been further developing many old ideas to go along with several new ones. When 2009 rolled around, I had several compositions in the works at different stages of development. Over time, I narrowed these down to the ones which would make it to final mixdown. Arrangements incorporating retro keyboard sounds from many classic synthesizers and electric pianos, along with acoustic piano, acoustic and electric guitar, orchestral strings, bass, drums and other percussive instruments. As well, more specific to this particular project, sequences, arps and atmospheric synths, were used to help create "celestial soundscapes". Staying true to the theme, while adding something different and interesting to the overall sound palette.
As 2011 rolled around I began coming up with packaging ideas for CD production and developing a website. “Cycles Of Fusion” was finally ready to be released.