I actually think sadness and darkness can be very beautiful and healing.
It's inevitable your environment will influence what you do
But I can't really say there is too much modern music that I'm blown away by at this moment
I'm fortunate I have this coterie of musicians around me to help take music to next level. Being surrounded by so much creative energy, so many creative people really feeds that creativity in me
I got a publishing deal with BMG, they were supportive, and some money to record demos
I'd have these weird experiences where I'd just be walking down the street with this chord progression in my head, this happened more than a few times, and I'd walk home and find a fax in my machine and it would match the music in my head
I privilege the music over the lyrics
I certainly wouldn't say that my life is a disaster, but there have been moments where I've felt like that
Happy music doesn't tend to move me much
Emerson, Lake & Palmer or King Crimson or Gentle Giant - the worst prog rock references I can come up with. Though I totally loved those groups as a kid.
Simon Hale, the British arranger, does all string and wood arrangements on my records
Lately I've been a workaholic. I'm in the studio all the time and I've helped to produce a couple of artists
I think my Buddhist practice has a profound influence on my life and encompasses my creative projects
My first two records were more energetic; Phantom Moon is subtle, quiet; so these various reactions are just something I expected
But really important, perhaps most important is the craft; how you make your record, the creation of these sonic worlds you want your listener to hear.
When I was a teenager, I got into four track recorders, drum machines, and synthesizers, and I started producing instrumental music.
So I started chanting when I was nineteen, which was about twelve years ago, and it really had a huge impact on my outlook, happiness, and general creativity.
I feel fortunate about being able to make the music I want to make and getting away with it
Because of my Buddhist practice, I'm never lacking for inspiration
A real foolproof way to do it is play your stuff by hook or by crook and build up a grass roots following
So, once I've written a song, you know, I'm pretty happy with what the song is on its own terms.
I started playing music at a pretty young age
I actually am always a music first person
I make the kind of music I like
I did a song, "Court and Spark," for a Joni Mitchell tribute album that's yet to see the light of day. So she's someone I'd like to do something with, sure. I worked with the great guitar player Bill Frisell on Phantom Moon - that was fun. I'm such a fan; he's amazing.
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