When Mountains Speak, welcome to VENTS! Can you tell us about your latest album, From Beyond Comes Within?
Thank you very much for the invitation! A little history about this album unfolded. I toyed with the electric guitar in the 80s, mainly learning the basic riffs of the popular rock figures of that time. It wasn’t until the late 90s that I started to take music seriously and that was playing acoustic mandolin. When I heard of Robert Fripp taking the traditional mandolin tuning and applying it to the guitar, quite an incredible bell went off and the connection was perfect. I had been experimenting with electric effects with a plugged in mandolin and percussion loops — from this From Beyond Comes Within was born.
What do you want your listeners to take away from the album?
I’m sure it will be quite different for every listener. For me, the playing was very personal and spiritual. I hope folks connect with the same light I felt while recording the tracks. We live in very turbulent times, so to be taken on an unfamiliar, but peace filled sonic journey is something I think everyone can benefit from.
Do you have a favourite track on the album?
Definitely Across the Bright Side of the Moon Part II. I had so much to say in that song in direct reaction to Part I. The two tracks were played back to back with only seconds used to tune my guitar up.
It’s such an abstract and explorative album; how was it written?
All the tracks were named before embarking on the journeys. I meditated and spent time in prayer before recording each track. I used the old jazz tradition of coming up with a musical idea, a key, a percussion loop and usually a melody idea, and then the songs were completely improvised. The freedom in that kind of playing is liberating.
Whose music had the biggest influence on your sound?
Definitely jazz, mostly from the bebop to early 70s fusion — especially the work of John Coltrane. The first jazz album I ever listened to was Free Jazz by Ornette Coleman — I’m guessing that would make sense after listening to From Beyond Comes Within. I also love the early 70s rock explorations of guitarists like Garcia and Santana.
Aside from other artists, what inspires you to write music?
The incredible release of positive energy. It’s cathartic in every sense of the word. I hope my music finds the cubbyholes of darkness in this world and infuses some light into them.
Can we expect any more releases from you in 2022?
Most definitely— I’m already working on the next album and as COVID becomes more manageable, I’m incorporating more members to this now solo project. I’m also set to start live streaming in the Spring of this year. Thanks again for your questions!!!
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