Overview and Philosophy
I am a composer, sound designer, music director, arranger/orchestrator, and multi-instrumentalist. Sound and music are the fundamental touchstones of my life, and I explore and deepen my relationship through composing, digital audio design, and playing instruments. I am also an Harmonicist and study the many resonances of vibration, pitch and tempo through astronomy, theory, science and philosophy; much of my research on this topic is included in my performance Muse on Fire; Shakespeare & The Music of the Spheres. Today the added research and literature on music and the brain, music and language, the burgeoning field of biomusicology and new findings from the quantum and cosmological ends of physics make the study of music an infinite playground of connection and synergy. I try to make music mindful of these truths, and devote significant time and energy doing this in the context of theatre.
Music to me is almost entirely about synergy – the experience of 1+1=3. Resonance itself at its most basic level infers more than the sum of its parts. Aside from the vibrations that will reinforce themselves through sympathetic resonance, there is the added consciousness in both receiver and the giver that the resonance is happening. Awareness lends this phenomenon weight, merit, and implications – even momentum. Music and theatre get along so well because their aims are inextricably braided – to vibrate people into different layers of consciousness. Being aware it is happening, steering it in the giver or riding it in the receiver, builds consciousness and community hand in hand.
Music and story are infamous bedfellows. Music by itself (sometimes called absolute music, without a conventional narrative or program) is capable of telling its own original stories through the laws of harmony and time (rhythm). Add language and image and suddenly anything one could ever imagine can be expressed. The power of film and television attests to sound and music’s critical function in this alchemy.
Experienced live, the resonance is shared in time and space. This is often felt and witnessed by others nearby and therefore more relevant and consequential. Synergetic energy often comes from the simple awareness of what is vibrating in sympathy, or that something is happening at all. The private version is at home, after the TV program has been edited, mixed, advertised, sold, and broadcast. We vibrate in response to the powerful mix of sound, image, and language played before us that all stir our body, mind, and spirit. But though so many people cared for its creation and delivery, neither act is present for the other, and therefore the act of communion is separate and interrupted.
Live synergy can be too much. Theatre (and all art), which at its best awakens ill-used and corroding strings from deep within us to resonate anew, is itself like the bowing of a string – an act of displacement with overtones and other consequences. Being deeply offended by a play is an example of such displacement. One may simply not want to hear this new (old) string sounding under their ears, affecting other sleeping dragons nearby. Other strings can resound joyfully within us, ringing our bells to the Hallelujah Chorus. Both ends of the spectrum, in today’s overstimulating world of perpetually changing image and sound, can be unwanted insomuch as they threaten the walls of privacy and encourage communion (with strangers). Many have forgotten how much they like communion. Today’s artists, the musicians, theatre professionals, visual artists, photographers, dancers, technicians and teachers are all, in their own ways, shamans of resonance, reminding us through their enthusiasm and inspiration that resonance in all its forms deepens consciousness and strengthens community.