Dance Through Life
I have lived in the Philadelphia area since 1985. A "career" musician at heart, I work full-time in another industry to support my family. However I continue to pursue that which gives me the greatest joy. I've been involved with a variety of solid music projects over the years as a performer and producer; I've served as lead vocalist, percussionist & saxophonist for numerous bands and professional groups. I was fortunate to travel Europe with a world champion symphonic & marching band in my high school years, and later blessed to perform with traditional South American and African folklore groups in places like the Smithsonian, Kennedy Center, the Franklin Institute, and festivals along the eastern seaboard. In addition to my day gig, I work frequently as a voice-over artist, a professional Disc Jockey for wedding & corporate clients, teach music privately from time to time and jump on any opportunity to perform live. I developed a passion for singing and hand-drumming at a young age and fell in love with harmony and background vocals. Ethnomusicology and music therapy became hobbies. Starting in the mid-80's I began to be hired as a studio musician for a variety of projects. Extenuating circumstances did not allow me to pursue a career in New York, L.A. or Nashville. Although I sometimes regret that music has been less than a livelihood, I have been richly rewarded with some wonderful experiences and have worked with some remarkably gifted people. After years of doing sessions for others, I decided finally to press my own album. Greg Brady once exclaimed in an episode of the Brady Bunch when he and his brothers were trying to record a hit song, "what's the use of making a record if no one's going to buy it?" How many musicians I know that still have boxes of CDs filling space in their basements and garages! But, as with all of us artists, it was a labor of love and self-expression that just had to be completed. "Dance through Life" is mostly a cappella and percussion-tinged works in which I'm singing all parts and playing percussion, indigenous flutes, etc. (I utilized a few other marvelous musicians in places). There is a palette of influences here including 70's R&B and pop, traditional African and pre-Colombian music, gospel, jazz, rock and folk. I took on several of my favorite songs and added a handful of my own compositions. My goal was to create a well-produced, albeit organic effort, one that would reflect my admiration and respect for many of the world's varied cultures and music, and my love for God. Many of the "Dance through Life" tracks were born on a borrowed 4-track recorder that I practiced with in my bedroom for nearly two years before I took the project into a professional recording environment. The finished productions range from analog 16 and 24-track, early hard-disc recording to current digital technologies. The songs were basically cut one vocal at a time - just me, an engineer, a click track and a Neumann microphone. Only a few of the tracks involved any sampling, and there was no digital pitch correction available when most of this was recorded. "Dance through Life" was definitely an exercise in detachment and patience. It took me nearly 15 years to complete, recording in a half-dozen different studios with numerous engineers and assistants. Several of those studios are now defunct, a few were in buildings that have since been demolished to make way for new business centers. I managed to record when I either had enough money to fund the sessions myself, or when I had accumulated enough barter time with area producers as trade for doing sessions for them. Since I never had an ongoing budget, some of the tracks took an average of a year to complete from start to finish. For more perspective, I was working on a track the night the Gulf War began in January of 1987, and I was recording another (Spring of Wisdom) the very night of 9/11/01. I owe a tremendous amount to more artists than I can mention for inspiring "Dance through Life." Hope you enjoy listening to DTL as much as I enjoyed making it. Wishing you all bountiful blessings and peace in 2008.