In the Spirit
It's funny where life takes you. When Michael was in his early 20's he was offered a spot as a pianist for the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. As a self-taught pianist who had just learned piano a few years earlier, this was a tremendous honor and opportunity. To this day he doesn't remember why he turned it down. A born musician, he learned to play the accordion as a child then at 15 taught himself to play piano. A few years later he learned violin, guitar, keyboards and more. But somehow, with life's twists and turns he ended up pursuing business interests that led him away from music. Soon the demands of his leadership role in his mountain community outside Denver, Colorado came to haunt him in the form of a chronic and life threatening heart condition. This CD was born from both a deep love for the Christmas season and from disappointment with the half-hearted music available. Interestingly, In the Spirit was his second Christmas CD, the first was a private release for his clients in 1995. It was the Christmas CD's that launched him into a more serious pursuit of his music as it drew rave reviews and appeals for more music from his fans. Less than a year later, he released his first original CD: In Search of Peace. Most of the songs on this CD are new arrangements of old favorites, but this CD also includes one original song by Michael entitled 'One Holiday Morning'. It's a song about the anticipation and joy of giving to those you love, not just through gifts, but also through the little things done without acknowledgement. ***** Since this CD was released Michael suffered from more heart-related problems and in a few days time had two distinct near-death experiences. His recovery was uncertain. As a result, it looked as though his life would be very limited, but Michael wouldn't accept that fate. He fought to overcome and ended up defying all odds. Nine months after that experience, while still in recovery, he woke up one morning and said "I know how to paint" - a gift, in the purest sense since he had no previous talent in this area. His inspiration for paintings begins in his dreams. When he awakens he has crisp, vibrant images to paint, as well as the knowledge of how to create them. The result is a wide range of paintings from childlike to visionary, and landscape to abstract. Since that day, he's created more than 100 paintings. Additionally, he's putting the finishing touches on his first novel, has more in the works, and also working on the compositions for his next music CD. In fact, since his experience he frequently gets headaches because of all the new music in his thoughts that play over and over, just waiting to be expressed. As with the art, the music is diverse from symphonies and operas to techno and new age. It's an incredible story...one that continues to evolve.