Devin Gaylord and the Eastside studio years
In the early 2000’s Devin Gaylord and I found ourselves teaching music at the same studio on the east side of Seattle. He came over to my studio one day lamenting the fact that he couldn’t find any collaborators. Since I am always looking for action, I said “ I’ll collaborate with you”… and that began several years of us working together pretty regularly. At the time, I was listening to a lot of ambient music. The list included some of my favorite soundtracks, such as, Birdy and The Last Temptation of Christ by Peter Gabriel, Solaris, and Traffic by Cliff Martinez, Brian Eno….always Brian Eno. And then one day another friend of mine came into that same music studio and played something in the glitch style for me. It was an original piece. I was taken aback, confused and intrigued. VERY INTRIGUED. I thought to myself, “if Picasso worked with audio it would sound like THIS”. I had recently seen a film that Ryuichi Sakamoto had scored called “Original Child Bomb”and I heard a lot of these same types of sounds and concepts..so,at least now, I had a name to put with the style that had caught my ear.
At Devin’s Studio
Devin already had a pretty well equipped studio at that time. It included a Mac tower, some good quality outboard gear, analog synths (both desk top and some Dave Smith Keyboards), and several of the most popular DAWS. I was using, and continue to use, Ableton Live and Reason. We ended up collaborating on three early songs. They were my compositions and Devin would create additional production, sound design and mix. I was transitioning from a composer and performer who mainly wrote for the ensembles that he played in, to one who used those skills to put together a really good track. They are two different things, with a lot of overlap. Devin was honing his mixing and production skills and both of us were learning fast.
The first piece we did was a jazz-rock fusion composition titled Thing One. Although I really wasn’t playing in this style much, and hadn’t for a long time, this one appeared. To this day, the melody is still a favorite of mine. Recording this first piece was an eye opening process in that all the skills that had made me feel a little disjointed as a musician, (playing, composing, arranging, classical, sound design, and electronic music) all came together in a way that I had never been able to do before I began working on a laptop. I spent a lot of time listening to, and examining some of the sonic concepts of my favorite tracks and I felt like I was able to apply them successfully, in my own way, on that track. It was exhilarating, and I have been addicted ever since. Devin provided studio guidance, sound design, played bass, and mixed. We we’re both pleased with the results.[Part 2 coming October 11, 2015]