About me (continued) 

I classify myself as a pessimist but a great believer in hope.....maybe a romantic philosopher at heart. And I try to convey that in most of my music, because without hope, what do you have left?

I have a love, hate relationship with life, and I do not pretend that I have all the answers, but, just like you, I have strong feelings about what "truth" sounds like. If it sounds true, it probably is, somewhat. I have an open mind but I'm also a realist and I usually stay away from the fantasies or the unreal, although it is fun sometimes to fantasize.

The last song on my first CD was fun to create. I wrote "Fantasies" when I was sitting on the bank of a river, looking up at the sky, with my mind at peace and just thinking about what makes me happy. I quickly saw a rainbow, with all the bright, intensified colors, and I remembered one time when my wife and I saw a rainbow and it looked like the end hit the ground within 5 miles from us. So we jumped into our car and went for it. And we did find the end of the rainbow. We stood right there in the middle of it and both our mouths dropped with awe and excitement. I'll never forget that feeling. You hear about people seeing the white light at the end of the tunnel. How about the white light, together with a multitude of colors? Unreal! And it wasn't a fantasy! It made me wonder what is truly real or unreal in this life that we all share. If you ever get the chance to see the end of a rainbow, go for it! You won't be disappointed. Now......where is that pot of gold?

One Sunday morning I listened to an interview with Sting. I'm paraphrasing it, but he said that his variety of music hopefully brings all sorts of people together and that it reminds him of a labyrinth bringing people into the middle for reflection and inspiration. Sting inspired me to write my first song "Unlock" which is about a labyrinth. (I didn't know what a labyrinth was until I looked it up.)

A thought.......
Look at your own experiences from your past and see if they seem to happen, either for a reason, or for some purpose in your future. Can you put all your experiences together to make a healthier and happier life for yourself and/or others?

I hope all my original songs will give you a reflection of your own life experiences of being human without sugar coating it.
Warning: If you don't like that kind of philosophizing, then my music is probably not for you!

I started singing in my high school choir when I didn't know any better. In fact, I got out of physical education class one year because my music teacher wanted me in her choir. That made me feel kind of special! But I never had the drive to be "on stage" and perform. Subsequently, after high school I dropped out of singing for many years, went to the Air Force and returned to a job working with computers. But I always sang to myself, whistled all the time, and loved music just like everyone else in my family of 7 kids. In fact, we had our own little band at home and we sometimes played at gatherings. (I played background guitar....not anymore though)

My computer job then moved my family to Minnesota. Then one day, while reading the newspaper, I ran across an advertisement from a barbershop singing group asking for more singers to join their organization. So I thought, why not? This would be a good chance to sing without the so called "stage fright" that performers often get. I was a tenor in my voice range and boy did they need more tenors. So they were delighted to see me join.

Well, that started a whole new ball game for me. We all practiced and performed as a group, had standup quartets sing a song or two within the choir and just have fun with it. But something was missing.

Then one day 3 guys approached me and said they liked my voice as a tenor and asked me if I'd wanted to join them as a quartet. They told me it would take a lot of work and we'd have to get together often to practice, perform and eventually compete in our district and maybe internationally, if we got good enough. After some hesitation (the thought of being on stage scared me again) I accepted because I was having so much fun singing again.
We went all out, had costumes made, practiced often, had coaches, went to music training camps, and performed for weddings, birthdays, and whatever else came around. We did make it to the district competition several times, but, sometimes ending up in 11th place for the first cut. That meant that we were mike testers for the final top ten. What was funny was that we would sing a song on stage as mike testers and get rave reviews for our performance. Then they would say, "You guys should have been in the top ten!"

Well, that turned out to be the story of our life as a quartet. We could never hack it in competition, but we were pretty good other than that. (nerves, I think) Eventually, some of the guys were replaced, and we continued to sing for others until, because of illness, we had to break up the quartet and never got back to singing in a group again. It saddened me and yet, at the same time, I was on to other things. That's the way my life works. Go all out for anything that I do, then get bored, or just have other interests. Makes life interesting...always many things in the fire. But even if I wanted to, I could never get bored with music.

So one day, I thought about recording some 4 part harmony for myself. I purchased a cheap 4 track and started writing, arranging, and recording music. The first time I publicly played one of my songs from my recorder, people didn't recognize that all 4 voices were my own. That was kind of fun. I love the element of surprise! I told them how hard it was to match 4 voices in a quartet. In fact, most quartets replace many of the people until the voices somewhat match well. So now I can have 4 perfectly matched voices....my own. Strange though...it's like hearing yourself for the first time on a tape recorder. I now love to do the whole music piece on my own. I go for the storyline in my music and try to touch people with something to think about in their own lives.

My wife asked me one day if I could add some background music with the voices. (I think she was getting bored with just 4 part singing) I never really took her seriously, but she kept after me. Why would I even want to change? I've been having such a ball with just the 4 part harmony for a long time. You know, when someone puts the bug in your ear, you don't listen at first. But you never forget the bug.

I started to add the background parts that seemed to be missing. And now I'm arranging and writing my own music...and having a ball! My computer background came in handy too, and so did my "musical ear". (I can't read music very well) And as far as my tenor voice goes, a lot of tenor voices can also hit very low notes too. So I'm thankful that my voice has a relatively wide range. And now the unlimited freedom to write and arrange a song, with whatever background music I want, and with whatever message I want to deliver, is so rewarding.