Genre: Sound Track
The 60s and 70s …
I believe my interest in music seriously began when I saw and heard the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show back in the 60s. Soon following that event I was after my parents to get me into music lessons. They agreed on the condition that they got to pick the instrument I was to learn. Much to my dismay my parents were very old school and chose the acordian. I was enthusiastic regardless as at the music school they also had guitars that I could pick at. So while I officially learned the acordian I also taught myself guitar and got a few lessons on it there at the same time. Having learned the accordion, my right hand was also ready for a piano and my left hand soon followed whenever I sat down at one. Once I was in junior high school I started band class and I wanted to play either sax or trumpet. Again, I was trumped in my choice by my teacher believing the best instrument suited for me was the Tuba. I took on the task and elevated my position by soloing during a school concert … on the TUBA. Like at my other music school, I stayed after hours and picked up other instruments and got a lot better on the piano. With a few buddies at school we started our first rock band and played a few small gigs at school and parties. At my first music school a few of us started up another band and toured western Canada playing hotels, all the while lying about our ages. It was a good experience, but what it taught me most is that I didn’t like being on the road. Or rather, I didn’t like being broke, and on the road. I quit school while in the eleventh grade so I could get a job. After working at odd jobs for a few months I traveled out to Vancouver and Victoria where I lived with friends and bought my first electric guitar and amp. I was performing an impromptu concert at the Beacon Hill Park amphitheater in Victoria when the police quietly shut me down. I didn’t have a permit, and I was playing after midnight, but they did say they enjoyed my performance along with a few dozen other people. In the late 70’s I moved back to Edmonton as the economy was much better there than on the west coast.
The 80s and 90s …
In 1980 I bought my first 4 Track recording unit and started laying down the songs I had written since I was in my early teens. I started sending out demo tapes to publishers and record labels. I have a very nice collection of rejection letters. One Canadian publisher took me under his wing and hooked me up with other musicians to start some bands, and get established bands to cover my songs. Most of the musicians I met to start bands did not want to play originals and I did not want to be in a cover band. In 1986 my first daughter Rhiannon was born. Her birth just reinforced me not wanting to be on the road. I continued writing songs with some bands that did believe in playing originals as well as covers. One of my songs was considered for the Stevie Nicks album ‘The Other Side Of The Mirror’ in 1988. Much to my dismay, it was ‘nixed’ from the album when Stevie changed her producer for the album. At least so I was told by my publisher at the time. In 1989 my daughter Symphony was born, and in 1991 my daughter Bethany was born. In 1992 I started recording the collection of songs for “aRe yoU rEady ?”. In 1993 I released the cassette of this compilation of kids songs. For almost two years I was kept very busy producing copies of the tape for people locally and across Canada.
The New Millenium …
In 2000 as the internet became more mainstream for artists, I began learning more about multi-media, and started building my own websites to showcase my creations. In 2001 I released the ‘S3CR3TS’ two CD set which featured what I thought at the time, were my best songs from 1980 to 2000. Over the past dozen years I have continued writing and recording songs for myself and with others. Music never became a full time career for me, but it certainly it has been, and continues to be a great pastime. Recently I digitized the master tapes of “aRe yoU rEady ?” and am re-marketing them globally. In 2011 I performed on and co- produced the song ‘Magic Wand’ for Dahlia Wakefield from her full circle album.
I continue to write songs and compose / produce soundtrack pieces as well as ringtones.
I am an amateur / hobbyist musician that occasionally makes a few dollars working on a project with and / or for other artists.
What Music activities are you involved in? Recording artist, songwriter, composer, producer, engineer?
I am a multifaceted musician. I play several instruments quite well and produce / record / engineer all my own songs and compositions.
What aspect of what you do musically, do you find challenging?
I am still finding it challenging to shred on my guitar like Satriani. I find kids on youtube under the age of 13 that can maneuver around a fretboard like it’s no ones business. I am in awe of these child prodigies. Creating new unique sounds and writing new lyrics can often be a challenge as well. So much has been done and written about before.
Working on a new composition when it’s almost complete is almost like having a new child being conceived and born in my studio. With less time, and far less pain of course.
I have a few songs and compositions that I never get tired of hearing or playing live. When these songs were being engineered and mastered i did tire hearing them repeatedly through the process, but in the end i was happy with the results.
How would you describe your music?
The best word to describe my music is eclectic. I cover a lot of ground between all my songs and compositions. From ambient, ballad, blues, country-rock, folk, jazz, rock, and symphonic to zippy ring tones, my ideas are quite diverse.
Working with other artists and musicians is always refreshing as I can get quite stuck in my own groove when I work in my studio. Other artists and musicians have often come in and given new life to a song or composition when I have resigned myself on the piece.
Who is your favourite artist?
I don’t really have a single favourite artist. I love the music of and would enjoy working with David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and U2.
Many of my lyrics come from my life experiences and learned wisdom.
My music is inspired by other artists that I listen to from new releases to classics.
I’ve been playing music for about 45 years.
Who was your musical inspiration?
My first musical inspirations were Murray McLaughlin and the Beatles.
What I try to say through my music is love your life and enjoy everything and everyone you can.
My sound is a mishmash of many artists spanning several decades.
How important is performing to you?
I’ve been told I sound like Pink Floyd and Tom Petty.
I work on music on my studio daily.
Sometimes it’s just practicing my playing, and sometimes it’s full blown production.
I used to tour and perform locally. Then it just became locally, and now I rarely perform for the general public. I enjoy performing live. It gives one an ego boost if the performance is executed well and is well received by the audience. I may perform again if I find the right people to play with, or if there were more opportunities for solo artists aside from open stages.
How did you become interested in music?
I heard Murray McLaughlin singing the catchy Farmer Song while laying in the back seat of a 68 Chevy while my parents were driving us to a relative’s farm one summer. I thought that the song was so appropriate in that moment, and I wanted to create songs like that.
Playing music live is enjoyable when you inspire others to get up and dance or play along with you. No one wants to be bored.
I’d love to one day co-write a song with David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and / or U2. I’d also like to hear some of my songs / compositions in blockbuster films.
What drives you as a musician to keep making music?
Making music keeps my brain exercised and my soul caressed.
I will never stop learning about life and music until I take my final breath in this world.
I get a little nervous playing solo, but I really get nervous if I’m playing with others and I don’t believe we’ve rehearsed enough. I can cover mistakes on my own pretty well, but when a band is not synced it is obvious and can leave a bad impression on an audience.
As a singer/instrumentalist how important is practice?
Practice makes perfect … and the 10,000 hour rule are so true.
As a producer or engineer practice is essential to train one’s ears for the tasks.
My family and friends support me as much as i need, or would like.
I’m a realist and I know what pays the bills. I know many struggling musicians that enjoy their lives, but they live almost in poverty to pursue their elusive dreams. Very few musicians live at my standard of living with just music. Most of my musician friends have ‘day jobs’ like myself. I am still in pursuit of having that ‘one big hit’, or working with that big name so-and-so, but I also know the likelihood of that happening gets less and less with age. And that’s ok … it’s fun to dream, and just get better at what I do.
Does music play an important role in society? If so why?
Music is important to society. Music frames almost everything that we all see and hear.
Young musicians: Just do it … chase the dream while you are young, energetic, idealistic and before you become bogged down with life’s dramas and become jaded with the realities of adulthood.
Music is both an art form, as well as a commercial commodity. They go hand in hand.
What organizations do you feel are important in supporting musicians?
Socan and Ampia are great organizations that have useful resources for musicians and multimedia artists.
I don’t worry about making it in the music business.
I use my website, as well as social media to get my music out to my family, friends and new fans.
What would you tell young musicians that may help inspire them to develop their talent?
Listen to music of all kinds. Read all kinds of books. Surround yourself with art of all kinds from the past and present to inspire your soul to bring out your talents.
I play keyboards, guitars, mandolin, accordian, drums, harmonica, sax and the kazoo.
I write my own songs and music.
What makes music special for you?
When music moves my soul, and inspires me it can leave me in awe. I want to create the music that inspires others, and makes them feel awe.
Some of my songs have taken minutes to write, and some have laid dormant for years before they’re actually completed.
I seem to be more inspired to create music at night when most people are dreaming.
Do you ever have trouble finding time to work on your music?
Life can get very busy and sometimes my music gets lost in the hustle and bustle. There have been times where I go for weeks or months without creating anything, but I always come back with a renewed gusto, and lots of canned inspiration.
I listen to music daily. There’s never a day without music. I like listening to classics as well as new music from new artists as well as those that have been around a while. David Bowie’s new album ‘The Next Day’ is a good new listen …
I took accordian lessons as a kid. I am self taught with all the other instruments i play.
Do you feel the music you listen to affects who you are?
I am who I am. Music is a big part of me, so I guess it does affect who i am, or at least reflects how i am feeling.
I want my music to inspire others to sing, dance, play, reflect …
I get burnt out working on scales, and mixing mastering songs where I have to listen to them over, and over again … my ears and brain get fatigued.
How do you deal with writers block when writing music?
When I get writers block, I go do something else for hours, days, weeks … not to worry, it always comes back …
I am the most musically inspired and creative after I see an amazing concert.
I could not live as fully without music in my life. It is very important to keep me well rounded, and in touch with the world; either by listening to it, or by performing it and sharing it.
Do you ever use mobile technology to help you record your ideas?
I use my Smartphone to capture ideas in the moment that I may forget later.
My first memory of music was my mother playing old 78s on the RCA phonograph in our home.
I’ve had few formal music lessons, but I have played with some great musicians that I have learned from. Now with youtube, one can get lessons or instruction on how to do almost anything.
My final thoughts to inspire young musicians:
Keep listening … keep reading … keep playing … never give up … learn something new every day … the more you learn, the more you realize how little you know so never fool yourself into believing you know it all, or have nothing new to experience or learn …
Thank you on behalf of Listening Edge Records for taking time to share with us your thoughts on music, and helping inspire musicians of all ages.Trevor Baron President Listening Edge Records