I have been recording music since the age of ten in all kinds of forms. I first started recording on cassette tape when I was in grade six and discovered my love for multi-tracking when I figured out how to play back the music on one cassette machine and then stick a microphone up to the speaker and record with another cassette machine while singing along. This would eventually spark my ongoing love for the artistic documentation of sound.
Growing up in church (my dad is a pastor) I was always around music. When I was about 12 or 13 I found an old Korg Midi sequencing keyboard in the attic of the church and asked if I could take it home. A day later I was home with the keyboard trying to figure out how to use it and how to save my songs to the dusty floppy discs that came with it. This was the beginning of an importance lesson I have since come to respect and love:
Making art usually starts with some form of technical trouble shooting.
Yes I may have had natural musical talent, but that didn't help at all when it came to learning how to save my songs to a floppy disc on an old mysterious midi machine in hopes of showing my family and friends my musical creations.
After getting to know the keyboard a bit, and most importantly reading the manual, I started to try and recreate all my favourite songs on this keyboard. It had all kinds of weird sounds - drums, percussion, synths, pianos, guitars, vocals..... I would record all the separate instrumentation of my favourite songs and would, by ear, do my best to recreate the exact songs I was listening to (while simultaneously getting frustrated as I was constantly troubleshooting on this new keyboard). Its only now that I realize how important this was for my musicianship; I was learning how to pick apart, recreate, and produce music.
Its been a long journey of thousands of hours of practicing instruments combined with the constant trouble shooting and refining of all kinds of gear to get me to the place I am now. And somewhere along the way I realized the value and complexity of the expression of art through the means of music production; using modern technology combined with the primitive and emotive qualities of music to create beautiful recordings for all to hear.
As long as I can remember I have been moved by music at a deep level AND have always been fascinated with the detailed process of documenting music. Musician vs Engineer. Emotional vs Technical. This ongoing tension inside of me is why I am so passionate about recording/producing/mixing.
Its all technical... ...But also has nothing to do with being technical.
I am a believer in God. I am a spiritual creature. God has played and continues to play a huge role in my musical journey. Whether I am recording or producing at the studio, drumming at a late night gig in the city, or just listening to an album at home with my family, God has undoubtedly shaped the way I experience music.
I can't quite fully explain some of the spiritual experiences I have had through music nor do I fully understand them. But I do know that music is some sort of spiritual language; a means in which something higher and bigger can communicate through. A primitive language embedded in our DNA that can resonate us from the core of our being. And I don't believe its all just metaphorical. I think certain combinations of physical frequencies can actually effect us spiritually. Certain intervals can resonate with certain individuals.
Why do things in music naturally move to a resolve? Why do certain cadences feel darker or lighter or have colour tones? Why do certain rhythms have supporting polyrhythms from other time signatures? Why am I moved to tears when I hear certain music I have never heard before?
Its all so technical... ...but also has nothing to do with being technical. It has to do with what you feel as a human; how you experience the music at the core of you.
This is why I love recording/producing/mixing. It is such a mirror image of humans and the physical/spiritual beings we are. We are not just physical or spiritual. We are both. Just like in the studio. Its not just the linear recording of a certain chord progression with a random selection of words and phrases sung overtop... ...its the expression of human story through art. Its not one or the other. Its both.
In early 2014, after finishing a year of touring with Vancouver based band Hey Ocean!, the band Star Captains and I started renovating an existing rehearsal space to create a recording studio. We all worked on it together and dreamed of creating a comfortable space in which we could all record music with friends their. We realized we were worth more as a corporate than individuals and pooled all our gear together to make a unique space that could inspire and connect musicians. We kept calling it 'The Space' because it was our space.... so it seemed fitting to name it 'The Space Studios'. It quickly became the place I put all my energy and spent all my time. Since the opening of the studio in March of 2014, I have had the privilege of recording, mixing, mastering, producing, playing, and rehearsing with all kinds of people from all over. I love being in this cozy studio with people in their most venerable state - making art.
Artists I've Recorded and/or Mixed:
Hey Ocean, We Are The City, Shad, Star Captains, The Tourist Company, David Beckingham, David Vertesi, Ashleigh Ball, Hot Panda, Jordan Klassen, Terence Jack, Jenny Banai, Sister Says, Malcolm Aiken, Bre McDaniels, Phil Dickson, Mixed Multitude Music, Last Ark Out, Trev Conkey, Stephanie Ratcliff, Small Town Artillery, Tiny Havoc, Last Ark Out, Twin Bandit.
Bands I've played and toured with:
Hey Ocean, Shad, David Vertesi, Star Captains.