When did you start playing music?
"I started playing music when I was very young. I was always banging on a trash can, blowing through a toilet paper roll, and strumming on my father’s banjo. I guess you could consider this the start of my interest in music. The first instrument I ever had was the recorder in elementary school. Then, I moved on to the tuba in middle school, and guitar in high school. I guess the musical talent and interest has always been there, but it wasn’t until high school I really found my “sound.”"
Which instruments do you play?
"To be honest, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t playing some sort of instrument. Sure, I played the recorder, tuba , and guitar, but I have always loved the piano. I found that performing on a piano made it easier to pick up other instruments such as guitar, bass, drums, and viola. But I always loved playing the piano above all the others. It is a great visual tool to learn the structure of music."
Who are your musical influences or all-time favorite artists?
"I really enjoy orchestral movie scores. Hans Zimmer is a great composer. You may have heard his work in Pirates of the Caribbean. That piece is still one of my favorites. Of course, there is John Williams. His music is filled with emotion and beautifully performed. His Star Wars piece is one of the most recognizable compositions in the world. Another artist I am influenced by is Trent Reznor. His work is wonderfully performed and has a very unique sound to it. He is the main talent behind Nine Inch Nails."
Describe your song writing and recording process
"All of my songs usually start from just playing around on a piano for hours. When I play a little melody I like, I will play it again and again until it is in my head. From there, I decide if it would make a good baseline or melody. Then, I add some chords that will accentuate the melody. Once I have this I will record this part over and over. This way I can play the recording back and come up with other parts to accompany it. I always make this analogy to describe my song writing and recording process. It is like making a soup. You start with your bass line or melody (chicken stock). Then, you add chicken (chords), salt (strings), pepper (percussion), and any extra seasoning (any other instruments you want). As for the technical part, I just use an instrument mic to record my instruments. Then, mix it on a TASCAM DP – 02 to get the levels right."
"If the listener feels nothing at all, then I didn’t really do anything except make some noise."
What do you hope people feel when listening to your music?
"It is strange and beautiful how music works. What one person would feel when listening to “Apollo”, for example, may not be the same feeling someone else has. My hope is that my music invokes some sort of feeling, regardless of what it is. If the listener feels nothing at all, then I didn’t really do anything except make some noise. I think that is why we hear a song on the radio and think back to a time or place. For example, a song comes on the radio during a summer road trip. Years later you hear it and are instantly thinking about the fun time you had on that trip. Music is very powerful in that way, and if my music can be that catalyst to fond memories or even not so fond memories, then I would be happy."
Explain your sound in 5 words
"Positive, Fun, Unique, Clean, Pop"
What influences your music?
"I write music as a way to escape. Unlike the “real world”, I have ultimate power over the music I write. It can turn out exactly how I want it to turn out. I have total freedom. I can create this little music world. Full of whatever I can imagine. That feeling is what influences me, and draws me back to the piano time and time again. I would love to say that tragedy, or love influence me, but I can’t. Once I create my little “world”, it is then, that I connect it to tragedy, love or an event."
Where can we find your music?
"You can find my debut album, “Castlemill” on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon, Spotify, and pretty much anywhere digital music is sold. You can also follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @thecastlemill. Here you can get some behind the scenes content and listen to unreleased tracks in progress. You could also find Castlemill on Facebook."
What are your long-term music goals?
"Well, that is a great question. I would hate to say I don’t have a long term goal for my music, but I don’t have a long term goal for my music. This is all a labor of love for me. I love writing and recording music. I love branding and promoting. I guess I would like to find a way to perform my music on a stage. It would be great to perform in front of an audience. For now, I am currently working on my second album: “Wildlife” If you want a little sneak peak just follow me on twitter. "
"I want to thank everyone who has supported me with my Castlemill project. Thank you, Bianca. You have done so much to help me with Castlemill, including this blog. It really means a lot to me. Stay positive, live happy. Oh, and have fun!!"
– A Review of Kayak Annapolis
So I know all of my Baltimore (and surrounding area) friends are looking for something awesome to do this summer, right? It’s the end of June and you probably already exhausted your Netflix account and have just been lying around all day watching the World Cup. (But hey, there’s nothing wrong with that, I may be guilty as well, but after July 13th your schedule will free up.) So I am here to give you the most perfect idea to add to your summer bucket list. Why don’t your grab your boyfriend, girlfriend, best friend, or four-legged friend (okay, so you might have to check on that last one) and take a mini-road trip to our nation’s capital for a day of fun, sun, and kayaking! Make it a point this summer to visit Kayak Annapolis at Truxton Park and have a fantastic kayaking experience!
1. Kayaking is Kool. But seriously, if you’ve never been on a kayak, you need to change that as soon as possible. Whatever excuse you have is wrong, sorry. I promise you that the kayak won’t flip and submerge you under water (even if you can’t swim, you’ll be wearing a life jacket). I promise that a great white shark won’t leap from the surface and engulf you in one bite. And I promise that it is impossible to not have a good time. In addition, Kayak Annapolis offers awesome, sturdy, reliable, two-person kayaks, so you won’t even have to do all the paddling yourself. This also lends itself to the perfect opportunity for bonding time and team building skills with your spouse (and it’s cheaper than couples counseling). Jokes aside though, it’s a great feeling to glide across the surface in a brightly colored boat while taking in the beauty and peacefulness of the water and the life around it.
2. Hidden History. So I know that most of you don’t remember much that you learned in your high school history classes, so ya’ll could probably use a little refresher. What will make this kayak journey unique is that it’s also a guided tour of the capital of the great ol’ U.S. of A. As you’re cruising past the Annapolis Harbor and the United States Naval Academy, you will also be learning along the way, but don’t worry, this is the fun kind of learning, and there won’t be a final exam at the end. You will experience a whole new view of the town while floating down Spa Creek and hearing interesting facts and stories about iconic buildings, like the State House, and other landmarks that make up Annapolis. You’ll also get to kayak past some ginormous and grandeur yachts while wishing that you made anywhere near enough money to afford one (or while plotting out how you can meet and marry a handsome rich man, your choice). Regardless, I guarantee you won’t leave the tour without learning one or two fascinating new tidbits that you’ll be dying to share with your friends back home.
3. Greatest Guides. When you Kayak Annapolis, you’re promised the world’s greatest guides, and you are not going to be let down. If you love to laugh then get prepared for the corniest jokes and puns supplementing your history lesson. Your guide will also have a wealth of information about almost anything you want to know about the area around you, and they’ll be willing to answer any question you can muster up. You’ll never know that your fearless leader has probably had to repeat the same information multiple times a day, every day of the week, all summer long, because they will be just as enthusiastic and outgoing as if it was their first day on the job. In addition, for those of you who like to worry about worst-case scenarios, the Kayak Annapolis website reassures you that your guide will be certified in First Aid, CPR, and Aquatic Safety Management and approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. So I’d say you’re in good hands. If, actually when, you arrive for your kayaking day of fun and you get lucky enough to have Dustin as your tour guide, you’re in for a treat. His humor, wit, and knowledge will only add to your already amazing kayaking experience. Plus he’s a drummer in a band, so that automatically makes him cool, right?
(Speaking of, go check out his Baltimore-based rock band, Skies in Chaos, on iTunes, YouTube, Spotify, or other music media of your choice. You won’t be disappointed. Or check ‘em out one night that they’re playing downtown Baltimore. skiesinchaos.com/#gigs )
4. Storybook Start. Who doesn’t love a good love story? Kayak Annapolis is family owned and run by Kate and Pete, who met and fell in love in Hawaii! They share a passion for kayaking and will extend a warm welcome when you arrive for your tour. Their office is on a floating dock a few feet from shore and you just might believe that you’ve teleported to Hawaii. While you wait for the start of the kayaking experience of a lifetime, relax a bit with your toes in the sand or try your skills at Tiki Toss (warning, it’s addicting). And by the end of your session, you’ll feel right at home and will probably be begging for the tour to last longer. You might even start a piggy bank savings to purchase your own kayak. But if not, Kate and Pete will be more than happy to see you back for a second go around!
Bottom Line: Take a tour with Kayak Annapolis, you won’t regret it! Keep an eye out for LivingSocial or Groupon deals and plan a fun getaway to Annapolis. Don’t forget to leave time to stroll around downtown and enjoy a meal at one of the many delicious restaurants. I also recommend grabbing some fudge from Kilwin’s to snack on during the ride home.
Now if you don’t take my advice you aren’t allowed to complain that you’re bored this summer or that you didn’t do anything fun! I also just gave you a birthday present idea and a great date adventure, so you’re welcome.
For more information, check out their website www.kayakannapolistours.com
Twitter @kayak_annapolis, IG: kayakannapolis, or on Facebook!
“You deserve a good paddlin’!
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