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!!"
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