Part 8: Extricated and Tapping Inspiration

Into my mid twenties I became very entrenched in the exploration of analog synthesizers and was becoming known for having somewhat of my own sound and style/concept. I had a very unique ensemble and was gaining quite a bit of attention in the larger NJ area performing at eclectic venues including art galleries. There were two performances in particular sponsored by the director of an ambient music show on New Jersey's Upsala College radio station. It was called Synthetic Pleasure and was modeled after the very famous nationally syndicated radio show, Hearts Of Space. I was invited to be a featured artist at these concerts. After the first one, well-known synthesist and composer Larry Fast approached me with very complimentary words. We spoke for a bit and he asked why I am not having any recordings available. At the time for some reason I was not into documenting what was being expressed. I simply did not have the courage to risk hearing what I was doing thinking that it would not sound good. Larry Fast commented on aspects of my performance saying, you just don’t hear this type of finesse often among electronic music artists. I was touched by this and it contributed in helping me realize that all of my hard work possessed meaning. That particular gig was a solo performance of ambient music but steeped in lush harmony. The next performance was with my ensemble of many synthesizers, a tenor and soprano saxophonist and a percussionist. Once again Larry Fast showed up but this time offered me a recording deal on Passport Records. He admitted that Passport had a bit of a shady reputation for its international distribution and artist royalty practices, but he expressed that it would be a sure way to start building a more international audience for myself. I expressed my sincerest appreciation for his offer but declined saying that I really believed I could land a deal on a “major label” with a sizable budget. Two and a half years later I was signed to RCA/Novus Records. During those years I had fused my ambient type sound into writing music in the contemporary jazz genre.