Behind The Music

"...I find composing to be among the more satisfying things I do musically...simply love every aspect of it- from inception to final recording..."

"assembly required..."

"...I may be a little unorthodox in my approach to songwriting...

it often starts where it does with most

artists (a melody, a chord progression, etc...)...But then, I move into "exploration mode" to see what I get inspired to play next- where the original idea(s) might take me musically...

 

Once I have a good pool of other ideas, it all gets "spilled out on the table".  Then I try to figure out the best arrangement for the "ingredients" I've come up with. 

I firmly believe that,"the song dictates the form", so I never know what other musical influences will end-up in the finished arrangement. This is why some tunes I write have 3-4 different styles going on...

 

The final challenge is figuring out how to solo over the "beast" you've given life to. But, this is all intentional.  I try to create music that "pushes" me- wanting to see growth in the writing, but also in the ways that it advances my skills as a player..."

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"origin" stories...

"Signature"

This song was written as a compliment to my playing, "Bron Yr Aur" live, so that I could have an original tune I could play in the same guitar tuning...

This tuning inspired tons of musical ideas, which is why it's so varied in mood, rhythm, and chord voicings- had a hard time wanting to cut-out any of the parts I came up with...

"Cascades"

This tune started as some basic ideas I improvised one night at a gig, which turned into a full-blown song after playing it for several months live...

At a gig one night, several people commented on it, and I was astonished that it reminded them all of the same thing- "moving water"...

For the CD, I added waterfall samples in the beginning to reinforce the final song title, "Cascades"...Interestingly, most of the guitar lines tend to move "downwards" as well, reinforcing musically the "waterfall" vibe- something that was completely unintentional...

"105"

Been told by people that this tune sounds very, "Middle-Eastern" (it does have strong Spanish/Mediterranean influences...)...

The sparse instrumentation is off-set by energy and dynamics, and it has become one of my favorite tunes to play live...

This was "recording project 105" on my home recording device- I never actually got around to giving the tune a real name...

“Project Runway” submission

This piece was in the running as the possible new theme song for the 2014 season of the, "Project Runway" TV series...

They went with someone else, but it was awesome to be able to submit the tune for consideration...

 

A note-this is the only original piece of music I've written/recorded without any bass part, and yet it worked amazingly well without it...I also threw in some "dub-step"-style beats to give it a modern sound...

"Fire in the Hole"

This is a prime example of how I never know what musical styles/influences will make it into the finished tune (this one gives nods to blues, rock, and funk...)...

Even though this tune was originally written for electric guitar, I'm amazed at how well it also translates live on acoustic guitar...

"Pendulum Man"

The opening lead lines on this tune were inspired by the legato lead playing of Allan Holdsworth, of whom I am a huge fan...

The title came from a nickname my wife gave me describing my tendency to look at life in an, "all or nothing" kind of way (ie: I live way too much in the extremes...)...

The tune also has a tendency to move "back and forth" between jazz and fusion, so it musically captures the "pendulum" idea as well...

"anatomy of a song..."

Steve gives you a glimpse into the writing process for a song from his upcoming CD project...

Writing "Cathedral"

Writing "Cathedral"

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