It is with great honour that I am finally able to release my first official CD “A Perfect Gradient Sky”. For me this has been a very long personal journey, and one which I know is only the beginning of in some ways. I’ve been recording, producing, composing, played multiple instruments and a long list of music related work for the better part of 20 years. So why has it taken me so long to finally release something? Good question. In short, I can be a socially awkward person with a lot of unpopular ideas about the state of the world and where we are headed. Also because certain types of music are so deeply personal to me, that releasing it to the public means other people are going to hear it. I realize in a world of “look at how awesome I am”, I have a tendency to be the inverse of that. Putting my innermost self out on the table presents challenges.
But at some point, you have to do what your meant to do in this world and stop running from it. So I guess there’s no time like the present.
A Perfect Gradient Sky
A number of years ago I moved to one of the remaining natural areas of the Greater Toronto Area. It’s full of real wildlife, wonderful hidden places, and lots of green. In truth I’d rather live considerably more rural than this, but it’s just not an option right now. For such a large urban area, this is a rare gem. Developers are working hard to push their way in and take it over of course. (You can check out a project attempting to keep this area as wild as possible called The Wild Bluffs should you be interested.) Much of this album was based on my experiences living here, encounters with wildlife, and a return to what I consider to be a much more humane way of life as well as a return to my own roots. The back trails, the harsh winters covered in ice, the majestic steep cliffs and stunning skies and sunsets are all regular scenes I never grow tired of. I want people to have a genuine respect for the natural world and the countless species we share the planet with. It saddens me deeply that people are so full of fear and greed that they constantly feel the need to stomp over everything that is beautiful and meaningful. Especially if there is a dollar involved. I wonder how this will be explained to the children 2 to 3 generations from now? But I digress. I’ve spent a lot of years trying to explain the necessities of ecosystems & how they operate, natural habitats and preserving migration routes. You can use actual science to argue it, but it seems to be increasingly unpopular to be intelligent, respectful or to consider the future. Money is the most widely worshiped deity now.
Since nobody can force anyone to see this as important, I can at very least create music that is based on respecting the natural world that has elements of harmony and beauty embedded in it.
All of the nature samples on the album were recorded in the Bluffs area on a 24 bit professional Sony field recorder. The compositions were most always based on direct experiences I had while hiking at all times of year, and would come back to quickly fire up the studio to try and translate what happened. Then I’d often spend the next couple month’s tightening up the composition and technical side of things. After all the music was in order, I’d seek out people to do the finishing touches. This is where the “Featured” and “Guest” artists come in. Some of these people were long time friends I’ve known for years. Others were people I met that responded to posts looking for specific recordings. Many of those people have become friends now also. As I mentioned above; this music is deeply personal to me. So anyone I work with on these projects must be a person that shares the same ideals & concerns about the environment and where our species is headed.
The name of the album came while hiking down a big hill to the park one very cold Winter day. The sky was a perfect gradient set of colours as the sun was setting and was particularly quiet and serene that evening. The words that came to mind were “A Perfect Gradient Sky”. And that stuck. Next I needed to find a picture for the album cover that would represent that. The Wild Bluffs project mentioned above has a number of really amazing pro and semi pro nature photographers that come to this area just to take photos for their collection. So I asked some of these folks if they were interested in donating some local images for my cover art. Larry Herscovitch; an incredible photographer – set me up with the 2 images used in the packaging. Thanks so much Larry!
And with that, I hope you enjoy the recordings.
I say that especially because I do this as a sense of duty. It’s for you more than me. The chances of me even breaking even for just the basic raw cost of putting this all together are slim at best. The painstaking years of becoming a recording professional that would create the road that eventually would lead to this. It certainly doesn’t benefit me financially in any way after all these years. But it’s a sense of duty that I have to create something of value that might contribute to making a difference. So here’s to hoping that it does!