“My life goal is to create a body of work … which will touch as many lives as possible and serve as a reminder that talent, honesty, truth and humility are the foundations upon which lasting music should be created.”
I believe that music–the only non-visual, non-tangible art form–has a unique power to speak directly to the core of the human experience, and thus unify and further us as a species. For example, studies have shown that music is integral to brain development of children and that Alzheimer’s patients who cannot remember their spouses’ names can remember complex melodies from their youth.
And all this occurs without visual input. We are a visual culture: pictures and videos garner more likes on Facebook than do simple statements. People walk the streets transfixed by their smart phones and bump into each other because they do not see where they are going. Children become addicted to video games and television which studies have shown can cause Attention Deficit Disorder. Music too has suffered from the relentless progression of technology: pop music is auto-tuned and polished to the point where actual human emotion is removed from the listening experience.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m no Luddite. I am a huge fan of technology but I seek to utilize it to complement rather than subsume the music I produce. I strive to retain a personal, introspective and human element to my music. As a musician I feel both blessed and cursed. Blessed to have a passion which takes me outside of myself and connects me to something larger. Cursed to compete in a business in which access to publicity often trumps talent or quality. Thus as an artist and entrepreneur of music I seek support for the following reasons:
(1) To purchase recording equipment to record myself and other musicians in my home, without having to rely on costly professional recording studios. In addition to my own music, I have recorded Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning artists in my 20 years as an audio engineer but with my teacher’s salary have never had the capital to construct my own personal studio. Having my own studio will allow me support local Bay Area talent and help further other’s careers in addition to my own. I will be able to have my own record label which features artists I believe in and thus be able to create a sustainable business model for our collective art.
(2) With this equipment and sufficient space in San Francisco, I will be able to start a Digital Arts program which serves underprivileged Bay Area youth. I have taught as an Adjunct Faculty member of four Bay Area colleges and would like to utilize my teaching experience to serve teenagers who cannot afford expensive programs such as the Academy of Art or the Art Institute where I taught. I envision an after school and weekend program where students learn to utilize technology in a creative fashion. This can be accomplished with a modest rented space and 10 or more computers with USB keyboards, microphones and a teacher station with a projector. In other words, a classroom. In my experience, teenagers not only enjoy learning music software programs, but this training also looks great on a college application. This was my experience when I worked for the East Palo Alto Mural Music and Arts Program, where I took underprivileged youth into the recording studio at Stanford to create their own hip-hop beats. Most of these teenagers could not afford a laptop. I want to create a space which gives them access to current technology so they can compete with students from wealthier families.
(3) To hire a publicist to help me compete in both the music and education businesses by promoting both my after school arts program and the music which I believe deserves to be heard. I would organize a yearly event which showcases the music my students create as well as the music from my record label.
My life goal is two-fold: to create a body of work–created by myself and other musicians–which will touch as many lives as possible and serve as a reminder that talent, honesty, truth and humility are the foundations upon which lasting music should be created. And to give back to the community by using my experience in academia to educate those who normally wouldn’t have access to the technology required to compete in the current music industry. To these ends I seek your support.