I'm very excited to share that I've been endorsed by one of the great musical instrument innovators: Moog Synthesizers. Moog has been opening ears since its debut in the early 50's and have forever altered the soundscape of Planet Earth for the better.
Heres how it happened:
The Music of Adolescence
In youth, music has the power to shape life, making impressions on the soul deep as grooves on an old 78. The albums we hear, turned on by our friends, the composers and bands overheard or forced upon us, all have a mesmeric force that shapes and sculpts our worlds. The music we hear at that big bang of a moment creates our beliefs and reaches to the very core of who we believe ourselves to be, and who we'll choose to become. We become what we hear.
What daddy spun on the record player during my adolescence touched me deeply. In the dining room of our house in Brooklyn was a converted closet without a door. Shelves had been assembled. Daddy called the audio boys to install a stereo system to make all other stereos feel bad about themselves. I exploited it to the max, the electronics becoming slaves to my bidding, servants of my deepest desire.
When no one was home save the housekeeper and me, I'd play my Bowie records at full tilt. The back of Ziggy Stardust says 'to be played at maximum volume,' so I followed the instructions and extended their imperative to everything I could lay hands on, loud. (Don't try this at home-my ears still ring). And my collection wasn't my only joy.
Daddy too had his wax and those were records that shaped who I am today. It started with Glenn Gould's Goldberg Variations and spread to a boxed set of Gould complete. Arrau's Chopin Preludes I abused tirelessly over the years. The Albinoni Adagio performed by I don't know who. I fell in love Casals' Bach and Yo-Yo made his first entrance- the Bach sonatas with harpsichord and Beethoven with Manny Ax. My list could go on-these are just the discs that stick most to the ribs of memory. Daddy kept my ears happy and warm, and they were never lonely.
Acoustic music was one part of the bargain, electronic another. Stevie's Songs in the Key of Life and Glass' Glassworks shaped me. As did Switched on Bach, synth versions of the master's masterworks that had won 3 Grammy's and scored on the pop charts! a big gun in daddy's arsenal. These versions were painstakingly recorded on a monophonic modular Moog synthesizer, one voice at a time, and they hypnotized me.
When it came time for me to make music of my own, the Moog came back to haunt the halls of my inner ear. Where Casals had forever informed my interpretation of the Bach Cello Suites, Switched on Bach formed a ravine in my heart, in which a river now flowed, waiting to find passage back to the Sea of Sound.
Recording the songs on Play Human- my new LP of original rock songs- last year, I found the SampleMoog softSynth had an orbital pull on me. I returned to it over and over, blending its racket with the hum and gore of my ES-335 electric guitar.
Then, walking in Brooklyn one day, I stopped a man with a Moog T-shirt and Moog pass round his neck, headed to Rough Trade to raze a Moog exhibit. Fuck shit piss dick!! I had missed it!!! I suggested we might do something together one day and presumptuously asked him for his card. I planted it in a diary in my desk, hoping it'd bear fruit, "someday."
Six months later and I've taken a gig I don't like but it pays well. I've already committed when I get a call to come in and play some cello lines on a new film score by Bryan Senti. Well fuck me again! I can't do it! I'm busy playing this other thing and missing out on what I'd really love to be doing. I had recently tracked cello for Senti's Experimenter, with Peter Saarsgard, and would have been stoked to play another beauty.
Then, in my absence, something goes wrong during this new recording and he needs me to come in and redo the cello parts, one-on-one with with the maestro. Everything was working out. Some angel dust, I mean some fairy dust, was working its magic.
A few days in and we're hanging in his studio, so I get the privilege of sharing some of my own compositions and productions with Bryan and he gives surprising attention. Sitting in his well-appointed room, I get to admiring and drooling over a beautiful Moog keyboard to my right. Next thing I know, he suggests connecting me with Moog to get me endorsed. And things progress from there. Jason Daniello at the company apparently thinks my work is aok cause he's sending me a contract. And then, next thing I know, I'm eagerly anticipating the arrival of a Moog SubPhatty- a recent electronic marvel so lovely I could mount- in the mail.
The day after signing the contract with Moog, I had some computer problems in my studio. Restarts led to rewirings and soon i was digging in the bowels of desk for a missing cable. I stumbled upon my diary, hidden behind my interface. As I took a quick accounting of its empty space, a business card dropped to the floor. Picking it up, I quickly noticed the black and white image of a moog keyboard with a name emblazoned on the back: Jason Daniello. A Sub Phatty decorated its front.
So things came full circle. Magic played a pivotal role. The love of my youth was becoming a spouse. And I would finally be making music of my own on the instrument that had so beguiled me as a teen, the first to insinuate there might be a bridge to cross from Classical to Popular. A world outside the tuxedoed chamber of cello playing that I could reach into with my own hands, away from the fingerboard.
Stay tuned for new sounds from the Phatty I'm working with right now- coming soon to a stereo near you. And keep the magic flowing- in your own work and life. Life is nothing without a lil sprinkling of angel dust.....
Has angel dust been around your life of late? Please share in the comments!!