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Thomas McGregor: The Vitamin C Artist (interview)

With this edition: Skin and Bones, Pedals by Layne Greene and awesome video by Peter Gabriel

Thomas McGregor: Stretching the meaning of positivity and verve.

Violinist, Composer, and Instructor Thomas McGregor’s Official Fanpage. Youtube: www.youtube.com/tviolin Website: www.thomasmcgregor.wordpress.com Reverbnation: http://www.reverbnation.com/thomasmcgregor

Spending 10 minutes of your time with Thomas McGregor every day can be healthy. Why? This interview clearly indicates that he is a person who likes giving a good dose of good vibes. His music knows no bounds and listening to his collaborations will show that his taste is eclectic. This guy can switch from Bluegrass, Celtic, Classical and experimental in a beat.

He is passionate in promoting his music and one can see a kind of discipline that makes legendary artists. This is the same drive that gets people somewhere and he practices what he preaches. Sphere Music is honored to make Thomas McGregor as our featured artist. Enjoy his music and know more about him through this interview.

Violinist, film maker and fitness guru. Which one is the REAL you?

That’s a good question! haha! I believe each one of us to be capable of so many things. I also believe it to be very important to embrace our interests and natural talents. Through this embracing, we can cultivate natural human expansion to the degree of inspiring many to think outside their normal paradigms.

Your music has a lot of depth, texture and atmosphere. You also love collaborating with other genres. What has been memorable for you in these musical explorations?

The most memorable experiences have been those where my mind has been shifted in one way or another. The times where me and/or my collaborator(s) have seen through different eyes via the medium of music/artistic expression. Music is an interesting entity. It seems to always be morphing; expanding and contracting. Attempting to show us all the possibilities that are presented to us through the universal creative collective.

What made you want to pursue music? What brought the realization that made you say” Hey I want to be a violinist and I want to be a recording artist”.

I’m not sure I had a time of realization of such. For me, it was just part of being who I was. As a young child I played music before I can speak. Music, in a lot of ways was my very first voice. Ultimately, I believe that realization came years after I had been playing music professionally. Mainly after some artistic maturity had happened. At this juncture, I had realized that there was so much music and talent out there, and I had to strive to become evening better, more innovative, and edgy.

What’s your groundwork for composing music? What comes first and what time of the day do you feel inspired to tinker with those strings.

Composition and improvisation are interesting. The process that one takes when composing is interesting as well. On a scientific level, we find that certain creative synapses and neurons fire in the brain that eventually [and perpetually] self generate themselves to the point of continued creativity during that time. Meaning, when we start to be creative its like a snow ball on a snowy down hill path; we have the potential to keep progressively getting more creative. This is achieved by letting parts of our mental construct disperse. By letting mental abstractions fade, leaving us to an open and clear mind, compositions seem to flow freely.

Visually, I like images to stimulate certain ideas and concepts. This may also mean the addition of images to previously conceived musical ideas. By doing this I strive to paint a picture. Even when improvising, the idea is to pain a picture for the listener. For in all actuality, music is simply vibration. And vibration is everything, in one degree or another. For everything that is moved by air vibrates. Thus, life is a series of vibrations, or universal musical expression. Therefore, composition and improvisation can perpetuate from any source. This is why I also instruct my students to be musically completely open minded. You may not like the way something sounds, but let’s find the parts you do like.

On a philosophical level, this had implications to our current societal state. If we can find our likenesses rather than our differences, the world would be a much calmer place. Ultimately, this is an extremely valuable compositional tool. For your vibrational influences can come from anywhere, if you remain open to finding the parts you like – and evening acknowledging the parts you don’t fancy.

 Your advice to young violinist who think that being a recording artist and a violinist at the same time is such a cool thing to pursue?

My advice to young artists would be to concentrate on quality and knowledge. The artist that knows his art, and the mechanics of his art is paramount. Also, I would advise looking to see how the artist art form directly relates to other aspects of life. I.E. Nature, Science, History, Other Art Forms, Fitness, etc… This is a tool that widens your thinking. Also, you may start to see how your art form directly applies and/or is influences/is influenced within those other mediums. Stay calm in this endeavor, for the applications and implications thereof will rise, presenting themselves. Also, I would conclude with acting the young artist to consider philosophical aspects of their art. Is your art spiritual? Is your art void of spirit? Is your art metaphor for something greater? Is your art connected to something greater? These questions may only be answer over a life time of artistic cultivation. This however is one of the best aspects, when participating in artistic development.

Please tell us about the musical projects that keep you busy these days, what are they and how do you plan to promote them.

Ah! I am very excited about these up and coming future projects! I am currently writing and recording with guitarist and song writer Tanner Cole Beeghly from Topeka, Kansas. We are composing tunes in the feel of groove, newage, jazz, folk feels. I have plans to do some collaborating with Lucas Croatia, from Zagreb, Croatia. This might be more folk rock/new age fusion. Also, I will be collaborating with Psychedelic American Gypsy Rock group The Venus Illuminato coming up this week. I will have video of our rehearsals together up in the coming weeks as well. All of these collaborations will be up for download on my store site: www.thomasmcgregor.ecrater.com. I am also appearing on singer-songwriter Allen Cote’s newest contribution as well. That should be out next year, if not sooner. These are all just a few of what’s in the works. There will be most more to come!
Musicians are influential artists and what they say in public can be taken seriously by fans and thus sometimes there are people who exploit their fame just because they can. What is your reaction to this and can musicians also become vessels of change for the good of the society? How?

Absolutely! Musicians and artists alike should be at the very front lines of universal change. For it is through art that we cultivate the mind, and influence each other. I believe true art to not be limited by ego. When ego becomes involved, you start to have problems with the art. As I stated before, everything is vibrations. So if you inner vibrations are off kilter from the natural progressional vibrations of life, you will see something suffer. Sometimes, the suffering happens to the (unknowing) admirers via the artist that has become to full of himself and less of his art. That is why it is universally important to continue to listen and remain open to others that are experimenting with artistic expression. This is like if you were to hit the refresh button in you mind. It keeps you aware of what is already out there, void of your influence. I’ve always said that the ultimate instructor is egoless, knowing that ego only hinders the progression of the student. Paradoxically, the admiration that comes from producing well made art is the fuel that can inspire an artist. Knowing that someone appreciates what you do is very important to the continuance of that artist spirit. For we see artist’s work continue living far after they have passed. This work has survived because people still care to keep it around for appreciation. That is probably why people say that fine art lasts the test of time. I think the longevity of art is derived mainly from what people consider art, or worthy of appreciation. In this sense, depending on the person, many different things could last the test of time.

There you have it folks! We will get to see more of him in this page in days to come so stay tuned:

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Featured Song: Skin & Bones

A pre-mastered version of ‘Skin & Bones’ taken from the forthcoming Blue Rose Code album ‘North Ten’, coming soon on Ho Hum Records.

More from this artist: http://soundcloud.com/bluerosecode

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Gadget freaks: Pedals!

This is one of the pics taken from the music gadgets of Layne Greene. I am crazy about colorful guitar stuff. According to him:

My board is slowly building… next up, hopefully a VS single tap delay, and either a POG or an organizer, probably an organizer since POGS are like $10293481294612478012847.

Visit his music pages here:

www.soundcloud.com/laynegreene

www.myspace.com/laynegreene

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Flashback Video: Peter Gabriel – Red Rain

I am also a big fan of Peter Gabriel.I think he is a great musician. Who doesn’t think so? Tell me and I will make him/her a coffin out of fairlight CMI. Kidding. I am not  a mean guy:P . Peter experimented with electronic, world and other types of music. He left a lasting legacy to many artists who followed his novel path. When I was a kid I didn’t understand why my “older brothers and sisters’ think he’s cool. Now I know.

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