One of those memorable sessions with Layne Greene (left) Alex Lank (center) and Bryan MacDonald(right)
Yes that’s the name of Bryan MacDonald in Soundcloud. This dude is kind of laid back and shy but he has a good sense of humour. His guitar playing is a must-hear for those looking for unique styles. He has already collaborated with many musicians and among them is appearing in the new album of Layne Greene called “Everywhere Around Here.” You can’t miss his style. It has that spacey characteristic along with the gentle use of reverb. It is hard to compare him to other guitarists but I recommend you hear him out. His sound is really different. It will blow you away.
If you are a recording artist or a band living somewhere in Nova Scotia, try to look for him and bring him along. I am sure he is going to be a great asset to your recording needs. He is always ready, all geared up to play his guitar. His many experiences in performing in front of live audience (busking and actual gigs on stage) have stood the test of time(and weather).
I am looking forward to hear more from this amazing instrumentalist. I hope to catch him in a new album by another brilliant musician.
Electronic Music Artist / Label Owner / Photographer Alex Pardini talks about how imagination plays an important part in the creation process of music, visual art, and so much more.
Alex Pardini creates the kind of sound that’s sophisticated, groovy and friendly. It is a fat sound with the sweet icing of pop. It is also a craft he has perfected for decades and continues to do so. But this is just one facet in his lust for creation. He also has a great passion for photography. He lives in Switzerland and he definitely has that old Celtic blood in him.
Check out pictures of his recording studio which I will post at the end of this article plus random photos he took. Great ears and eyes. A passion driven by the need for perfection and innovation. Opportunity knocked to discover the story behind this fascinating Music Artist / Label Owner / Photographer. Sphere Music is proud to feature Alex Pardini.
Your musical career goes back as early as 1999.What made you decide to be a musician?
Actually, my musical career started around 1993/94 when I bought my first pair of Technics turntables and soon after that got my first gigs. 1999 was the year my first record was released. I never consciously decided to become an artist. It never was a question that I asked myself. I loved that magical and creative world of audio and feelings, so I just did it. If I would have had to ask myself if I want to be an artist, I wouldn’t be one today.
Being an artist is not something you actively decide to be by asking and answering yourself, it’s something you are long before you consciously realize it. All you might decide is whether or not you want to keep going on once your conscious mind catches up with the fact that you already are, and maybe always were, an artist.
Can you tell us more about your label Theatre Magique Records?
Theatre Magique started out as a necessity. In order to release my music, whatever the style and whenever I wanted, I needed a distributor. At the time, in order to get a deal, you needed a label with an artist roster – but I just had one signed artist. So i divided my music into several projects with their own aliases and eventually got a distributor to work with me.
Today it is mainly a platform for my music, though I love the possibility to sign tracks of other artists in search for a label.
In terms of sound, Made of Diversity has an aggressive feel compared to the rest of your releases. Did you also sing on this album?
Compared to the latest releases or the Pegasus & Manticor project this might be true. But if you check out my Audio Synapse alias, you will find way more aggressive music than on my “Made of Diversity” album.
The album definitely has a pretty wide spectrum in terms of “musical styles”. From the very soft ballad “Autumn Rain” to the fast paced and rough “Easy Rider”. I sang on the album. Actually it was the first time ever I sang at all.
Well I must say you have a good voice and hereby encourage you to sing more! I noticed this jazz and latin feel running all over your songs. It is an elegant sound. What other styles of music do you plan to explore?
Thank you.I never plan my music. I don’t sit down with an idée fixe. It’s not how it works, at least not for me. I just let it “happen”.
I fool around in my studio until something inspires me, catches my attention, gives me that feeling I need to keep going in a certain direction. If it doesn’t sparkle, I change direction or even stop doing music at all and go do something completely else. The muse can’t kiss you 24/7.
Where do you draw your experiences from when you write songs?
From my life – everything in or around it. Imagination plays an important part too. The creative process is a constant one. As a sensitive artist you develop, and maybe to a certain part you were born with, the ability and curiosity to analyse anything, anytime, anywhere and save essences of it (in other words: fill up your tanks) for the actual work in the studio, or any other creative output one might have.
Music is the end product of your life’s journey translated into audio. I live my life (over) consciously and this can be very intensive and exhausting. There are no breaks, no regulated working hours or free days. The moment I can let go is when I am creating something or, in my case, when I am doing sports – and believe me, that’s actually just a fragment of the time my brain runs at 101% trying to get “Input”. This is something most people don’t know. They usually just see the artist sleeping late and having fun at night.
You have interesting gears…among those is a movable table! Can you tell me more about it and how it helps you musically?
Love that thing! There are two reasons why I bought it. The first is a very simple one. My health, more precisely my back. Sitting all day long ain’t good for it.The other reason is the feeling while creating. I feel more free, can move to the groove, feel the music more intensely. Maybe I got used to it because of my deejaying years. Anyway, dependent of what I am working on, it kind of accentuates certain senses which helps me immerse myself even deeper into my music.
I understand that the use of different monikers and even releasing under a label give you the flexibility you need. But in terms of experimentation, how far will you go?
As Jeff Bridges said in one of his movies “The sky is the limit!”. Honestly, my approach to music was never conditioned by a certain style or any form of barrier. Stagnancy is an artist’s enemy. I try do hold on to what felt right in the past and move forward discovering the future by shaping my present. There is always something new to do, something to learn, something to dig deeper into.
What are the things that newbies need to know these days when they need to pursue the things you are doing? What changes happened for the past decade and what do you think needs improvement?
The past decade saw a lot of superficial approach to music by the artists and a decline in the appreciation of music by the audience. Maybe a sign of the times we lived and still live in. I hope to see the exact opposite to happen in the next ten years. Artists that don’t only talk about how much they love music, but also treat it accordingly. An audience that shows appreciation by digging deeper, not by consuming faster, cheaper and more.
Concerning your question about the newbies I’d say: Do it yourself and do it right! Buying construction kits and playing puzzle is not gonna cut it. Neither for yourself nor for the audience. It is this kind of mentality that led us to this silly, superficial music world where DJ’s who can’t even beatmatch two records with an active BPM counter get horrendous fees paid, where companies produce sample cd’s with finished music split into different files and wannabee producers using them think they are artists.
Music is art, art comes from Latin ars which means practical skill. Your skill. Not the sample CD producers’ skills and creativity, not the marketing companies’ skills, not the major label’s skills, yours. Music is personal expression (yours), it needs identity (yours), it needs to be authentic. Nobody else can achieve that for you. There are no short cuts in life.
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:
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.
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.
Hellloooo indie fanatics. Today is another great day for music. I want to bring this great guy to your attention. He has a new track out called Metamorpho bro. Jork explores musical realms very few artists would. I mean just listen to this track and you will know what I am talking about. It will rearrange the way you think and listen to music. I love how he puts so much effort in the production of his tracks. But let us be honest here. This isn’t something that anyone who is into mainstream would really dig. It takes repeated listens until it grows on you. And when it does, expect roots and branches…and even flowers. I know I am hearing two musical ideas in this track but I just want to be sure. So I asked Jork a.k.a Lee Tobin.
According to Jork:
I wrote two melodies and two harmonies. I wanted to make the two work together, or at least change a little to fit together.
Bingo!That explains why I think I am hearing two tracks at the same time. Clever.
Tough luck. Plans of releasing a new album by Canadian recording artist Pierre Massé have been set aside following a spillage of beer on his laptop. All his recording plans are on hold. I hope a solution will be found soon because it is really tragic to have one’s musical ideas erased totally. This youtube track is a remix of his own track “Give the World” from “Situations”, available at http://pierrotechnique.bandcamp.com.