My Influences and Ambitions

Hey guys! For my FIRST blog post, I'd like to share some of my musical influences and what I ultimately hope to accomplish as a composer since writing music is my primary focus. For big band and commercial music, the guys that come to my mind first are Gordon Goodwin, Thad Jones, and Walter Murphy. The first Goodwin tune I heard was Get in Line at Dazzle when I was a freshman in high school. That was the defining moment in my life that got me into writing. My high school band director, Mark Wurst, was a major influence in that he encouraged me to write original music rather than doing arrangements. I'll probably talk about him and other influential people in my life in a future post. Anyway, I'm a huge fan of Family Guy, and the work that Walter Murphy has done for that show and in other mediums is truly incredible to me. I dig every note he puts to paper. Ron Jones is good too. In fact, I met him and it was awesome, but I think Walter Murphy just has that something extra that makes him stand out, ya know? This goes for Goodwin and Thad as well. You just know it's them when you turn it on. I hope to invoke that same feeling in my music too.

My favorite groups are Tower of Power, Huey Lewis & the News, Opie Gone Bad, Led Zeppelin, Take 6, Straight No Chaser, The Temptations, Dream Theater, and others like those. There are so many individual artists I dig that you'll probably stop reading this post...but I'll name some anyway and hopefully give you a variety of genres: Michael Jackson (#1 in my book), James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Paul Gilbert, Herbie Hancock, David Sanborn, Michael Brecker, Mike Stern, Pat Metheny, Charles Mingus, Alice Cooper, Tevin Campbell, Scarface

That's all I can list right now without my brain exploding from just thinking about their collective awesomeness. The film composers I'm most moved by are John Debney, Christophe Beck, John Powell, and Lalo Schifrin. The best video game composer to me is Koji Kondo. Ultimately, I want to focus on composing for video games. The demand for high quality video game music is growing rapidly and I hope to be able to contribute to its success. Good video game music doesn't go unnoticed, trust me. There are so many more names I could list, but I hope that gives you an idea of what I'm about. I like music that's in your face, so expect a lot of that from me. I do very much appreciate ballads though so don't get me wrong! I also enjoy musicals (I hope to do one of those too at some point) and occasionally Mozart.

Hope you liked my first post! Please feel free to comment on any post I make. I will post topics for discussion every once in a while because I think this would be a cool place for composers (and of course musicians in general) to communicate and maybe solve problems happening in the world of music and so on. Also, if you have a question for me, post it in a comment or message me and I'll get an FAQ thingy going. I might even make a blog post out of your questions/concerns/thoughts. Peace out for now!

Z

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