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Conversations with Jamie: Artist-To-Artist Series
Hailing from Toronto, Canada, guitarist/composer Jamie Bonk has graciously agreed to become a contributing editor to NewAgeReporter.com. Jamie will be conducting a series of interviews entitled Conversations with Jamie: Artist-To-Artist Series. We look forward to his contributions for they are both insightful and offer a unique artist-to-artist perspective over the typical interview. We hope you enjoy them.
Other Conversations with Jamie: Artist-To-Artist Series:
A Conversation with Gypsy Soul, Jun. 2007
A Conversation With Michael O'Connell, Mar. 2007
A Conversation with Paul Avgerinos, Nov. 2006
<<-later interviews | earlier interviews->>   <<- all interviews ->>
Jamie Bonk
A Conversation with Jeff Pearce
August 2005
The first thing I noticed when I started talking with composer/guitarist (and recently, Stick player) Jeff Pearce was his sense of humour - his consistently brilliant sense of humour. (Take a look at the about page on his website to get a taste of what I'm talking about). Jeff clearly has a skewed view of the world!

In the twelve years since his debut album, Tenderness and Fatality (1993), Jeff has released seven records and garnered a number of awards. Jeff's To The Shores of Heaven was voted Best Ambient/Electronic Album (2001) by New Age Voice and was awarded the #1 spot on the Echoes Listeners' Favorite Artists for 2000! As Jeff said to me in an e-mail regarding the Echoes award, "#2 was Enya's "A Day Without Rain". I think she recovered VERY well from the loss.... :))" Again a terrific sense of humour!

But the music on Jeff's latest release, Lingering Light, comes from a different, more introspective side of Jeff's personality and deals with loss. Not easy subject matter, and as Jeff writes in the liner notes, "…the process of refining and recording the music for Lingering Light left me in a far different place than where I started." I think that's exactly what great music, and art, is supposed to do.

To learn more about Jeff and his music, please visit JeffPearceMusic.com.

Jeff Pearce
"The music on Lingering Light came from a space of loss in my life." - Jeff Pearce
Jamie: So let's take Oprah's idea and put a twist on it: Name ten things that you don't know for sure.
Jeff: "Ten things that I don't know for sure"? Wouldn't you rather ask me which tree I would be?

TEN THINGS JEFF DOES NOT KNOW FOR SURE:

1) I don't know for sure how Hayden Christensen got the part of Anakin Skywalker in the two most recent "Star Wars" flicks. Chances are that decision was made by the same guy who thought that Ewoks added to the overall "Star Wars" plotline....

2) I don't know for sure how the creative process works. In my case, the muse shows up when she wants to, quite unscheduled, but always welcome. Trying to "force the process" ends up to be as satisfying as a one-sided conversation.

3) I don't know for sure why my wife married me. However, I am content in not knowing this out of the fear that if I WOULD ask my wife why she married me, she would reply "I don't know for sure".

4) I don't know for sure how the Internet works, or where, exactly, it exists. What I know for sure about the Internet is that it contains a vast wealth of knowledge, can be anywhere on Earth in the blink of an eye, and never ever sleeps. Which means that in Mesopotamian times, the Internet would have been worshiped. At the VERY least, the ruins in Machu Pichu would be shaped less like pyramids and more like CPU's....

5) I don't know for sure what happens after death. I have a couple of ideas, but, in the end, what happens after death is much like a secret fraternity initiation ritual - it has to be experienced first in order to be known.

6) I don't know for sure who that old guy is who lives in my mirror - because I am MUCH younger than he is. I'd also like to know why he wears my clothes all the time.....

7) I don't know for sure why humor is completely involuntary - the things in this world that make me laugh hard cannot be broken down into a "cause-effect" formula. It's a reflex. But why IS it a reflex? Was that to make sure that we never lose the gift of humor?

8) I don't know for sure what is in a marshmallow.

9) I don't know for sure why people keep buying my CD's and attending my concerts. I've heard reasons from others, but none that make me think "aha! THAT'S why I'm reaching that person!"

10) I don't know why there are beginnings and endings.
" I don't know why there are beginnings and endings."

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: Maybe we can come back to the "tree question" a little later in the conversation... : )

You have a beautiful new record,Lingering Light, coming out soon that features you playing the Stick. Why the shift from guitar to the Stick?
Jeff: I initially was interested in the Stick because I knew with THAT many strings, I could probably make a WHOLE lot of noise... :) I had originally planned on spending equal time playing guitar and Stick. Some events that happened in early 2004 became an impetus not only for focusing solely on the Stick, but in writing the material that is on Lingering Light.
Jamie: I hope I'm not prying, but what were those events and how did they inspire the music on Lingering Light?
Jeff: The music on Lingering Light came from a space of loss in my life. Without going in to all the painful details, a close friend - in fact, my best friend - left my life in early 2004. And it was 100% my fault (with a margin for error of + or - 1%).

There was immediately a void in my life, and part of the acceptance of this loss was to start writing music. At first, I wrote "around" the void - observing it in a fairly detached way, and the resulting music was about as uninteresting and unemotional as could be. I knew that I was literally wasting my time with such a writing approach, so those songs were scrapped. From the desire of wanting myself to be better - and knowing it was also the only way to create anything of worth - I stopped walking around the void, and stepped right into it.

At that point, the lights went out.

I knew what was at the bottom of the void - it had been there for many many years. Without going into too many details (which would gobble up gigabytes of precious bandwidth space), I WILL say that a buried pain is bomb waiting to go off. And ignoring that pain, in order to be strong and "together" for those in your life, is the match that lights the bomb.

So - at the bottom of this deep void, I was able to see just how far into this hole I'd fallen. It was like the scene in the movies where someone falls into a deep hole- they look around and say "Ok- how do I get out of this?". You start climbing, step by step. And it's tough, because you are grasping at ANYTHING that will lead you out, and sometimes you'll only make it a few inches. But you are a few inches ahead of where you were, and that's always good; progress, ultimately, is measured by inches, not miles.

I'm fortunate that I had (and still have) a select few people in my life who gently supported me through this time. There are a lot of warnings, in hindsight, that I should have seen - things that I ignored. I've always been of the school of thought that said, "If there's a pain, walk it off - you can bleed later". There was this huge need to be "strong" for the people in my life. Part of that came from being a parent to two very active little girls - I didn't want them to have a GREAT dad - I wanted them to have the BEST DAD EVER! Same with my wife - I wanted to be the best husband that ever walked the earth.

And even for my friend - I wanted to be the best one ever. Not because I wanted some ego boost that comes from being "the best", but because those people in my life deserved the best. And at the end of the day, all I could say was that they only had me. That wasn't good enough, in my eyes.

The music was, paradoxically, a way to help me climb out of the void, and also a way to dig deeper into it. I had to instinctively know where the songs were leading - "is this digging deeper, climbing out, or staying in place?". The ones that "stayed in place", at the end of the day, were abandoned, and I shifted my focus to the songs that were "healing" for me - those songs that allowed me to either dig deeper or climb up a few inches.
"...I WILL say that a buried pain is bomb waiting to go off."

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: There are very few artists, or people for that matter, who haven't had to deal with varying degrees of feeling down. Has your music always been a way for you to "either dig deeper or climb up a few inches"?
Jeff: Good question. My music HAS been a sort of "internal healing force" in my life, but most of the time, I realize this in hindsight. That's where Lingering Light differs from my other CD releases, because the material on Lingering Light was a conscious part of my whole ongoing "healing process".

Besides the actual composition of music, simply playing an instrument has helped me a lot. I've very rarely been "comfortable in my body", and the physical act of playing an instrument has shown me that not EVERYTHING I do is awkward and clumsy... :) There IS a certain "grace" that is involved with any physical activity, although my "grace", like my music, moves along VERY very slowly.... :)

Music in general - not just MY music- has always been "healing" for me. Like so many people, the right music seems to present itself at the right time in my life. Miles Davis has healed me. Brian Eno has as well. And the same can be said for The Police, Aimee Mann, John Coltrane, Erik Satie, William Ackerman - the list goes on and on and on.
" ...the material on Lingering Light was a conscious part of my whole ongoing "healing process"."

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: That's exactly the same for me -- I'm as likely to listen to NIN as to George Benson. It's all just music to me.

Lingering Light is a solo project, but there is a collaborative element to the album. You had the record mixed by Corin Nelsen at Will Ackerman's Imaginary Road Studios. And it sounds amazing! I'm especially impressed with the clarity of the Stick throughout its entire range and the fact that the reverbs/processing sit so well in the mix. How much guidance did you give Corin? And for the tech-heads out there -- okay for me! : ) -- could you talk a bit about the gear used in the recording and mixing of Lingering Light?
Jeff: I was VERY fortunate that Corin Nelsen has a VERY intuitive ear, so there was very little need for guidance on my part. I brought a couple of pieces of gear- reverbs- and we set up a mix on their console just to give Corin an idea of the sound I was going for. In THAT respect, the sound was 75% there at that moment. Corin started doing all sorts of voodoo with his Pro Tools plug-in's, and the next thing I know, everything sounded....

.......horrible. I was CONVINCED that I would completely scrap Lingering Light. Corin sensed that, and we wrapped up for the day. When we were back in the studio the following day, everything sounded incredible- and nothing had changed! :) It turns out that I had a SERIOUS case of "ear fatigue", and I simply needed to give my ears a break. Once I had fresh ears, Corin did a couple of other things to the music- however, those are "trade secrets" of his, and if I were to reveal them, I'd probably end up "sleeping with the fishes". :) What I WILL say is, upon hearing what he did, I just about cried. Corin's talent is amazing.

As far as getting the "sound" I use on the Stick - I kept things VERY uncluttered for a change! My previous CD's have all been performed on electric guitar, and I often used effects to created a more "orchestral" sound. My greatest "accomplishment" in that respect would probably be the soundtrack I did for the Luminous Dimensions DVD all those sounds are from electric guitar - not guitar synth or anything like that.

The music for Lingering Light was the exact opposite in approach - they were smaller pieces, and much more of a "solo" voice. So the decision was made to really scale things back. So I used one processor - a Boss GT-6- for the recording. However, I DID tweak the living daylights out of it... :) The Chapman Stick has SUCH a "signature" sound that is wonderful on it's own. But Stick players far better than I (at this point, that would be all of them!) have used that sound at one point or another, so I wanted something a little different for what I was doing. I wanted something that sounded "sort of" acoustic in nature - but not quite. At that point, everything in the area of "sound design" starts running on instinct alone - that and VERY close listening! Eventually, I managed to get something that worked well with the music I was writing, and Corin Nelsen refined it tremendously.

What Corin ALSO has, and that was SO important for this project, is an ear for the "emotion" of a piece. Once the correct effects levels were set for a song, and the mix process for Pro Tools would start, I literally had to get myself out of the control room - I'd go into the main recording space at Imaginary Road Studios and just look out their huge window at the mountains around the place. I couldn't handle hearing the music at that point - the memories of the pieces being a little more than I could deal with at the time. On one song in particular - "in the quiet days before"- I came back in to the control room for the last few notes of it. When it ended, Corin exhaled, and said "Well, THAT was QUITE melancholy". Coming from someone who has worked with and produced Will Ackerman for years, I'll take that as a compliment! :) It was fun having Will there to listen to the music as well - although a touch nerve-wracking for me.... :)

In the end, Corin was a great combination of the technical and the emotional as far as the music goes. He would often, mid-sentence, switch from talking about eq settings to talking about the "resonance" a piece left him with. And he REALLY listened to the music - when everything was done, he commented that he liked all the "themes" in the CD - how fragments of one song would pop up in the middle of another song, and so forth. Subtle things like that might easily get by someone listening to music with "engineer's ears", but he found those subtleties right away.
"It was fun having Will (Ackerman) there to listen to the music as well - although a touch nerve-wracking for me.... :)"

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: And that really is the best kind of engineer...

Just to do a little more shop talk... Have you had a chance to play the Stick in a live setting? I would imagine the Stick needs a different, more full range set-up than than you use with your guitar.
Jeff: I'm actually fortunate that I've not run into a lot of problems with live playing. I don't use "real" guitar amplifiers when I play live - with my guitar, I always ran a pretty clean signal, added effects in the mixer, then ran the mixer outs to the house board. I've done the same thing with the Stick, and it works pretty well- although, with the Stick and it's nice, big low end, things work VERY well with a subwoofer... :)

I've only played the Stick for an audience a couple of times, and it was usually just for a song or two. The shows that I'm playing later this year will be the first shows I'll play using only the Stick. I'm very comfortable playing the guitar in a live setting. However, playing nothing but the Stick for a concert will certainly keep me on my toes..... :)
Jamie: I was just checking out the samples for Luminous Dimensions -- your music is first-rate and the animations by Michael DuBois are truly amazing! I'm sure you've heard this a thousand times before, but it's hard to believe that you're playing guitar. What drew you too such a "non-standard" approach to both the guitar and music?
Jeff: The easy answer would be "an uncontrollable case of gear acquisition syndrome".... :)

Seriously, a lot of the music that I've enjoyed over the years has been non-guitar based; I've been drawn, at many times, to music that is fairly formless. As someone who had a rhythmic bent to him (I was a percussionist in high school, and actually attended college on a percussion scholarship) it was hard to just completely "let go" of tempo and rhythm. And that's probably why it was SO liberating when I was finally able to do that.

People who have listened to my music over the years will tell you that there are two fairly distinct sides to my music "personality": the formless ambient drifts, and the smaller, melodic solo pieces. Some of my earlier CD's would feature both sides on the same CD. The last CD to do this was To The Shores Of Heaven (2000). The CD's after that, though - there was a sort of "unconscious split"; The Light Beyond (2001) was all drift with no melodic pieces, and Bleed (2002) was all small melodic pieces with very little "drift". I'm not completely certain regarding why this has happened, but like most things in my musical life, I'm quite happy just letting the music go where it pleases. :)

Luminous Dimensions was a situation that was perfect for a very drifty, ambient sound. Michael's use of colors (and I'm fairly certain that he used EVERY color available when he created his pieces... :)) encouraged a very "multi-colored" approach to the music. What's funny is that, while I was getting the music ready for the Luminous Dimensions DVD, I was also sitting in as a guest soloist with Will Ackerman and Liz Story at some of the Windham Hill Winter Solstice concerts - which was close to 100% the opposite of the music I was doing for the DVD.
Jamie: A drummer?!?!? Honestly, I never would have guessed that... Okay, so I guess my next question would be: How (or maybe better, why) did you shift from percussionist to ambient, solo melodic guitarist?
Jeff: My parents gave me an electric guitar as a Christmas present when I was 13 (and I'm somewhat sure that they still regret doing that... :)). For a few years, I was playing both guitar and percussion. The guitar turned out to be the instrument I connected with from an "expression" point of view - there's something about holding an instrument close to me that really feels like "home". And that might be the reason why I was drawn to the Stick - there are very few instruments that you can literally "embrace" while playing them. With the music on Lingering Light being what it is, and having worked through some difficult emotional areas while composing, it was so nice to be able to play the music on an instrument that I would literally hug. A couple of times, it felt like the music was hugging me back.

However, I am still very much draw to rhythms and percussion - whenever I hear it done well, I can't think of too many things better (and here I'm thinking specifically of Peter Gabriel's music - what a PERFECT use of percussion in a rhythmic and melodic sense!).
"The guitar turned out to be the instrument I connected with from an "expression" point of view..."

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: I totally agree with you about Peter Gabriel's music... I've always admired records with that much attention to detail -- everything does sound, as you say, perfect!

Throughout the course of these artist-to-artist conversations, I've asked artists their thoughts on the state of the music industry. You've released records for quite a few years now, so you've seen a few ups and downs in the business. Compared to when you first started releasing records, are things easier or more challenging now for artists in your genre?
Jeff: Things are more EVERYTHING! :) The advent of the Internet - which was in infancy stages when my first CD came out in 1993, has changed everything. And yet there are a lot of "promises" made about the Internet that have yet to really be fulfilled (remember how everyone was thinking that all you had to do was set up a website, sell your CD's, and live happily ever after?).

The really amazing thing is that the prices of pressing a CD have dropped tremendously compared to 12 years ago. New, more stable technology has helped that area tremendously. The home computer "revolution" has made it possible for musicians to not only record professional sounding projects at home, but to master and press CD-R's. Some musicians, in fact, have stopped releasing "traditionally" pressed CD's, and focus solely on releasing
CD-R's. Some of those projects rival CD's released by very big labels, both in sound quality and packaging.

The Internet, though - that's been the main change, in my opinion, and has made things both better (in some ways) and worse (in others). As an artist, there's almost instant access to playlists - if a DJ plays your music, you can find out quickly. If a listener (I'm not fond of the term "fan") wants to get in touch with you, you're just an e-mail away. On the other hand, you quickly find that there are "shady" sides to the Internet as well, in regards to releasing your music. The con artists who originally would do mass postal mailings promising to get you a record contract/get CD sales/get airplay/etc... can now set up professional looking websites and pedal their b.s. there. It's sad, and requires an artist to be more careful than ever before.

And I won't even start on places like iTunes, who just celebrated download # 500 MILLION.... :) I'm not going to say that the CD is dying, but I really believe it's days are numbered, especially as digital compression schemes get better and better, and as broadband becomes more and more available. I mean, we have broadband out here in the woods of Indiana! :) In ten years, I believe we will look at broadband the way we now look at 14.4k modems - we'll think, "How did we ever do ANYTHING with only broadband?" In a few short years, I predict we will be able to download HUGE soundfiles in a VERY small amount of time, and they will sound identical to the original .wav files.

There's a whole generation of listeners who are quite easy not having a "physical" product - they are quite content with mp3 files or AAC files or whatever. Devices like iPods are no longer the strange and exotic pieces of technology they once were; they're pretty commonplace.

Again, the internet has given more of EVERYTHING to musicians - and there's a big challenge there as well: There's SO much music "out there", SO many musicians who can release projects today that, ten years ago, could not have afforded the cost of such a thing. So how do you make sure your own music doesn't fall through the cracks? Better people than I can give you many different answers to that question.

As a musician, my only answer to that is to focus on the quality of my own music - which is why I've actually scaled back my own "release schedule"; it's been three years since Bleed was released, and I'm fine with that. But three years in the ambient music world - you may as well have retired....:) In the end, you do the best you can, and hope that in the "churning" process, the cream will rise to the top. There are some musicians releasing five or six recordings a year - thanks in part to the increased technology today that wasn't available ten years ago (they can record at home, press CD-R's at home, etc...).

Bless them all, I say. I simply don't feel comfortable doing that, because I like to spend a LOT of time with my music, and see if it's something that I can "live" with over time. Ironically, it seems that in the ambient music field - music that many people listen to for relaxation purposes- a lot of artists are in a terrible hurry to crank out a lot of music! :) I'd rather take more time between projects, and make sure everything is as good as I can get it to be - hence the three years between projects. But I was doing other things as well - playing with the Windham Hill folks, doing some session work for Will Ackerman, and scoring a DVD. I found that working on other's music made me listen to my own with a "refreshed" set of ears. It also caused me to listen to my own music with a very "merciless" set of ears... :)
"The advent of the Internet - which was in infancy stages when my first CD came out in 1993, has changed everything."

- Jeff Pearce























"There's a whole generation of listeners who are quite easy not having a "physical" product - they are quite content with mp3 files or AAC files or whatever."

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: From my point of view, you're doing exactly the right thing by taking a "break" between your own projects. Three years between releases doesn't seem that long to me at all, but then mine seem to be that far apart! And I think that working on other/outside projects helps artists develop their own viewpoint.

Let's a talk a bit about some of your non-Jeff Pearce projects. What is the deciding factor for you in choosing to score a film or work as a sideman? Are you looking to do more of these types of projects in the future?
Jeff: I feel almost embarrassed in answering this question.... :) The reason being that I've never really "looked" or "chosen" the projects I've been blessed with! The Luminous Dimensions project, as one example, literally fell into my lap - I got an e-mail out of the blue one day from Michael DuBois, saying: "Hey, I listened to your music when you had some on mp3.com, I downloaded a few songs and put some visuals to them. Can I send you a copy?" I said yeah, sure - I didn't know what to think. Of course, I was blown away! My enthusiasm for Michael's work gave him a "safe place" from where to ask if I'd like to work on something "bigger" with him. And I was THRILLED to!

The same with playing with Will Ackerman - I'd known him for a while, and saw on his website that he and the Winter Solstice crew were playing in a town about three hours from here. I bought a ticket, and then told Will: "Hey, I'll see you guys in November!" He said:"Great - bring an instrument, you can jam with us". I had never felt honored, thrilled, and scared to death at the same time! Well, maybe on my wedding day... :)

So I show up at the concert hall, Will and I rehearse some music before the show, Liz Story overhears it, pulls me aside and says "Look, I know it's short notice, but would you like to play on a fairly new song I'm doing tonight?" Again - thrilled, honored, scared to death. I say,"Sure", fully realizing that there was only 45 minutes until the doors to the concert hall opened. Luckily, I could read music somewhat (still can- somewhat... :)) and Liz had beautifully notated her composition on staff paper. I looked it over a few times, looking for any "space" in which to put some improvisations - that was pretty much it. After I played with Liz, both Will Ackerman and Samite (who was also playing on the tour) said to me: "That was the best we've ever heard that piece sound!" In Will's hotel room after the show, I watched Will and Liz talk about my immediate future: "Ok, I'm bringing Jeff to Vermont in March to work on some sessions I'm producing". "Ok - but I need him in May or June, because that's when I start recording my new project". It was a little surreal.....

I'm glad that there are people in the world who feel comfortable in asking if I'd like to work with them - because I CERTAINLY would not feel comfortable in asking them. Is it a lack of confidence in my skills, or a fear of rejection? Probably a little of both. Or a LOT of both... :) I have a very "nebulous" musical path that I'm on - I very rarely see what's miles ahead of me, instead seeing only a few steps ahead at the time. So I'm quite comfortable with the occasional detour. I'm not a very good "alpha male" - and most of the time I'm fine with that. I've shared the bill at concerts with "alpha males" in the past, and it's almost always been a "memorable" experience ("Look, I'm really glad that SO many critics and SO many people are into your music and worship you from afar - but doesn't the fact that I'm in the men's room standing in front of a urinal give you a SMATTERING of a clue that I'm kind of focused on something else at the moment?") (By the way, this REALLY happened - only I didn't give that little speech - unfortunately).

So I'm not a very good "alpha male". But my collaborative efforts with others have helped me see that I'm a pretty good "beta male".... :)
"I'm glad that there are people in the world who feel comfortable in asking if I'd like to work with them - because I CERTAINLY would not feel comfortable in asking them"

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: Well, the proof is in the pudding... Even though you feel you're "not a very good 'alpha male'", you're still playing with some pretty terrific musicians. You found your own way to meet, and work with, other artists -- and that's the way it should be. And frankly, I think alpha males/females are a dime a dozen now-a-days, particularly in light of how overwhelming corporate the music industry has become. Not nearly enough artists making, labels releasing and programmers playing "spacious music from strings"!

So Lingering Light will soon be released. What's the next step for you? Willing you be playing some live dates in support of the record?
Jeff: ....ummm........I'm sorry - I'm going to have to re-read your question; you wrote something about "pudding" and I kind of spaced off for a moment... :)

Lingering Light will come out, hopefully, in late September. I'm planning on playing a few live dates - on September 24, I'll be playing a "house concert" at Jim Cole's place in Hartford, CT. Jim has hosted some great concerts with the likes of Alex de Grassi and David Darling, so I'm happy to play at his place. I'd like to do more house concerts, actually; about two years ago, I played a house concert that was sponsored by the Echoes radio program, and it was a great experience. So if anyone reading this interview would be interested in such a thing, please get in touch - I'm affordable, due to the fact that I'm desperate to get out of this chaotic household, where I spend my days taking care of my two "energetic" young daughters.... :)

On October 21st, I'll be playing a concert at a planetarium in the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA (see www.lotuspike.com for time and details). I'm quite looking forward to this show! Then, 24 hours later on October 22nd, I'll be playing at the Gatherings concert series in Philadelphia, PA. This will be my fourth time playing there, and I always have SUCH a good time at the Gatherings.

What's next for me musically? I'm kind of wondering that too... :) About a year and a half ago, I wrote quite a few songs that were intended to be some duets - duets with a specific piano player (the Chapman Stick and the piano blend VERY well together). That won't be happening, which is a shame, since the blend of instrument sounds would have been second only to the blend of the individual styles. I'd still like to do some collaboration with a piano or maybe a cello - a nice, big sounding acoustic instrument.

Ultimately, playing music for an audience and composing music exists in two different worlds for me. Composing, for me, is a very meditative, personal, "inwardly turned" process, while playing live is a bit of a different animal - for me, just sharing a space with other people adds an element - and energy - to the music being performed. In the past, after playing a series of concerts, the first thing I do upon returning home is to sit alone in my studio, pick up an instrument, and start exploring again- solitary, meditative, exploratory. That's where the music lives for me. Playing for an audience - that's where the music breathes and reaches out, and, on a good evening, "connects". I'm blessed to experience both worlds.
"Ultimately, playing music for an audience and composing music exists in two different worlds for me."

- Jeff Pearce
Jamie: I sure hope I'll be able to see you play live some day!

So, I'm going to take your earlier suggestion for this last question (bet you thought I forgot, eh?): If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
Jeff: ......whichever tree is fireproof.... :)

Actually, I'd probably pick an oak tree. My wife, daughters and I live on a property filled with trees; a land survey estimated somewhere around 2000 trees. My favorite tree is right outside our kitchen - a huge oak tree that is around 150 years old. It's seen a lot - hot summers, cold winters, tornadoes - pretty much everything short of molten lava. Last winter, after a huge snowstorm, it lost a very big limb- a limb the size of a small tree. But it's still standing - as strong as the tree is, its roots are even stronger. I want to be THAT tree.
Jamie: I think you're already on your way to being the tree you've always wanted to be... Thanks for taking the time to do this artist-to-artist conversation! Best of luck with the release of Lingering Light and please stay in touch!
 
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