I’m a Taurus with my moon in Aquarius and Aries Rising. That about sums it up.
Music is a big part of my life. I’ve been composing almost as long as I’ve been playing. Although self taught, later in life I studied Jazz piano. Favorite musicians? Well… that’s a long list. I have many in each genre.
In classical, I’m wild about Bach and Handel in the Baroque period, classical period belongs to Mozart. I can’t get enough Beethoven these days particularly his late quartets. The Romantic period is packed full of talented composers, Berlioz, Chopin, Verdi, Strauss & Puccini, really too many to list. Modernist favorites include Debussy, Ravel, Stravinsky and definitely Shostakovich! Finally Post-modernist keeps me busy with Philip Glass with his minimal music.
Jazz, it’s all about the Bebop era for me, so Horace Silver, Miles Davis, and of course Bill Evans!
Classic rock goes to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Genesis (early), Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Steely Dan.
After that, 80’s – U2, The Cure. 90’s – Smashing Pumpkins, Green Day & R.E.M. 2000’s – The Black Keys, The Hives & Wilco!
As early as I remember I was writing songs. I will add some archived favorites to the site if there is interest. So, please do comment below if you would like to hear early works.
Enter The Aggressive Pedestrians.
In order of photo above, Mark Johnson, Gary Sako, James Prather & yours truly. We started from the beginning trying to develop our own music and sound. Some early covers included Coltrane’s version of My Favorite Things. But soon fresh songs were getting written between sessions. With so much help, I threw myself into composing. We were producing an album every year for quite a number in a row. Quite a feat for four full time workers, with family and rigid schedules. But our love for the music made our time in the studio very rewarding. In the future, I plan to upload our library of songs for your enjoyment!
And now a special call out to a dear friend of mine who sat right along side me through the years as the music was being made. He has left a hole in my heart that time needs to tend to.
Gabriel liked to spend his time with me. The above left photo shows us working on some music at the River House. The top right photo catches Gabriel seeking a little between-songs attention. The lower right photo on the right shows a much older companion who had become deaf in his later years. He would still head-butt the piano to feel the vibrations. In this photo, you can catch Gabriel preparing to play the piano with his tail, a party favorite that delighted my guests when performed.
Over the years I have had the opportunity to play with others. Al Webb and I go way back. He has a brilliant talent for the acoustic guitar. And his songwriting capabilities are amazing. I hope to be able to showcase some of his work for you in the near future.
These days I find myself drawn toward more epic projects. See EMMW and NOAU. I am branching out into new areas of musical exploration. I’m trying to close the gap on musicals and rock operas. It may be a throw back to old radio, but I believe the imagination of our culture can always use a good shot in the arm, don’t you? Please take your time here on my website. Look around there lots of music sound bites to listen to and some to purchase should you feel compelled.
Peace – Michael Hemphill