Influence is all around us whether we are conscious of it or not. Ultimately what resonates with us comes out in how we express ourselves and in our art. Chances are if a thought or idea resonates with you, it probably does with someone else as well. I like to think of this as a kind of collective consciousness. I listen to music frequently while driving, as I suspect many people might do. Two CD’s that have been in the car lately (I don’t get around to changing them that often) are Brad Mehldau’s latest “Highway Rider” and a mix CD of Foo Fighters songs. So I was influenced by this music I’m sure when I wrote “The Valley Below” two days ago. Not because I want to sound like Brad Mehldau, but something in that music speaks to me and inspires me to find my own musical thoughts, exploring in a similar language.
i think John mentioned before that he too had drawn some inspiration from “Highway Rider,” in his animated video of his tune “Twenty Seven.”
“The Valley Below” also explores some of the ideas that are prominent to my musical thoughts. Namely the influence of pop music in terms of a musical “hook.” Being that is an instrumental piece, there are no lyrics to evoke imagery. So in terms of musical form, taking four measure sections and changing and developing them to create a larger shape or arrangement. They are like characters in a musical short story.