As a music aficionado who’s strictly a voyeur, a writer who’s never played a lick or tried to fit different musical components together into a cohesive whole, I’m intrigued by the idea of a bass player as bandleader. When your instrument is the wallflower of the bunch, the subtle rhythmic marker lurking between, behind and underneath featured elements like guitar, drums, keys and sax, how does your musical personality find expression in the music?
Bay Area bassist/composer Edo Castro achieves his own distinctive voice in significant part by featuring a pair of seven-string basses with all of the expanded tonal range and expressiveness that description would imply. The ultimate beauty of this album, though, is in the way Castro weaves his nimble lines in and out of the foreground of these tracks, playing a mostly supporting role on ensemble jazz numbers like “The Gathering” and “Bent Blues,” then taking the spotlight on softer, sparser tunes like the contemplative “57th Latitude,” where he is accompanied only by Michael Marning’s e-bow and midi and loop textures, and “A Travel Lodge Moment,” a sort of post-bop fugue.
Castro clearly feels equally as comfortable powering through the modern jazz grooves of the former pair as tiptoeing through the more contemplative, New Age-ish contrails of the latter. On “Sneaky Pete,” Castro finds the seam between the two approaches, delivering a quiet, steady interlude of a solo in the midst of a funky little soul-jazz number featuring Richard Gee’s snappy, stinging lead guitar.
Much of the remainder of the album unfolds in similar form, as Castro alternates solo/duo meditative moments (“When The Stars Fell On You,” “Drifting Across The Night Sky,” “As The Cherry Blossoms Fall”) with deftly executed, often-challenging jazz trio numbers (the synth-heavy “All In,” the lounge-silky “Left Of Center,” the Mark Isham trumpet spotlight “Sacred Grafitti”). Castro’s iconoclastic side is perhaps most evident in the bravura “No End In Sight,” where he and guest Al Caldwell delivering a pulsing, spider-fingered, utterly unique duet between Caldwell’s nine-string bass and Castro’s seven-string, with percussion and synth accents for texture.
The common thread throughout all of this musical adventuring is Castro’s tasteful, precise playing and warm, open musical vision. On Sacred Grafitti, Castro explores the boundaries between modern jazz and meditative New Age with uncommon subtlety and grace. - Jason Warburg, The Daily Vault.
"Bumper-sticker" jazz? Sort of...
Sacred Graffiti is an eclectic yet virtuoso offering from Bay area bassist Edo Castro in which inspiration comes from daily emotive impressions including a bumper-sticker, scribbles on a wall, signs of various purpose and from these static and fixed messages, an evocative and emotive pulse is brought forth.
With all but one tune written and composed by Castro and with guests including Michael Manring, Mark Isham and Steve Erquiaga there is no questioning musical credibility and this is established from the beginning. "A Thread Of Blue" opens with vinyl static and midi bass washes before effortlessly flowing into an urban Latin feel with Erquiaga laying down a slightly whimsical solo which is but a taste of things to come. "57th Latitude" has Castro and veteran bassist Michael Manring playing with a sense of musical cohesion that is stunning among two such gifted artists. The title track is the haunting "Sacred Graffiti" featuring Mark Isham on trumpet, a dark and at times brooding melody that is not to be dismissed easily. "Bent Blues" may showcase the lyrical virtuosity of Castro as well as any piece on Sacred Graffiti.
Well paced, thoughtful and a stellar performance that could easily flip to the more self indulgent. Instead, Sacred Graffiti is a wonderfully organic, slightly eclectic but incredibly artistic vision from a bass player that is deserving of far wider recognition. From a Latin flair to something reminiscent of later Windham Hill, Castro is making his unique musical voice heard in an otherwise commercial myriad of soulless clutter.
Perfect pacing, intriguing compositions and a stellar sound have both Edo Castro and Passion Star Records scoring big here! If this release slipped past you then take notice!
Tracks: A Thread Of Blue; The Gathering; 57th Latitude; Sneaky Pete; When The Stars Fell On You; Drifting Across The Night Sky; A Travel Lodge Moment; All In; Bent Blues; As The Cherry Blossoms Fall; ESP; No Chance In Sight; Evidence; Left Of Center; Sacred Graffiti; A Thread Of Blue (Fine).
Personnel: Al Caldwell; Michael Manring; David Friesen; Percy Jones; Mark Isham; Steve Erquiaga; Richard Gee; Chris Stafford; Mark Bernfield; Jonathan Moe; Alex Aspinall; Erik Lindquist; Dan Zinn; Chris Cardone; Ray Cooper; Dray Prayor; Savannah Jo Lack.
- Brent Black, @Critical Jazz 12/2011
Having greatly enjoyed this multiple-stringed bass monster’s previous release, Phoenix, I thoroughly looked forward to listening to this latest offering. I’m happy to report that I’m not disappointed: quite the contrary! The range of styles and influences on this disc is quite astonishing, as is the fact that Edo Castro retains his individual and trademark tasteful approach throughout. A rare achievement!
The CD begins with vinyl static and midi-bass washes (‘A thread of blue Part 1’), before Dan Zinn’s sax kicks off the latinesque ‘The gathering’, anchored by Castro’s bass, Greg Sankovich’s keys and Alex Aspinall’s drums. Steve Erquiaga turns in a playful electric guitar solo (I’d only ever heard him on acoustic before), and Zinn hits some excitingly angular harmonized phrases towards the end of the tune. ‘57th latitude’ comprises the meeting of those two masters of tasteful fretless, Castro and Michael Manring. EC is responsible for the melody and the loops, Manring solos – spellbinding, this collaboration! ‘Sneaky Pete’ sounds like a refreshing update of Booker T. & The MGs (EC and drummer Mark Bernfield being joined by guitarist Richard Gee and midi-axe player Chris Stafford), replete with an exhilarating bass solo. ‘When the stars fell on you’ is all Castro, in an introspective (even plaintive) frame of mind, with only Ray Cooper supplying keyboard washes and colors. A similarly pastoral atmosphere (albeit suffused with quiet joy) characterizes ‘Drifting across the night sky’, with sparse contributions by percussionist Jonathan Moe and violinist Savannah Jo Lack. Reference: perhaps Windham Hill’s Montreux? ‘A travel lodge moment’ teams EC with electric upright maestro David Friesen, again with fine, sympathetic perc accompaniment by Moe. ‘All in’ is an all-too-brief driver, featuring Castro on midi bass and Dray Pryor’s electronic drums. ‘Bent Blues’ reunites the trio of Castro, Sankovich and Aspinall, with the addition of guitarist Erik Lindquist: this is blues-derived swing, great fun. On ‘As the cherry blossoms fall’, EC appears to be paying homage to (at least part of) his heritage: an Eno-esque pentatonic reflection. ‘ESP’ is a brief vignette that has EC teaming up again with the violinist. ‘No change in sight’ is a bass-heavy tour de force, featuring Al Caldwell on bass, perc, synth and vocals: a riveting performance by the two bass players. ‘Evidence’ offers the next highlight, in the form of Castro’s collaboration with cult bassist Percy Jones on trademark fretless bass and slide harmonics. On ‘Left of center’, the quartet of track 9 offers a gentle, albeit LOC ballad. Lindquist’s guitar work is exquisite, as is EC’s fretless solo. The title track could be a tribute to the Marcus Miller/ Miles Davis collaboration. With Mark Isham on trumpet, this could be the soundtrack for an as yet unmade film: a firm favorite; before Castro rides things out, bookending this gorgeous album with ‘A thread of blue Part 2’.
Not a single weak track – this is a sterling achievement!
-Kai Horsthemke/ December 2010
A Chat with Edo Castro
by Martin Simpson
Edo, Lisa Star, the Principal of Passion Star Records, recently sent me a package containing your 10 track, second solo effort, Phoenix, which runs for just under 62 minutes. What I’d like to do is to have a chat to you about this disc.
How long did the project take from conception to final mixing?
I started working on this project as soon as my first CD “Edo” was completed. That first CD took 7 years to make. I didn’t want to let another 7 years go by so I wanted to strike while the iron was hot. “Phoenix” From start to finish was approximately 1 year. The project almost didn’t make the light of day but with the help of Producer/Engineer Ray Cooper and Lisa Star, the project was resurrected. That’s the main reason for the title. Besides I love the name “Phoenix.”
Is Phoenix a Quantum jump forward from your first album?
Is this album a Quantum leap forward? I don’t think so. If anything Phoenix represents ideas that were percolating during those 7 years. Much of the music on Phoenix came about through experimentation using my Conklin Midi bass and various texture building with the use of effects pedals. My first release hinted at this. But more so, Phoenix is perhaps more introspective and quiet in mood. Some people gave me flack for the “lack lustre” in the “chops” department. No flashy speedy songs here. Fast speedy playing is something I didn’t go for. It’s always been about melody, mood and feeling. How does the music make you feel? If you put this music on you’re not about to throw a wild party but it may encourage you to sit quietly and enjoy letting your mind wander or sit with a friend and let it be a soundtrack in the background. I also wanted the listener to forget they’re hearing a bass player and transition into hearing compositions. As I said before, I’m a composer who happens to play bass.
I first got to know you through Lee Barker who makes his own Barker Bass, electric fretted upright instrument. I noticed that you didn’t use one of his instruments on the album. Instead, you used various ERB’s made by Conklin (your favourite manufacturer). Could you give us a bit of info about the basses you used on the project?
Lee Barker is a wonderful friend, builder and a visionary. During the making of Phoenix I was focusing on what “my sound” is and how it’s created. Despite my love of Lee’s instruments and sound, the ERB 7 string bass is where I have settled in. I cleared my closet of anything with less than 7 strings and stopped trying to be the “all inclusive sounding bassist.” To find my voice I had to let go of preconceived notions of what I thought I should be doing as a bassist. I decided that I can’t be everything to everyone by playing acoustic bass, electric upright, etc. It’s a difficult choice to give up particular avenues of employment when you stop being versatile in your array of bass sounds and focus in on who you are as an artist. I once had a great variety of basses for any occasion. Now my collection is small and quite specific to my needs.
My Conklin basses have been the backbone of this experimentation and self- realization. The Conklin bass on the cover of Phoenix is an 8 string fretless. 8 Strings is about as far as I’ll go. These basses have a great feel to them and the sound is always remarkable where ever I play or whatever I plug them into. I also used an Aquilina Bertone Deluxe 7 String fretless bass on this album. This bass was built by French luthier Sebastien Aquilina. All my Conklin basses have Kent Armstrong pickups and Bartolini 3 band active EQ. I use custom ordered GHS Contact core super steels on all my basses. I’ve been using GHS for some 20 years now.
What qualities does the Aquilina have that the Conklins haven’t?
The Aquilina bass has a thinner body and is chambered. The neck is bolt on but composed of quarter-sawn maple that has a jointed tilt headstock. This gives a different tonal quality to the instrument allowing for Subtle nuances in the mid range. It’s quite nice to play.
Getting back to the album. The sleeve of Phoenix, is very informative and well laid out. I have to admit that although the black and white pic under the tray is interesting, I’m a little lost as to its significance.
All the photography on both my albums were taken by my wife Sharon Green. It was one of the things that I found attractive about her besides her good looks. (LOL) When we first met she showed me her portfolio and I was smitten. Anyway the bird photo under the tray was something I was attracted to. It’s like looking at a field of wheat blowing in the wind. Something about that photo just made me stop. It made me feel good. It was either that photo or a photo of me. The birds won.(LOL) I wanted the packaging on Phoenix to be like a visual story where you just looked about while listening. This takes me back to the days when we had “Vinyl albums.” I spent hours looking at the liner notes and pictures while listening to the music. I wanted that! Granted the CD format is harder to read and restrictive space wise but I think Alicia Buelow did a fantastic job on the graphics. As to the significance of this particular photo, It tells a story and causes you to wonder what that moment was. Are the birds landing or are they taking off?
I was very interested in hearing the piece that you did with fellow bassist, Mark Egan – can we expect to hear any other gems from you two guys in the future?
Mark has been a great influence on me particularly in the realm of melodic playing. His horn-like phrasing is beautiful. Not to mention his tone. I slowly became friends with Mark and at some point brought up recording and that’s how that came about. “Blue Asia” was perfect for us. There are only 2 bassists and a drummer on this track. I’m playing my Conklin midi bass while Mark played his Pedulla 8 String fretless bass. Will we be working together soon? I can’t say but I can tell you that bassist Michael Manring, David Friesen and Yves Carbonne will be guests on my next CD. (And maybe a few more surprises. We’ll see.)
From Here, I’ll allow you to take us through the album, starting with:-
Beneath An Evening Sky
This was written by one of my favourite composer/guitarist Ralph Towner. I first heard the piece from the CD “Oregon 45th Parallel.” A friend of mine gave me a transcription and I learned the chords, (well as close as I could) and melody. It is seemingly simplistic when you first listen to it but it is a study in subtle harmonic shifts and time change. It starts off in 6/4 but goes momentarily into 5/4 then back into 6/4. The wonderful thing is you as a listener don’t hear it nor feel it. The chords are voiced very open and wide. You can’t just play any old lick or string of chops in this piece. It forces you to really belly up to the bar and play some strong melodic content. Anything else would be a disaster. I think I did an exceptional job of not falling into those traps.
This piece is based off a 7/4 pattern I created using harmonics. I wanted to write a composition inspired by a dream I had about skeletons. The dream at first frightened me but then it switched to a shamanistic experience. My interpretation of my dream is that the bones, our bones, held all the energy of our experiences despite the fact that the living tissue was gone. The bones held the mystical energy of our lives. So with all that I tried to create a dreamy experience through this piece. All the textures created were generated through my pedal board effects using long delays, reverb and chorusing. The Tabla was the finishing touch on this piece. It really gave this piece that mystical quality.
The bass melody was inspired by a section in Pat Metheny's CD "The Way Up" found in the beginning of "Part 2" played by bass great Steve Rodby.
Song of The Electric Whales
I created a wonderful textured loop and decided to record it. But then it sat for about a month. Then one night I watched the film “The Whale Rider” and it was during the footage of the whales that gave me the idea, the rest just happened. I knew how to create those “whale-like” sounds for years and always made them this little joke, but I didn’t know it would become a serious texture for a piece. The loop was slow and undulating giving the sense of being weightless or underwater. It was all there for me to put together.
It's the first song I've ever written. (circa 1979-80) I was still in music school at the time. It all fell together rather quickly. I was taking an Afro-Cuban Percussion Ensemble class when the instructor asked for original compositions to play at the end of the semester for a concert. Despite not having any prior composing skills, I jumped at the chance.
Blue Asia is built around the bass line. The original bass part is far different than the one recorded on Phoenix. The original bass groove was based off a 6/8 African percussion pattern called Naningo. Around 1989-90 I switched the bass line and feel to a Brazilian 6/8 very similar to what Pat Metheny popularized during that period.
The melody was purposefully static to be propelled and float above the percolating bass & percussion textures. The title came about as a statement of the form of the piece and who wrote it. "Blue" for the Minor Blues and "Asia" for the person who composed it: "me." Suffice it to say it does conjure up some wonderful visuals.
I did record a version of Blue Asia in Chicago in 1989-90 with a Band Called "Viewpoint". This band was comprised of Guitar, Vibraphones, Steel Drums, Drums and Bass. It's really beautiful and quite different than the version on "Phoenix." I love both versions.
The composition is wonderful in that it can be played with any variety of instruments and still express the over all quality of the harmony. To have Mark Egan on this session has been a life long dream for me but more so his contribution to this recording is timeless.
Chance of Rain
Ah another one of those things that just happened. In my exploration of sound, I created another loop and recorded it. Then I decided I wanted to play like Tony Levin, imitating the Stick. Then I got my friend Rob, to play the gorgeous pedal Steel. I love his approach to this instrument. I wanted the music to have this feel of something hanging about, like a storm on the horizon. I really love just allowing myself to hear what it is I want to create and go for it. Because there are many times I just struggle with ideas and having them go nowhere. I’m a firm believer that once you’re given the gift of the idea, you must run with it. As you know artistic creation has more equatorial troughs than great trade winds.
Oh now we’re digging deep. I wrote this during my years in Chicago between 1982 -1990, while learning my trade and finishing up my studies at the music college. I had 3 little unfinished pieces written down on paper and none of them were panning out. So one day while sitting at the piano I had all 3 scores sitting there: The first score was this bit in C Major with the descending melody with chords, the 2nd score had this bit with D minor and a melody and the 3rd score in the key of F had this little nursery rhyme bit. I just laid them out from left to right and played them together ponderously (I’m not that great a pianist) together. That’s how this piece came to life. Separately they were going nowhere but together they fit perfectly to each other. It was originally titled “Morning Visitation” but later I renamed it to “Phoenix”. The piece was resurrected from my past and became the title track for this CD.
The Gift of Blue (Part 1)
The flutist, Blue, is an American Indian. We met at a gig a few years earlier and wanted to someday record together. The Gift of Blue part 1 was a recorded accident. What we trying to do was record Part 2 but during the session, someone outside the Studio had ignited some large fireworks, so if you listen closely at the end of this recording you’ll hear several booms in successive order. They sounded like drums from the heavens. We stopped the recording but I said, “let’s keep it. I have an idea…”The chord arpeggio bits was something I was playing while Blue was recording this, so I recorded that later.
I never intended to make another version of Amazing Grace. This was one of those moments where it happened. I created this wonderful looped event but I didn’t have a melody for it. So for weeks I created all kinds of swill but nothing worth keeping. Then one day I started the same loop and the melody for Amazing Grace came out from under my fingers. That’s when I said, “THAT’S IT.” The lyrics came about in the same way. I had been listening to the recording of this arrangement and started humming this melody, then the words to the melody. So I wrote some alternate lyrics to Amazing Grace, taking out the “wretch” and giving it a more positive spin. You must admit I don’t think you’ve ever heard an arrangement like this.
The Gift of Blue (Part 2)
Part 2 is the full realization of Blue’s melody that we started to record with Part 1.
I wanted to record a piece you could sing along with and feel good about. I had been playing around with this idea for some time. There’s a bit of improvisation in the middle there where I just let things happen. The tapping that I do here is something I had been playing with for some time as well and finally found a home for it. It really does stick in your mind once you hear it. And if you walk away humming a bit of this then I’ve done my job as a composer.
Have you taken the album out on the road yet – and if so, how many musicians are you using?
I haven’t officially taken it “on the road” but I have been playing bits of the album when I go out and play solo bass shows. This is really fun and challenging to do. This is a topic for another discussion because it addresses a variety of technical hurdles and other artistic challenges. Another interview perhaps?
Thanks very much for your time Edo. Good luck with this beautiful album.
Martin Simpson - Bass Player Online, South Africa (Feb 7, 2008)
They don’t call it mood music for nothing. Whether my mood is upbeat or downbeat, serious or playful, extroverted or introverted, there are musical choices aplenty to complement, enhance or counteract it.
Edo Castro -- in addition to playing one of the coolest-looking instruments ever built, a fretless eight-string bass – on his sophomore solo release Phoenix delivers what I can only describe as mood music. It has flavorings of instrumental jazz, world music and New Age, but, perhaps surprisingly for someone whose primary instrument is generally thought of as a rhythm anchor, the emphasis is on sonic textures rather than beats or structures.
Early tracks “Beneath An Evening Sky,” “Bone Dreams” and “Song Of The Electric Whales” have a contemplative, unrushed, elegant feel, becoming almost hypnotic in places. The synth textures, percussion and Debopriyo Sarkar’s tabla on “Bone Dreams” are especially evocative.
“Blue Asia” has greater structure, lending it more of straight jazz feel, but it could hardly be called mainstream when it’s built around a duet between two bass players, Castro and guest Mark Egan. This tasty cut also features intricate percussion work from Paul Van Wageningen and Ian Dogole, as well as production crisp enough to remind of Steely Dan.
“Chance Of Rain” and “The Gift Of Blue (Parts 1 & 2)” carry forward the earlier contemplative mood and pace, though “Chance” has a particularly steady-thrumming bass line that adds firmness and tension. In between, the title track returns to straight jazz, with a stuttering rhythm section underpinning some terrific sax work from George Brooks, complemented nicely by Lorn Leber’s electric guitar and Tommy Kesecker’s vibes.
Castro is a San Francisco Bay Area musician who has played with numerous local luminaries, including Jill Knight. Phoenix is his second solo outing and a great pickup if you’re either in a mellow mood or looking to instill one. While this is music you could work or play to, it’s most suited to simple contemplation, and isn’t that something we could all use a little more of in our lives?
Wer Eric Serra-Soundtracks mag, hier besonders die nachdenklicheren Seiten, dem wird "Phoenix" beste Dienste leisten. Sogar an die Glanzzeiten eines Andreas Vollenweider werde ich erinnert. An Zeiten, als die Geschichte hinter der Musik, die Geschichte, die aus der Musik selbst entsteht, den größeren Nährwert haben sollte, als die Musik an sich. Hochkarätige Gäste sind neben George Brooks oder Mark Egan auch Rodney Franklin und Al Caldwell.
"Phoenix" funktioniert als Klangteppich, als Poesie oder als Soundtrack zu einem Film, der in jedem Kopf anders aussieht, aber stets Leidenschaft, Abenteuer, Magie und – ich bin mir nicht zu schade, es zu sagen –, Fernweh als natürliche Laufrichtung hat. Das ist sicher nicht Jedermanns Sache; wen diese Zeilen jetzt aber ansprechen, der wird sich in den zehn Songs pudelwohl fühlen.
Edo Castro's Phoenix:
Very expressive - from ethereal to grooving - great writing and playing!
The best place to start for me is that this CD is by a bass player but you wouldn't know it. Edo is first and foremost a composer here and the album is a complete statement from beginning to end. The bass playing is top notch and the sounds he draws from his many stringed electrics range from ethereal to deep and in the pocket. But Edo's respect for the music shines through so beautifully here as it often doesn't when a bassist gets the opportunity to "step out". There's no showing off here as the compositions and textures are pre-eminent. I especially like how Edo lets the other musicians express themselves in a very un-selfish way. In fact, expression is what this CD is all about.
Incorporating Jazz, fusion, rock, funk and New Age sounds, Phoenix is the best CD yet from SF based Edo, bass ace extraordinare. Edo's forte is his showmanship on Conklin 7 fretted and 8 fretless basses, Conklin 6 midi bass and bass loops. On his 2006 CD, "Phoenix" Edo is supported by a
range of excellent players including former Pat Metheny bass great Mark Egan, performing here on 8 string fretless. Edo's music is haunting and makes for a sublime ambient musical experience. Influences such as mid 80's Pat Metheny Group and Jaco Pastorius can be heard and there's even a
cover of "Beneath an Evening Sky" written by Ralph Towner.
20th Century Guitar Staff - 20th Century Magazine (Nov 1, 2006)
I love the CD. I enjoyed your expression and compositions.
Thanks for asking me to participate .
Mark Egan (Aug 16, 2006)
Passion Star Records
Finding her passion in Marin's music scene
Marin Independent Journal
Article Launched:03/15/2007 05:32:15 PM PDT
For 13 years, Lisa Star worked for George Lucas' game division, LucasArts, becoming the company's international business and operations manager.
Then, a year ago, her career path took a melodic turn. At an outdoor house concert in Marin, she got bitten. Not by a mosquito or the family dog. The music bug got her.
She got so turned on listening to jazz bassist Edo Castro, singer Deborah Winters, percussionist Ian Dogole and other local musicians that she was inspired to start her own independent label, Passion Star Records, based in Larkspur (www.passionstarmusic.com).
"I absolutely knew I had to be part of this music scene," she told me. "My passion is music, not games. So I said, 'Hey, let's get a record label together. Let's get some publishing together. Let's put on a show!'"
Her first release was a New Age solo piano CD, "Tabernacle," by her partner, Canadian keyboardist Ray Cooper.
Now she's come out with her sophomore effort, "Phoenix," a slickly produced CD of ambient jazz showcasing the talents of musician and composer Edo Castro on seven- and eight-string fretless basses.
He gets a lot of support from some fine players, among them saxophonist George Brooks, drummer Paul Van Wageningen, electric guitarist Lorn Leber, pedal steel player Rob Powell, vibraphonist Tommy Kesecker and members of Marin's Lighthouse Singers.
Castro composed seven of the 10 pieces on "Phoenix." The opening track, "Beneath an Evening Sky," is by Oregon's Ralph Towner, one of the pioneers of new age jazz. The Lighthouse singers are featured on an innovative rendition of the traditional song "Amazing Grace." And an Apache double-wind flute player named Blue contributes a couple of deeply evocative tunes.
The liner notes are laced with Castro's poetry, which could be precious, but works if you read the lines with the music in your ears. While some of the tracks settle into a nice soft jazz groove, others are moody and ethereal. They make me want to put the CD on and read Castro's poems over the music, which I may do this week on my Radio Liberatore Podcast.
Lisa started out at Skywalker Ranch on the switchboard and got hired on with the seminal games division when it had just 45 employees.
"When I left, it was 100 times that," she said.
"I think I got hired on pure excitement and enthusiasm. It was work, but fun, learning about computer games. I fit right into that wacky world."
While at LucasArts, Lisa sang in Industrial Light & Magic's Noontime Band. She also writes songs and music for films in her home studio.
But, more than anything else, the Marin music scene could use a good business head, and it looks as if she has one on her shoulders. Last year, she earned her professional certificate in music business from the Berklee School of Music in Boston. And she has all that Lucasfilm experience behind her.
"I'm trying to apply what I extracted from that experience toward music," she said. "It was good training for what I'm up to now. Music is changing so much in how it's being sold and marketed."
The Passion Star CDs are so well produced that they qualified for Grammy nomination consideration, quite an accomplishment for a brand new record label.
"That was a great indicator that we were on the right path, " Lisa said.
"It shows we achieved the level of production quality we were going for. It's been an amazing journey. I'm blown away by what we've accomplished. "
Ray Cooper's Tabernacle: Next to Silence
If there was a place in our lives where eloquence was a sound and serenity was place, Tabernacle would be the soundtrack for that moment. Ray has created a stirring collection of piano works that is nothing short of being next to silence. Beautiful....
Reviewer: Edo Castro Bassist and Composer (Jan 9, 2006)
Ray Cooper's piano music is very soothing and touching. It wraps around you like a cocoon and penetrates to the innermost depths of your soul. Really positive feelings are felt in Ray Cooper's "Tabernacle" album and he generously splashes them out. Ray Cooper's music will raise your spirits and open the expanse of your imagination.
Independent musical critic
Serge Kozlovsky - Independent Music Critic (Apr 11, 2007)