James White seeks to fuse elements of traditional classical, new age, and classical minimalism into one style. Fans from Reich to Roach will have plenty to enjoy here.
James White began composing serious music in his first year of college, in 1986. It was during this time, he fell in love with the minimalist style of such composers as Steve Reich and John Adams. He also performed in a jazz ensemble formed by legendary organist Johnny Hammond Smith. He spent the next 4 years gearing his music studies toward serious classical composition. His appetite for composition was voracious, yet he subscribed to the "quality-not-quantity" mindset. Upon graduation in 1990, the music department staff awarded him the "Outstanding Graduate" award. Outside of school, he had also began to enjoy new age composers such as Patrick O'Hearn and Michael Stearns, but didn't reveal his new interest to his fellow classmates or instructors who would certainly have frowned upon it. Over the next several years, and throughout his graduate studies in music, James honed his composition skills even further, writing more elaborate traditional classical music along the lines of Ravel and Debussy. He discusses what came next in his own words.
"Upon receving my Masters of Arts in Music in 1993, I made the difficult decision to leave music. I knew that if I went on for a PhD, I would probably end up being a college professor somewhere. If I didn't go for a PhD, I wouldn't be able to support myself with music. My professors had always told me that the only way to really make a living in music was to be a college professor or a performer. But I didn't study music to teach it, I studied to be better. So I decided to go and start a family and get a job. No matter how well things went, I knew that one day I had to return to music.
In March of 2001, that day arrived. It was a fluke series of events that led to my sitting down to compose that day. Once I started, 7 years of silence had come to an end. I wrote with the passion and conviction I had so many years earlier. The result was "Irish Fields" which is an analog keyboard salute to my once-hidden new age roots. I went on to compose many more tracks for what would become my Wake the Spirits CD. I was greatly assisted by producer Michael Homyk in getting this project completed.
In the 3 years since then, I have become more determined than ever to erase the line between classical minimalism, classical crossover, and new age music. The average listener of these styles has a very sophisticated taste in music, and they're open to new sounds. The new age listener isn't necessarily used to hearing an orchestra perform music that resembles new age. Likewise, the classical and minimalist fan may shun new age because it is usually all synthesized. My goal is to write music that is carefully crafted to appeal to fans from Steve Reich to Steve Roach, without alienating any of them.
In 2003, I was given the opportunity to do the music for a film short, and found the experience quite rewarding. Other film projects have started to come my way and I have accepted them with honor, such as Divine Souls, the full-length film from Texas filmmaker James McDonald, which I am working on now."
Maurice Ravel, John Adams, Steve Reich, Johnny Hammond, Alan Hovhaness.
Gigastudio 2.5 160 along with Sonar 2XL.