shadow-logo

“After Vlad had sucked the life out of Father Grimes he started to roam looking for more human wine to satisfy his hunger, he could smell the fresh scent of young blood. The scent drew him to the Baker Estate a bedroom window was open on the third floor, within seconds the monster was standing at the foot of the bed and before him was the most beautiful human creature he had ever seen, he entered the beautiful humans mind and whispered…” “I Will Turn You” just one of the many intriguing compositions by a good friend, workmate and composer known as the ShadowofNine, Shadow for short. He has requested I avoid disclosing his real identity for reasons I will allude to later in this review.

Immediately after I agreed to his terms I started by querying him about the name, ‘ShadowofNine’, to which he responded, “I originally chose the name Shadow but it was disallowed on iCompositions as being too short so I lengthened it to ShadowofNine.

I first met ShadowofNine (Shadow for short) in the fall of 2007 when I applied for work at a local North Shore establishment. Although I had applied for a position in another department, Shadow was the one assigned to interview me for a position in his. I accepted and a strong friendship developed soon after we started working together which remains to this day.

I eventually learned that Shadow had a passion for music but it was not until later in the first year of our meeting that I learned just how deep that passion was and how it had developed. Unknown to me at that time an even greater insight into this gentle, dedicated and hardworking individual was yet to come.

Born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on November 5, 1944 his (Shadows) family later moved to Vancouver, British Columbia for two years; when he was ages four and five. Then it was off to Regina, Saskatchewan for the balance of his youth, as he puts it. It was there that he spent his high school years at Balfour Technical School; in 1983, the school’s name changed to Balfour Collegiate. After graduation, he moved to Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario for just one short year.

As he (Shadow) so boldly puts it, “I did not like Ryerson so I got into radio instead”. The year was 1970 when Shadow began his career in FM Radio and, as he stated, “Not having any formal training I learned on-the-job”. “Besides”, he commented, with a twinkle in his eye and a smirk on his face, “I always had a good voice, and was a ham growing up, so it was easy for me to do radio right out of the shoot”. Eventually, he informed me; he moved into AM Top 40 and hated it so he left to pursue other interests. As he said, “the pay was the shits, so there were no regrets”.

“In reality”, he stated, “I went into radio because I was interested in music, in all its different genres”. “For me”, he continued, “the radio years were where I studied music and artists different takes”. “The program”, he explains, “was a free form progressive music show. I had total freedom to do my own thing.” “It was a fun time for me”, he commented.

I recall reading Shadows bios on iCompositions and in particular, I recalled one comment as follows, “I do have a history in the music biz”. He also wrote about how he had served as vice president of a recording industry association and managed a few artists, promoted concerts, ran a now-defunked record label and had sat on panels for the Canadian music industry…”.

Shadow had never mentioned any of the latter in our multiple conversations including his day with the late Johnny Cash, so ever being the inquisitive type I decided to ask him for every juicy detail. True to form as soon as I pressed for an answer, it was with his usual great humility that he replied, “Well not much to tell, those are some of my experiences in the music industry”. “Probably the best experience”, he continues, “was in the concert promotion part of the business, I learned the promotion work with many big stars…”

Big stars, I thought with a silly grin, and pressed for more. I soon learned he did mean big stars as he continued, “Some of the acts I worked with, mostly as an associate promoter, included, Pink Floyd, Procol Harem, Bill Cosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Kiss, Joe Cocker and many, many others”. I was aghast in utter astonishment by this point and all I could think of was, WOW!

“Canadian groups”, he continued, “were groups that me and my partner could sign and send province wide, that’s where we made good money”, he smiled wryly with a faraway look in his eye. It was if he had stepped back into the past and was reliving some special point in time. Then in the blink of an eye he was back in the now as he continued, “We would get together with a service group in a community, they would hustle tickets for a good commission and a fund-raiser”. “When you can put 3,000 kids into a hockey rink in Estevan, Saskatchewan you can make big dollars”, he stated. “That was then, not that way anymore as bigger promoters paid attention and squeezed us small guys out by signing a tour for the whole country”, he commented. “It was a lot of fun”, he added, “but it was also hard work and stressful…”

When asked to comment on his past position as the vice president of a recording association Shadow was quick to point out. “I was the vice president of the Saskatchewan Recording Industry Association for two-(2) years in the 80’s”. “I also ran a small Indi label called, Ten Bear Records”, he continued, “with two other chaps”. Shadow went on to say that, “at the same time I managed a Progressive Rock group called, “Mary, Mary” and a funk band called “Funk ‘N’ Stein“. He went on to describe how he had launched albums for the later two bands and had had moderate success with both. “However” he commented, “I did not enjoy the baby sitting that you must do with Artists, who can be very needy and immature”.

“Every year”, Shadow continued, “I attended conferences about the music business, was invited to sit on panels regarding artist promotion and submitting demos to record companies in the late 80’s and early 90’s”. In 1995, he (Shadow) moved to Vancouver and never reinvolved himself in the music industry organizations. That is not to say he left his love for music behind as he embarked on a new adventure, but it seems this time music was to be purely a hobby.

It was at this point of the interview that he (Shadow) explained why he chose not have his name published in this article as well as why he does not use it in his present gig as a composer at iCompositions. As he so boldly states, “I do it (use a moniker as he calls it) so that I can have a private life”. “My days of helping young artists are over”, he continues, “I have my own thing that I want to do and I just don’t want any intrusions on my space…”

He has been involved in his own thing, as he calls it, on and off for twenty-(20) years now and it is in just the last two-(2) years that he has taken it to a different level. The level he was at when I first met him one year ago which still holds me in awe. You have to know the man to begin understand my statement but that is another story.

The Shadow I have come to know (The hardworking individual and musical hobbyist) has no plans as far as his music goes beyond composing and playing for fun. As he stated, with a laugh, “I will compose and play tunes until the grim reaper appears and says the gig is over”.

Despite the fact, he stated he was composing for fun I decided to ask if he labeled himself as an amateur or professional for his compositions to which he had this to say. “Depends what your interpretation of pro is, is it if you sell a piece of music you are a pro, or”, he continues, “is it your attitude?” He went on to say, “One thing I think I am is an Artist, I paint pictures with sound…”

When asked how he actually created/composed his musical creations on his computer, he (Shadow) provided me with the following information. He told me he uses programs called Garage Band and Ableton Live, to create his compositions with hopes of soon expanding onto Logic 8, which as he wryly comments, “…is an expanded version of Garage Band with more bells and whistles”.

His computer of choice is the Macintosh or to be precise, an imac desk model with a two-(2)2 GHz core and two-(2) Duo Gigs 677 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. In addition, he uses 2 hard drives, a 160 Gig internal and a 500 Gig external drive.

Did I mention he also uses an M-audio 49 keyboard, a D 50 Roland keyboard, an Emax Sampler and several different sound modules?

His explained his reasons for going to a Mac, to me, in this manner, “Mac computers are very user-friendly and lend themselves more to music composition and playing.” He went on to say, “I have always found PC to be cumbersome and the outboard gear you need to buy is already in a Mac at no extra charge.

He had me there as I seethed inwardly with jealousy, and to this day, I look at my PC in a new and not so pleasing light.

There is so much more I could write about the ShadowofNine, who also writes Orchestration music under the name, ShadowsOrcas, interesting as he is I decided the best way to conclude my brief introduction into his world at this time was too provide a link to a composition of his own making titled, “Theme from a Foot Print in Time“. Personally, I feel he has unwittingly written about himself and the footprint he has left in the time continuum for others to live and learn from for which I humbly say, Thank You!


Digg!

Advertisements