I didn't start to get into music until I was in about grade 7 or 8, and that was stuff
like Our Lady Peace and Barenaked Ladies. When I was in grade 6, my brother got a guitar,
and, like all little brothers, I wanted to be just like big bro. He suggested I get a
bass, though, and so for months I pleaded for a bass from my parents. In Christmas of
grade 7, I got one. I played it for a week, and didn't touch it again for two years, until
sometime in February or March of 2002. I was kind of meandering around without a lot of
direction, so I got a teacher the following September. His name is Zak Colbert -- a
wonderful jazz, blues, and fusion musician who does gigs regularly in Kingston at night
teaches during the day. This September will mark the beginning of my third year with him,
and he has taught me a lot -- something I am very grateful for. Due to his teachings of
theory and technique, as well as the fact that (until recently) I have never been in a
band, I quickly developed a taste for solo bass artists such as Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller
and Stanley Clarke, as well as an aspiration to be able to play like these groovesome
virtuosos of the bass world.

Since then, I have done what I could, listening to all the bassists that I could, taking
bits from each of them to find a sort of style. New arrangements of classic pieces like
Stu Hamm's stunning take on "Moonlight Sonata", and both the Jaco Pastorius and Victor Wooten
versions of "Amazing Grace" inspired me beyond anything I've ever heard. Since I have
started, I have only performed live at two separate times, both of the school Coffee Houses,
and partially both with solo bass. My first time performing was absolutely terrifying --
I was playing something I had written that day (probably not the best move to make, but it
just sounded so cool) that was tapped harmonic chords played over fundamentals in an ascend-
ing pattern until it reaches one final harmonic climax. My right hand was shaking to the
point where I couldn't even get off one of the tapped harmonics! It all went well though.
My second performance was a little less nerve wracking and I peformed part of Stu Hamm's
Moonlight Sonata, as the whole thing would be well over twice the time limit. I next
played a groove to support a pair of friends' beat poetry on Bilbo Baggins, and then a
kind of duet where I improvised over the chord changes of Crush by the Dave Matthews
Band and Sydney Dunitz played guitar and sang. Since then I have picked up the electric
guitar over this summer and have been taking lessons with Ian Montgomery, a young but very
talented musician who is not only a very skilled singer-songwriter, but is also very knowledge-
able in theory and quite a good multi-instrumentalist.

This summer I joined the band Stalin and the Rainbows, and at the moment
the band is going through some changes:
The lineup was, originally, Evan Wise, Matt Aylsworth, Sydney Dunitz, Matt Scott, and Graham
Wise.
Since then, Evan and Matt Scott have left for college. This, in particular, is why I am now
in the band. Luke Sidey is joining soon, and the band is dumping its old playlist, retaining
only the two originals the band wrote with the original lineup, as well as The End by the
Beatles Crazy On You by Heart, as we wish to focus on songwriting.
In a little over a week, the band will be starting a focus program at our school that teaches
performance, songwriting, and most importantly, recording. We will be joined by bands from towns
all around, and I expect it to be a very creatively stimulating environment with very talented
musicians Greg Runions and Kevin Bowers teaching the course. I will also be entering the course
as a solo musician both to record my own compositions, as well as playing with other featured
musicians from the school -- hopefully recording old jazz classic "Honeysuckle Rose" in
particular with Sydney as well as Cavan something-or-other on piano, Andrew Wales on drums,
myself on bass, and maybe we'll exploit some of that horn talent in the school that doesn't
rear its head enough. This is also a main driving force for me taking up guitar, so that I can
play what I hear in my head, as trying to communicate to someone what you want them to play can
sometimes cannot be done.

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