I know the route well after weeks of exploring during rehearsal. Not comfortable now, I brush past backs of plush chairs, carpeted aisle, double doors, around the corner, flight of stairs. Only a few more steps to my seat at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. On the conductors podium at the feet of my Grandfather. Easter Presentation for the Liverpool Christian Choral, I'm 4 years old, I know where it feels and sounds best. In the mix. At the feet of my Grandfather.
From here the journey includes music as regularly as cornflakes.Learning piano, dabbling in trumpet and violin, then drum lessons and guitar. 3 years with Lancashire Students Concert Band playing percussion, visiting Europe and the USA. My eyes opened studying Audio Systems and Sound Recording at the technical college University of Salford, Manchester. Mixing big band and jazz gigs starts the fun.
At 18, parents separated, my Dad, sister and I move to Brookfield Missouri USA. I move to Columbia Mo for a job at The Bluenote. A 1000 person venue housed in a vaudeville picture house. Lights, sound and stagecraft everyday. Visits from Joan Baez, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Public Enemy. Then tour with ALL (who happened to live 2 houses down from my Dad in Brookfield) for 3.5 months around the USA. Instrument and stage tech. That was real.
Moving back to the UK I worked as a system tech and engineer for Concert Systems an Adamson and EAW PA company. Here I learn about how to set and operate large scale sound reinforcement for bands like The Prodigy, 808state and festivals.
Next we're off to Switzerland as I land a job as an assistant engineer to David Richards at Mountain Studios, Montreux where many Jazz Festivals and hit 'records' were made. David Bowie, Michael Jackson and Queen credits. Working with Michael Jackson was unique. Brice Najar recorded some of my story in his book Book on the Dance Floor
Back to NY to work with Mick Guzauski at Barking Doctor studios, couple $'s in my pocket lets go see some friends in Missouri!
Scrreeeech- 1997 who is that walking up the stairs at the Bluenote? Oh just my wife Kelley. (Still going' steady)
I decide to stick around, theres a spot for a front of house engineer too. I fall in love then go on tour with Our Lady Peace as Guitar tech and In Ear Monitor engineer. One tour stop was in Portland Oregon with a day off.
We move to Oregon so Kelley can become a Licensed Massage Therapist, we get married and I begin working with local sound companies and recording studios in Portland. At Downstream Sound I lead a team installing a multi room post house with acoustic design by Russ Berger. Continuing as staff engineer and technician. Time out- Preferring to be my own boss we move to Mt Hood, I study snowboard instruction and coaching. AASI certified Level 3 and Freestyle 1.
Zero 7 called from the UK for a 'one off string of 4 dates'. I tour with them over the next couple of years. In that time we move back to the UK.
Concert Systems in Manchester again. Kelley and I teach a course for disaffected urban youth. Using music and media to develop life skills deep in Old Trafford Manchester. Under resourced the course dissolves but we all learned a thing or two. Back out with Zero 7, UK, Europe and Japan.
2003 we move back to Portland. Sound Connections Intl LLC incorporates becoming a go to source for live sound mixing. A relationship with Nike grows. Pickathon becomes part of the family. Mixing for a large and diverse house of worship becomes an education for a few years.
Not content with tech'ing, installing, mixing live and working in the studio, location sound has always been intriguing. I rent some gear and do some budget jobs, its fun. Then a fellow snowboard instructor calls to tell me he's going Goldmining in Alaska and they're going to make a TV show. They might need sound recordists.
2008 and the next 5 years I learn a new craft: Location Sound Recording, recording sound for picture, in Alaska and the Yukon. Discovery Channel's #1 franchise comes out of 'Goldrush'. Reality TV away from loved ones is brutal. The last full season I worked on I was gone for 7 months out of the year. I gained a lot but nearly lost myself.*
Kelley and I agreed that 2 weeks away was plenty if it came to it, I focus once again on the local markets and on building sound connections.
*Nearly losing myself included a few near death experiences, adrenal fatigue, depression, booze, becoming reactive, angry and frustrated in ways I'd never been before. Relationships became challenged I was starting to lose hope. Did talk therapy, helped a little. Meditation hurt my back. Yoga only went so far.
In 2015 Kelley introduces me to TRE®- something she's read a little book about. I dabble. here and there. Lower back starts to loosen up, I can stand straighter and ride better on my snowboard. Now I'm all in. Practicing regularly, certain early childhood experiences that I'd held onto but forgotten about we're gently re negotiated. I felt more deeply connected to myself and my relationships improved. Over time, Kelley and I become TRE® providers.
In my TRE® cohort there were manual therapists, mental health professionals, yoga instructors, councillors and me. TRE® worked for me but why? With the same enthusiasm and technical thinking I've been applying to wired systems, for the next 6 years I dive into the neuroscience science and connections within the human system. I find SSP or it finds me but using filtered sound to shift nervous system states seems right up my alley. Now I'm teaching Polyvagal Theory and neuroscience to students and clients.
Qualified snowboard coach and instructor for over 20 years. My education in learning styles, movement analysis, injury recovery and physiology is invaluable as I track movement patterns in nervous system sessions with clients.
My entire career has been filled with diverse places and nervous systems. Being comfortable in myself and with just about anyone has been an essential part of making sound connections with people.
I continue to provide professional audio services.
I recognize that the effects of stress and trauma are at the heart of keeping us from becoming fully human, as individuals, in our relationships and as a species. My practice is a small offering to groups and individuals who are ready to do the work. Ready to learn how to shift their nervous system away from overwhelmed or unhelpful states and into a mode of being that supports health, growth and restoration.
I work along side my wife Kelley at our Nervous System Restoration clinic in Portland Oregon. In person or online, we provide Training, Tools, Tremoring and Touch to support health and well being in response to stress and trauma.