Welcome to my first blog post. I thought I'd publish an interview that I did with Mags from, A Centre of Light UK, based in Coventry. This is a detailed interview on how my musical journey started, my beliefs and getting to know the man behind the music.
A Centre of Light UK Ltd – Interviews Music Artist Niall
Many people may already know the spiritual music of Niall, where the majority of his CD’s can be found in spiritual outlets, suppliers online or through his website. One particular favourite is the Reiki River CD, which produces beautiful soothing healing sounds, ideal for when played during Reiki treatments.
As Reiki practitioners ourselves this CD is used during our treatments and during our channelling work, which features on the Spirit Talks Blog of our website www.acentreoflightuk.com or Facebook @centreoflight.
Today we are blessed that Niall has agreed to speak with us and even more privileged to share this interview with you all. The interview gives us an insight into the man himself and the music he produces... read on for the full interview:
Niall we cannot tell you how excited we are in having this opportunity to pose these questions, so let’s begin...
❖ Are you from a musical background Niall, how did you get into music?
No, not really. Like most children, I started off on the school recorder when I was 5. I don’t think I showed much interest back then, as I recall my primary school teacher writing on my report, nice quiet child, but will never be a musician. LOL! When our family moved out of the area, I got a chance to audition for a school brass group and got handed a Trumpet to see if I was interested. That for me was the turning point. I took to that like a duck to water and that really started my whole journey. Ironically, I still played in the school recorder group and was principal player in a renaissance baroque recorder group, playing early music.
❖ Am I right in thinking you play all the instruments on your CD’s, which I believe one may be a Spanish guitar, can you tell us what the others are and what’s your favourite instrument and why? I play almost all the instruments on my albums. For example, the track, “Desert Angels,” on my “Earth Angels” album, I wanted a middle Eastern vibe, so I bought myself a duduk, which is an ancient Armenian woodwind instrument. I’d never played one before, so I practiced over the week and got some great sounds out of it. It’s similar fingering to a recorder and you blow it like an Oboe, albeit with a much bigger mouthpiece. However, when it comes to stringed instruments such as, violins/viola, then I ask my friend Vaughan to help, as that’s not something I could learn in a week. I did buy a violin to try, but gave up very quickly, as it’s not my forte. When I was a teenager, I got a job in my local music store, which sold all sorts of instruments from pianos, guitars to kazoos. As part of my training, I learned to play clarinet, flute, oboe, guitar, drums, keys etc. I guess my favourite instrument is keyboards, as I find that the most creative and ideas and writing flow easily for my tracks.
❖ You are a composer, performer, producer & musical engineer, did you attend a school of music or develop these skills in another way? I was very proactive as a teenager playing in brass bands, orchestras, wind bands and I had a keen interest in music theory. I used to love Bach harmonisations when studying ‘A’ level music and while at school, had the chance to record in a recording studio. Seeing the big mixer with all the flashy lights and knobs really peaked my interest in electronics and how sound is recorded, so I started learning valve electronics and buying music magazines like, “Sound on Sound.”
❖ So why spiritual music and not some other genre eg: rock music? Although perhaps you also compose for other genre’s? I have done almost all types of music composition over the years. I have written music for other media companies, for licensing in film and television. In doing so, I have to be flexible and able to write in all genres. I have also done some rock music in the past, but uplifting and spiritual music is where my heart is.
❖ On the subject of your spiritual music, how did it evolve? I had been writing spiritual music for many years, but never really did anything with it. After a serious illness, I was recovering in Cornwall and went into a mystical shop which was playing new age music. After buying a few cd’s, my friends all said, your music is much better than that, why don’t you find a record company and get your music out there. I sent a demo CD to a music company based in the UK. They liked what they heard, and I wrote about 9 music albums for them. Now, I have my own record label and distribute my own work.
❖ After many years of writing spiritual music as you mentioned, would you describe yourself as channelling music? If so do you know by whom? ie: similar to Mozart experience where he would hear the whole of the musical score in his head all at once before putting it on paper. Do you feel steered in a certain direction in producing the music you do? I personally don’t use the word channelling, however, if you would like to call it that, then yes, absolutely! I feel guided to a certain arrangement and soundscape, then it progresses from there. Yes! I do hear the whole of the musical score in my head. I can’t write it down fast enough. I am definitely being guided with my music. By whom, I don’t know and I don’t think it’s relevant. What I do know, is that powerful, source energy flows through me.
❖ With connecting in such a powerful way then, are you also inspired through your dreams? where you wake with a new piece of music in your mind or from your subconscious, or via some other altered state, which just seems to flow when composing? Interesting question. I very rarely get inspiration from dreams. I do however, start to get inspiration when I start playing music. I get into a meditative state, I feel really connected and ideas just flow through me.
❖ Your connection with nature is very evident in your work, how did that connection first come about, was it in a single realisation or something that unfolded as time when on? When I was at school, I heard the ground breaking, Oxygen album, by Jean Michel Jarre. I have been a big fan of his ever since. I love the way he incorporated nature elements in his recordings such as, aeroplanes, trains, rain, water, etc, so I bought myself a small, handheld recorder and a microphone, then went out recording anything and everything to mix with my music. With all the recordings I’ve done over the years, I developed a passion for nature. The connection I have inspires my music immensely.
❖ You have a wonderful way of blending the instruments within a track, that brings out the richness of the tone and feel of the music, how do you judge what instrument works well in bringing alive the music you are creating, is it from trial and error or practice and experience or perhaps something else? I think It’s an understanding of the whole process. As a music producer, you have to learn, not only the notes that capture your audience, but also what reverb to use, how to EQ and compress the sound and above all, the arrangements. Simply piling on sound after sound will just make a musical mess. I was fortunate to learn arranging with advanced music theory and that has kept me in good stead for blending the instruments to make rich and vibrant tracks.
❖ Let’s discuss, for us our favourite CD, Reiki River... in the 4 years of the channelling work we have done at A Centre of Light, there have been many spirits who have commented and complimented on that particular CD, which for the most part was playing in the background, some of these spirits were once musicians when they lived on earth, so is it nice to know you have fans in this world and the spirit world? What are thoughts on that? I believe there is no death, only transition. I believe we are eternal beings and when we transition, (die), we re-emerge back into pure, positive, source energy. I also believe that we all have the ability to tap into this infinite power. There is no doubt in my mind, that I am being cheered on and helped by the spirit world. (Source Energy)
❖ Lastly, what plans or projects are lined up for the future? My plan for the future is to write and produce many magical albums for my listeners. My projects are numerous, starting with my next album, “MASTERPEACE,” due for release middle 2018. This will be predominantly a piano album, something that will take the listener on a relaxing journey. It will be uplifting and will evoke inner peace. My forthcoming albums, I promise you, will be exciting and full of surprises!
Thank you so much for your responses Niall... we are in complete awe! Anyone who is familiar with Niall’s music, will no doubt join me in stating what a privilege it has been to share a glimpse into the life of the man behind the music, a humble man we will add and eagerly await the new “MASTERPEACE,” album. (Did you see what he did there... wonderful apt title.)
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