Adventures of the Mind

RZ Glendale artback 01 crop

The Transition to Composer

Life after Zamar...

Starting fresh in a larger rented house in Glendale provided a dedicated room for the studio, as well as a separate office space for Bonita to launch her new art’s organization.

Richard found a spot with a local church band to fill his desire for playing live music.  It was a mutual blessing that everyone seemed to love the energy his guitar work brought to the services. 

To take his music endeavors in a new direction, Richard enrolled in the Film Scoring Program at UCLA Extension.  It was a bit intimidating at first being surrounded by formally trained musicians, but once he heard his music being performed by live orchestra players, he was hooked.  The enthusiastic responses from his instructors and fellow students gave him the confidence that he was on the right path. 

While enrolled at UCLA, he wrote around 40 pieces of music as assignments.  Some of those pieces have been further developed including “Rite of Passage”, a track on the Phenomenation album.  

After many years of songwriting in various genres, and wearing every thought and emotion on his sleeve, there was now a desire to explore the use of instruments alone to convey colors and movement.

The seeds of Pearl Music...

The initial studio setup was pretty basic.  An Akai analog 12-track recorder that synced to an Akai ASQ-10 midi sequencer.  A Korg O1/W keyboard, an Emu Procussion module and a few outboard FX, all leftovers from the Zamar days.  Our old Carvin live board was used as the studio console and monitored through a pair of Tannoy 6.5 speakers.  Mixdown was done to a Sony DAT machine.

This was a fertile time for composing and honing the production skills that would be needed going forward.  Two albums were produced during this period, “Themes in the Wind” and “Adventures of the Mind”.  Neither was released, but the selections in the players below will provide a taste of the new direction.  

Significant airplay...

The song “Anything’s Possible” was featured by DJ Mimi Chen on a major LA Rock radio station in a prime-time slot designated for local artists.  The version below has been recently rerecorded but remains close to the original arrangement.

Richard cutting loose with the Victory Outreach Praise and Worship Band. photo by Rudy

Richard conducting his score for an animation assignment.  Recording sessions were done with live musicians on a weekly basis as part of the Film Scoring program. 

Richard as the Music Director for a weekly live stage variety show in Northridge. Learning to write charts at UCLA allowed him to compose and arrange new music each week for the show.

Next Move: On to Hollywood...

After 4 years in Glendale, change was in the air.  Richard had finally found a job in a music/audio related field that was enjoyable and interesting, working with Soundcraft, a JBL company.  However, they surprisingly announced plans to movie their headquarters to Nashville and offered a relocation bonus to stay with the company.  Included with the package was a paid weekend excursion to Music City to evaluate the lay of the land, before making a commitment.

This caused a momentary rift with Bonita who would not even consider the complimentary stay in Nashville.  In the end she won out, and it turned out to be a monumental decision, as a near miraculous opportunity soon opened up for the pair to purchase a property in Hollywood that would become the home of Pearl Music.