Are there any songs that influenced Josh’s approach to music?
Yes. When he was very young he realized the compelling descending chromatic introduction to “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson was clearly a distinctly different part to the song, and became aware at that time that music is composed of parts with different instruments playing together to support the song. He attributes this to the striking modulations of the introduction stimulating the logic-involved left primary auditory cortex of his temporal lobe, making him cognizant of the spatial and organizational aspects of music as well, rather than just the emotional and intuitive attributes.
Is Josh affiliated with any performing rights organizations?
Josh is a member of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) performing rights organization.
Does Josh accept music students?
Josh regrets that he is unable to accept students at this time.
Has Josh created Sapphire Oceans entirely electronically or is some of the sound recorded directly by him from nature?
Josh has recorded stream, ocean, and water sounds for Sapphire Oceans at dozens of different locations from Malibu to Mendocino.
Can you describe the basic process of how Josh has produced the sounds on Sapphire Oceans and on what type of equipment?
After having produced the field recordings, Josh has written several instrumental sections, performed over multiple sessions, to develop layers of expression and add color to the track. Techniques drawn from Impressionist and classical program music have been used to render the natural sounds of water on acoustic instruments. Tempo devices such as ritardando, accelerando, and tempo rubato convey the rising and falling movements of the waves, and instrumental portamento effects like harp glissandos and timpani roll pedal glissandos evoke the shimmer of sunlight on the water and the rumbling crash of the ocean breaking up on the shoreline. Never-before-heard new timbres have been created by fusing the sound of acoustic orchestra instruments with cutting-edge, avant-garde, forward-looking sound synthesis, resulting in clean, clear, sparkling tessellated electronic textures utilizing the Elka Synthex, EMS VCS3 and Synthi AKS, Oberheim OB-X, and Roland Juno 60.
Where has Josh recorded Sapphire Oceans? How long has it taken to get the project to come together?
The album is produced, arranged, composed, and performed by Josh at West Park Avenue Studios. At a certain point in the project, David Streit, who has worked with everyone from Johnny Cash and Dave Brubeck to GZA and Cliff Richard, had come on board to help him engineer and mix. He says that is an invaluable contribution that he’ll always appreciate. As to how long it has taken to get the project to come together, Sapphire Oceans had just spontaneously grown; it had just taken on a life of its own. Like it had needed to be born, to well up and burst through into existence, and Josh had just been the channel for it. It is like the quote from the Hindu holy book, the Chandogya Upanishad, about a drop of water flowing into the river, and then into the infinite vastness of the sea, losing its sense of separateness in the process. That is literally how the project has grown, from one tiny little droplet of an idea, to this sprawling, long, complex track with many moods and emotions. There are things that happened during the recording of this album that are so spooky, he’ll never tell, he says. But you can hear them happen on the record. Things that are just from beyond this plane of existence, unknowable things that are from outside of our realm of understanding. But after many months, the project finally coalesced, and all the different tributaries ultimately came together to form a work greater than the sum of all its parts.
What are some of Josh’s other interests?
Josh gets pleasure from cooking international cuisine, going on long hikes in nature, and relaxing with family and friends. He is also a movie connoisseur and news junkie. He enjoys art, fashion, photography, and collecting historical armaments.