Interview With Musician Thomas McGregor
October 1, 2012 Leave a Comment
Thomas, give us a little background about yourself and your profession.
My background stems from a wonderful family upbringing, in a modest home in Kansas. My Mother was incredibly instrument in my mentality towards life, and my artistic expression. I started playing the violin when I was 2 years old, under the Suzuki method. I studied this method for close to 11 years before transitioning to bluegrass and folk after hearing someone improve. To me, improvisation had never notably been recognized. Therefore, after hearing someone play “outside the melody” I was intrigued. About a year later I produced and release by “Red, White, and Bluegrass” album that showcased classic American fiddle tunes, with my great Uncle Lawrence on piano. From here on, I went into a tail spin of music exploration.
How did you get started with music?
My musical upbringing included massive support by my Mother. Encouraging me to explore every instrument, every sound, every style. I traditionally started studying the Suzuki method, under the instruction of Alice Joy Lewis (Carnegie Arts Center).
What are some of your short-term and long-term goals for the future?
At the present, I plan on continuing my work and exploration of vibrations. Understand this common phenomenon is very important to understanding our connection to the Universe. Right now I’m in rehearsals for two albums: The first is an exploration into solo ambient violin, and the second is a duo album with myself playing both guitar and violin. Also, I am currently working on a music book, children’s book, and a video series.
In the future I would like to teach and play at more festivals and colleges. I plan on recording and exploring sounds and compositions with my violin and other instruments. Furthermore, I would really be interested in producing a violin practice book. In the next five to ten years I would also like to produce a documentary.
What do you think is an important trait all musicians should possess?
I believe an important train for any artist is open-mindedness. By remaining open, you allow yourself access to options you might not normally be open to. Furthermore, if you are open-minded you have a greater chance of being humble. This is important because humble artists keep the life in the art form, enabling their work to be inspiring to others.
Do you believe that being a personal fitness trainer has benefitted your musical abilities as well?
I like to look at art forms in terms of connections. Meaning, I like to look at situations in life as how they are connected not how they are separated. Therefore, you are enabled with the option of moving through new sets of art forms with greater ease versus friction. The majority of people today look for all the differences. They look for how things are different. Judging the differences between things can be constructive. However, it is equally important to also find the connections. I call this Interconnectedness. Looking at situations/art forms in terms of their interconnectedness is a seemingly lost view. In these terms, on an elementary level; being a personal trainer gives me better knowledge to how the body might react when under stress by bad physical technique when playing the violin.
Do you believe that a good piece of music can influence someones life in a positive way?
Yes. I believe that music plays a direct role in even directing how we live our lives. Furthermore, we must not neglect that fact that the same song can be view differently. This means that we should all remain open-minded to the validity of the sounds we listen to. Music has a great power. A power to provoke emotions, take action, and want to live forever. This makes us beg the question, “How is music so powerful?”
Share with us some views about life, the universe, and the overall grand scheme of conscious awareness.
Life is an interesting thing. Ultimately, I believe that we try to control too much. This is due to our wanting to evade death. This deep inner wanting literally rules our entire existence. However, there is a way from this – that is to accept it. If we except what is, we can then understand our deep seeded mentality behind it. It is only when we resist that we don’t find answers. Ironically, when we do find answers, those answers are never what we expect. Attempting to accomplish the world is not a futile pursuit, with the right intentions. If we intent to inspire others, then we are solid. But, if we intent to only grab for ourselves, we leave nothing but a trail of conceited shallowness. Our focus should be life exploration, technique variation, and Universal inspiration.
What do you think is the most important step you have taken in life to pursue your passion?
The most important step I have ever taken is my constant push to move forward. Breaking through personal boundaries, and dissolving limitations. Always working on being my own worst critic, honestly asking the question, “Can I honestly do better?”
What advice would you give to kids who want to pursue a career in the music industry?
First and foremost, learn everything and anything you possibly can about your art. Practice, study, and explore every aspect. By doing this, you will have the ultimate tool set that will set you apart from everyone else.
I have extensively researched the topic of December 21, 2012, the end of The Mayan Calendar, and the supposed “End of The World.” Share with us your thoughts on this, and what might happen on, and after this fast approaching date.
I believe anything that shakes things up to be a good thing. Meaning, I’m not entirely sure that it will be “The End”, rather a changing in perspective. I think at some point we will have stressed too much on this planet. From there, we have two choice: 1) To venture to other planets. 2)To learn to live more conscience. I think this change has already started to take place. People aren’t fooled as easily as they used to be. Paradoxically, some people are fooled easier. Ultimately, the change within is the one that counts.
Thanks to Thomas for providing some great insight!
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