GPO Featured Young Artist: Jamison Baker, Composer
Jamison Baker is our first featured young artist. What is so unique about Jamison is that he is 13 years old and is producing some amazing music.
Here then is Jamison's newest work called "Day by Day the Penguins Steal My Sanity":
Day by Day the Penguins Steal My Sanity
(9 mb file - 6 1/2 minutes)
The inspiration for this work came while in an art store trying out a pen on a piece of paper. Jamison noticed that someone had written on it: 'day by day the penguins steal my sanity' and just cracked up. He immediately wrote a piano duet called "Day by Day the Penguins Steal My Sanity" in the fall of 2005. The piano duet was intended as the groundwork for a larger orchestral composition of the same name, completed January 30, 2006.
Jamison is a student at Renaissance Arts Academy in Southern California and has applied to Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. He has been seen in Guitar World Magazine, featured as a recording artist for Elephant Symphony Studios in Glendale, CA and noted in Mix magazine as a 'Modern-Day Amadeus'.
Jamison is a prolific composer who creates new and innovative harmonies that echo those of the great Impressionistic composers. His music is engaging and dynamic, with a unique and powerful style that often surprises the listener. He works with music conceptually and composes from a music theory viewpoint. His ideas come from his thinking about notes and chords most of the time; he would say the ideas come from him and not his emotions.
His first piece using GPO was "Orchestra in D", which helped him learn the program. The ending incorporates one of his earlier works entitled "EDF". "Orchestra in D" is a 7-minute composition completed when he was 12, before his 13th birthday in July of 2005.
His second major piece, "Air & Scissors", is his longest to date at over 11 minutes. It was completed July 30th, 2005, just after his 13th birthday, and was followed the very next day by a short piece for a quartet called simply "String Quartet". "Air & Scissors" is a Finalist in the International Songwriting Competition, making the top 1.4% of over 15,000 entrants from 80 countries. (see http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/finalists2005.htm and scroll down to the "Teen" category),
Jamison became an accomplished guitarist at an early age, has played violin, and currently plays viola in an orchestra and a chamber group. He is interested in all orchestral instruments, loves what the french horn can do in an orchestra, and hopes to improve his piano skills when he has more time this summer. Drawn to composers such as Maurice Ravel, Claude Debussy, Igor Stravinsky, Sergei Prokofiev, George Gershwin, he listens to their music and studies their scores Although he is not interested in copying another composer's music, he likes to study their orchestration to see how they compose. He composes by writing each note for each instrument on a computer or by hand on a score. When traveling, a pad of scoring paper is kept close at hand and in use during spare moments.
He recorded three original guitar compositions in the studio; "Mirage" composed at age 10, "Keeper of the Flame" composed at 12, and "Song" composed and recorded at age 12, and realized that his next piece required an orchestra. That is when he found Garritan Personal Orchestra, GPO, a computer product that gave him command of orchestral sounds with a notation program. He currently uses GPO and Overture 4 by GenieSoft for composing and is not yet using a sequencer. He works on a 3 MHz Intel based system with 2 GB RAM and 500 GB of hard drive space.
Jamison recently mentioned to his father: "You know, GPO is probably the best thing that ever came into my life." He rates the summer of 2005 as his best so far because he spent the summer composing with GPO, working long hours, creating two major works in about 3 weeks each and several minor pieces.
He aspires, first and foremost, to be a successful composer and hopes to conduct some of his works. He is also interested in writing music for films, plays, or anything else that music can be written for.
Thanks to Dan Kury who helped slightly but purposely avoided any extensive edtiing to preserve the integrity of Jamison's arrangement. And thanks to his father Jorj for being a strong supporter of Jamison.
It seemed a good way to start our featured artist program was to feature a young musician. It's just incredible and inspiring what young people are doing with these tools.