Copyright 2003-2023 SingleZero.
All rights reserved.
Kid Klash Publishing - ASCAP
LATCH MUISIC Ezine interview of Dick Schalk, SingleZero
Q1 : Where on the Internet can people learn more about your artistic activities?
A1 : Many internet music sites, including my SingleZero website at www.singlezeromusic.com and my CD BABY record distribution site at www.cdbaby.com/singlezero
Q2 : Who are your main influences, and how have they inspired you to find your own creative voice?
A2 : My parents influenced me a great deal, because music was always a part of our home life. One of my earliest musical memories is of my mom and dad with some of their friends, gathered around an upright piano. My mom was playing the piano, my dad was playing a concertina, and everyone was singing. My dad gave me a ukulele when I was 4, and my mom got me involved with the trumpet when I was 7. Later on, besides playing classical, pop and music in our public school system, I listened to lots of rock, soul and R&B on the radio. Some of the bands and musicians that have inspired me are Pink Floyd, Alan Parsons, 10cc, Santana, Eric Clapton, Richy Blackmore, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Segovia, The Beatles, The Raiders, The Wailers, The Sonics, Ray Charles, Bach, Beethoven, Straus, and various cultures and life experiences. Besides SingleZero, I've played with The Executives, Atlantis, Phoenix, Orchid Storchy and the Equalizers, The Wayds, and various orchestral ensembles, stage bands and marching bands.
Q3 : What is your compositional process, and how do you incorporate technology into the process?
A3 : I've always been interested in sound in general, and as a child was fascinated by our ability to locate a sound source, just by listening, even with our eyes closed. The concept of creating stereo mixes came naturally to me, because of playing in various bands and ensembles, with instruments and players spread over a wide space. As you listen to my music, I've tried to incorporate "sound stages" and movement into the compositions. I tend to think of music graphically, as the classical composers did, painting a "picture" of a story or event with sound and instruments. So, depending on the piece, there are several ways that I create music. I may start out with a story or event in my mind, write an arrangement based upon this story or event, and express it with various sounds and instruments. After deciding on the general arrangement of a piece, I begin recording the various sounds and instruments as individual elements. The sounds can be anything from breaking a glass on a tile floor to the sound of a ChrisCraft motorboat, or a frying pan lit hitting a stone counter top, whatever element adds depth and definition to the piece. The instruments (including acoustic and digital instruments and vocals) are also recorded individually or as a section, and are "assembled" digitally, much like a quilt, into a song, with the sound elements coming in for accent and texture. Then again, some songs are written and recorded in a more conventional manner, recording drums, percussion and bass first, as the foundation of the song. Then recording the supporting instruments, vocals, and solos. In any approach, mixing and mastering the songs with the "sound stage" and the "sonic picture" in mind is very important, because I believe it conveys the feel of the piece.
Q4 : What do you want listeners to get from your recording "SingleZero"?
A4 : SingleZero was written and recorded as a concept album to express how different world cultures (new, old and ancient) and life experiences have touched my life and left their indelible impressions in the fabric of my soul. With the use of conventional instruments, digital samplers, and all sorts of old and new technologies, I've attempted to fuse many different cultures, sounds, instruments, rhythms, emotions and "soundscapes" into the eight songs on SingleZero. It covers the full audio spectrum too, so if you've got a subwoofer, you'll be able to experience the depth as well as the width of this CD.
Also being a graphic artist, I've tried to visually convey the feeling and spirit of this music through the CD artwork. The graphic on the outside of the SingleZero CD symbolizes a single eye, or window, looking out on the world. The graphic on the booklet back is an image taken during a trip to Japan two autumns ago. I was in a small coastal town near Lake Hamana, just outside Hamamatsu. Their local autumn festival was in full swing, and I was lucky enough to capture this image of the children dressed in their ceremonial costumes, marching while playing their flutes, horns and drums in front of a "waterfall" of fireworks. It was quite spectacular, and ethereal at the same time. The graphic on the outside of the CD tray is an image that I took during a trip to the southwest, at Chaco Canyon, one of the largest and most sophisticated Anasazi ruins in North America. It's quite eerie to stand among the ruins during the middle of the day, let alone during the twilight hours and the pitch-blackness of the evening. I hope that this music moves the listeners in the same way that my life experiences have touched, awed and inspired me.
Q5 : Do you get to play your music out?
A5 : Because of the complexity of these songs, they require many musicians (including myself) to play live. Alan Parsons and Pink Floyd have successfully toured, but it required a large ensemble for them to do so. With that being said, a SingleZero tour is in the planning stages for later this year.
Q6 : What have been some of the highlights of your musical adventures?
A6 : I've been very fortunate to have met and worked with many musicians and bands all over the world. I've also toured and traveled extensively, throughout the U.S., Canada, and Japan. Meeting people and learning about their customs and cultures have enriched my life, both on a musical and a spiritual level.
Q7 : How has the Internet affected your musical activities?
A7 : The Internet has opened many doors for me musically, and has enabled my music to reach people throughout north America, Japan, Australia, the U.K., Germany, Finland, Russia, the Caribbean Islands, and the South Pacific Islands. It really brings home how small the planet is, and how important it is to preserve and foster world peace. Music truly is the universal language.
Q8 : What upcoming projects should people look for from you?
A8 : Since SingleZero was released, my primary focus is on supporting this album. Another SingleZero CD release is in progress.
SingleZero review in Two Louies Magazine
Having recently returned from his travels across time and space, Dick Schalk has touched down in Portland, timbre-ly transformed. The bluesy roots sound of his last release with Portland band The Executives would hint NOT towards the Neo-Anthro fusion direction of his new album, Singlezero. Expressing the impacts of world cultures both new and ancient on the fabric of his being, Schalk successfully transports his audience into his thoughts, traveling through amazing musical spaces and returning to reality by mixing ethereal movements and electronic splendor through digital samplers and conventional instruments. The first cut on Singlezero, "4K in the Road" does this with swirling layers and world beat Indian rhythms followed by nylon string Spanish guitar solos. Haunting, nebulous electric didgeridoos oscillate in the background on this musical world tour; a perfect representation of Schalk's unification of culture and music.
Covering the full audio spectrum, in one moment you are floating away in nebulous soundscapes that give a sense of infinity, as in track 5 "The Starting." A gloriously rich cloud of synth sounds open this piece up followed by a deep heavy beat, as if it was the soundtrack for a dark dance scene in some Sci Fi
thriller. Track 8 "Anasazi Wind" with its Native American chanting, drum beats and moccasin bells is a reminder of the depth of music as a cultural expression. Unified in both concept and execution, Singlezero is a sonic sojourn through world culture and personal experience amazingly translated into
an album of songs. Lyric-less but expressive, Schalk crosses the bold expanse of the emotional universe creating an album that's thought provoking and healing.
SingleZero Review in SPLENDID eZine
"SingleZero was written and recorded as a concept album to express how different world cultures (new, old and ancient) and life experiences have touched my life." says SingleZero mastermind Dick Schalk of his self-titled debut, and a very accurate and concise a description is. Schalk mixes old and new instruments in a collage that feels like the backdrop to an Aboriginal village one minute, only to emote the atmosphere of an alien spacecraft the next. He's generally very tasteful, blending all of these elements into something that's both engaging and exploratory, as far as his palate of sounds is concerned. Some of his more exciting endeavors are the backbeat funk and acid-laced "The Starting" and the jazz-tip under a bed of scratches and kitchen-sink percussion of "Oops". The funky clavinet of "What's the Skinny" has that draggin'-the-beat tempo that many early-nineties jazzers who were trying to crossover to other genres (i.e. Miles's "Doo-Bop"), as does the R&B sax of "Lookin Up". It would not surprise me to see Schalk's name listed among the composer credits of a Discovery Channel documentary or a big-name Playstation game, as his music is a journey that would suit both genres. SingleZero offers a suitable soundtrack for your commute or cross-country road-trip, and makes great ear-candy for your living room stereo.
SingleZero Reviews from GARAGEBAND.COM
I like this, I really do... the production sounds excellent to me... I can't really comment further. The sound is good,
the quality mixing and mastering here really make the tune stand out. But the real treat here is the beat, a lot of
energy in this track, and the humming (or whatever that would be called) goes well with it all, along with all the
other subtlties layered ontop of one another to create quite a pleasing tune...
Reviewed by: Solus from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
"Big Soundtrack Material..."
Nice big sound into the body of the piece. I like the vocal style, and it's well mixed. Nice production skills...
reminds me of Peter Gabiel... very nice in and out... good work here!
Reviewed by: Alienrhythm from Brooksville, Florida