Considering what a busy man he is I am very appreciative that Graham Reynolds took the time to answer a few quick questions for me. The Austin based composer and bandleader is incredibly prolific and one of the hardest working people I know. Over the years I have seen his work live, alongside local collaborations like PowerUP and The Intergalactic Nemesis, and over major motion pictures and live theater. I'm always impressed with what Graham has accomplished in his life, which is why I wanted to present a panorama of him in his work space, and to also get and give a glimpse of where some of the magic happens.
The panorama I created of Graham is currently being exhibited in a group show at Davis Gallery here in Austin through this Saturday, October 18th. This is the final interview as part of a series getting to know the subjects of those images.
SDG: We met for the first time many years ago through our close mutual friend Jason Brenizer. Back then you had a job that was not related to music to support yourself, and now I believe you are making and playing music full-time. What do you feel were the key ingredients that took you to where you were then to where you are now?
GR: There were a million things that had to work out but of the things in my control I’d say it was saying yes to as many things as I could and walking through each door of opportunity. I never knew what would lead to what, but little by little things came together.
SDG: When did you first realize that you wanted to be a musician? What did you do to make that a reality?
GR: I think it was a gradual decision but music was my chief passion for most of my life. I just kept making music and kept trying to learn. And I networked a lot.
SDG: What drives you and keeps you motivated, inspired, and focused on your goals?
GR: Keeping things new, exciting, and fresh and constantly discovering. I do that by working with different collaborators, choosing different subjects to study and musically reflect on, by listening to other people’s music, and by sitting down, thinking and planning.
SDG: When you think about what your life and work will be like in the future what do you imagine?
GR: I imagine expanding what I’m doing, executing at a higher level, and continually learning.
SDG: On Oct 4th you performed part two of your The Marfa Triptych: Three Portraits of West Texas at The Overlook at Mimms Ranch. What was the experience like and when will the third part be performed?
GR: The third part won’t be for at least another year, probably two. This most recent concert was an amazing experience for me. In the middle of the desert, no power, no anything but a round bench for the audience. I live scored the sunset into the moon rising and the stars coming out, surrounded by the Davis Mountains and the Chihuahuan Desert.
SDG: That sounds like it was an amazing experience for you. Is there anything else coming up that you would like to mention?
GR: I’m always working on a million things but a few are a new ballet with Stephen Mills and Ballet Austin, a Pancho Villa chamber opera, and a country album.
SDG: Graham, thank you for sharing that with us. We will be on the look out for all of those and more. You can hear an interview that Graham did for Marfa Public Radio the day of the part two performance here. Below is the album The Difference Engine, which is one of my favorites of his. Check out his website for upcoming performances, news and updates.