I‘ve chased music around nearly every day of my life. One of my earliest memories is running all the way home from elementary school to choreograph disco moves in our basement. At that same age my piano teacher generously made simplified arrangements of my favorite pop songs so that I could play them.
I have a favorite sound: wind. Maybe that’s why I’m partial to classical minimalism — waves of continual sound washing over you….
As a Music Analyst of 15 years at Pandora, my specialties include pop and classical. And I’m constantly chasing that exhilarating feeling of discovering something new. My current loves include John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean (speaking of sound waves) and anything by Laura Mvula.
The pinnacles of my experience as a musician seem to be quantifiable — the larger the ensemble, the more satisfied I am — playing in a crazy, 14-piece, free jazz, big band; singing in the musical Hair and playing my own music (with a horn section) as LikeLove. When it comes to pop music, I gravitate toward full, rich, kitchen-sink walls of sound. And I like trying to create those soundscapes.
I’m one of 30 music analysts (all musicians) whose job is to help capture and catalog hundreds of musical attributes for each song on Pandora. We call this massive catalog the Music Genome Project. I share our work with visiting artists and often show them their closest musical bedfellows based on the Music Genome — sometimes it’s surprising, funny or just very logical. The Genome excites me and so does the future of music. Who knows what else we can do with the Music Genome? It’s a vast universe and we’re building new playgrounds on which to run and discover.