Bassist Joseph Patrick Moore on Why Is Music Important…
Who are you, and what do you do?
My name is Joseph Patrick Moore and I’m a bassist/composer/producer currently based outside of Atlanta, GA. You can find out more about me here: JosephPatrickMoore.com
Who are your primary musical influences?
Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, and Jimi Hendrix.
What are you listening to musically, in the past 12 months that has enhanced the way you think about music and your craft?
I’m listening to a lot of Imogen Heap at this time. She is amazing at creating beautiful landscapes. Her artistry and sonic spectrum characteristics/mixes are of great depth, stimulating and she is not afraid to take chances.
How does your personal musical voice directly relate to the function of the basses? Also, what are your main instruments?
I play upright, NS Design electric upright, and electric fretted and fretless bass – by Pedulla. The bass is the foundation of music, and changing one note, or rhythmic emphasis, can dictate the entire direction of the feel and vibe of the composition.
Describe your musical composition process.
I’ll sometimes start with a bass riff or drum groove. You know, something I like… or, something I’m working on. Once I find something that I want to explore further, I’ll chart out a general form and get an overall “bookends” vision of the song. Once I have the general canvas/borders laid out, I’ll start filling-in the gaps and direction in the middle (melody, chord progression etc. etc.). All that to say… I have no one-way of composing, and I may take several approaches to get to the end result, which is a completed song.
How does music affect your culture and immediate environment?
It keeps me sane in and in-sane world!
What would you be, if not a professional musician?
I think I would be an actor.
What is the greatest sacrifice you’ve ever made while in the practice of being a musician, and how did that sacrifice affect you?
For me, the sacrifice isn’t a one-time event, but a life-long pursuit and sacrifice. I like to think of that aspect of music as my “Magnificent Obsession”. You can learn more about my obsession at: therocktronix.com/movie.html
Describe your standing practice regimen. Also, what technical (and musical) aspects of your playing are you currently working on?
Over the years, my practice routine as varied greatly! That said it’s been important that I keep a journal/notebook and practice on a consistent basis. There’s always something to learn, and we should work on our strengths as well as our weak areas in the areas f technique and musical understanding. I follow the rule of being very honest with myself and I’m not afraid to humble myself in order to learn something that I struggle with – both musically, and as a lifestyle. That honesty has been invaluable in becoming the musician I strive to be.
What does music, and being a musician, mean to you – at the deepest level of your being?
It is everything! It is who I am and all that I’ve done professionally since I the age of 18-years-old – I am now 44! I can’t imagine music not being a part of me because it is the essential element to my spirit!
How important is it to understand the Language of music?
Anyone can speak it with a little exposure. However, to go deeper within music and music concepts, we all must study to understand the nuances, dialect, and skill-sets of the language if we are to have a command over it.
How do you collect the series of seemingly random influences and articulate them through music?
Life is connected and I’m deeply influenced by everything around me: conversations, art, people, cultures, nature, etc. All anyone has to do is really wake up to the “present moment” and to be aware. It’s not hard to be influenced by something and try to let that inspire you on your musical/spiritual journey.
Can music ever truly become commercial? Why, or why not?
At this point in time, and with the World Wide Web, music is truly commercial. Anyone around the globe has the potential to hear almost anyone’s music thanks to the wealth of social media (youtube, spotify, Facebook, twitter). The hard problem is people’s attention span, and the over saturated market of everyone releasing music – even those “artists” who are not musical professionals by trade.
The question now is, “how do you get music fans to listen to my music/art and keep their attention?”
Hopefully the music will speak for itself, and that it will connect with someone. Hopefully, some, small sub-culture of people will discover and share your music to an even greater community of people. In a lot of ways at this point in time, it’s about communities and grass roots efforts.