Chris Weiss is a person not an elephant.
Thoughts on music art and the extraction of peace and beauty as natural resources.
I'm a little tea pot short and stout, which you'd think would be a lot of fun. Unfortunately, as the story goes, when I get all steamed up hear me shout. Inevitably someone tips me over and pours me out. So it seems my story all started much in the same way. Long ago before there was Justin Bieber and Hannah Montana, I began to dislike the current trends in music. I thought, "Could it be that no one else understands the futility of pop music"? Then one day I was listening to U2, and it hit me...they do! Most people realize that music is an art form, and we've all been bamboozled by our own lust for sugary goodness. We've gorged ourselves on what tastes great at the moment, but we ultimately detest it's effects on our musical waists. The only thing keeping us from being surrounded by beautiful thoughtful and emoting art is our own glutton for things that ultimately numb us! That's when I began to collect recipes for things other than cookies.
I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Under the auspices of a cute smile and a mother-approved "lovely" singing voice, I found myself enrolled in the Boys Choir at age 9. At this point U2 was blowing minds around the world, Hip Hop was cutting it's own umbilical ch-ord, and the Bengals were not winning a Super Bowl. This is where my musical experience began, in the classical world. I went on to perform with the Cincinnati and Dayton Opera companies, and sing with the Cincinnati Boys Choir for 5 years. I was at home with these guys who ate, breathed, and slept music. Ever summer my parents would take me to hear the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra at Riverbend. Every Christmas we went to the see the Cincinnati Ballet perform the Nutcracker. I loved every minute of it. However, as if you couldn't tell by that initial outburst of soap box indulgence, I learned quickly, after being kicked out of Cub Scouts for talking too much, that I couldn't sit still long enough for that world. So after my niece, who is older than me...long story, anyways...introduced me to pop music I began to explore most other types of music.
In 2000 I found myself at a record store in Chicago, Illinois. There I discovered the music of Pierre Bensusan. Pierre's freedom and depth of connection to the melody, and his bass lines that danced and drove the texture screamed to me. I couldn't resist it's "realness". Not long after that I discovered Pat Metheny's music. His creative spacial distance in his arrangements felt like a painting to me. Yet a shorter time still later I discovered that Phish happened. I ate up all of the elements of musical expression and screaming rock drive and funk grooves. My love for the melodies of Bach and Chopin and my innate leanings towards poetry that ignites the mind felt oddly at home in this world. I realized that so called "good music" amongst all of it's subjective qualities, has an objective measure. I'm not sure anyone could exhaustively define it, but it's there. To me, and what drives the music I want to make, it is melody, harmony, and dynamics. These three things are what connect us to ideas that, without them, just pass us by. These three things breathe life into cold and colorless intellectualism, and give music power.
So that's what I'm about. I think that's what most musicians are about. We extract peace and beauty from ideas that need to be considered.