Artist Interview: John Luckey
Tell us about yourself and your music
I have recently moved to Macau after spending a number of years in Beijing, Nanjing and Guangzhou in China. I am from Oregon in USA and have lived the vast majority of my life in the Pacific Northwest. Since 2015 my wife (Kathryn) and my youngest son Derek have lived in Taipa, which is an island in the small administrative region of Macau. My oldest son, Javad and his family live here as well. My own musical background goes back to my father who was a gifted piano player who was primarily self-taught. I also followed this process and have not had formal training in music. I play the piano as well the guitar. I am currently working on vocal musical pieces that I hope to release as a CD in the near future. My first album, In the Moment. was created based on my musical improvisations with a piano keyboard. These inspired (improvisational) moments are the basis of my music.
Talk to us more about your latest release
The title of my latest release, In the Moment, was created primarily with my Yamaha S-90 ES keyboard, in my own studio. I would record an “in the moment” musical piece and would simultaneously record it using DAW software. These original pieces were then enhanced by adding various instruments to the original layers of music. That is why you may hear more than a piano in my music. Only after the music is created do I choose a song title. I usually trust my intial impulses so I will listen to the final or near final piece and create a title based on the mental image in see. My music is unique and it often has transitions much like a story. The first song on my album, Far Journey, is like this. It was created in a single sitting, but it has clearly different sections, almost as if it is more than one song. I choose to keep it as one song simply because it was created in the same moment.
What inspired you to write this release?
I have been playing music for a number of years but have not recorded by music for others to hear until recently. I wanted to increase my circle of friends and listeners as well as get more feedback from those who listen to my kind of music. All artists need an audience and with the help of Jarome Matthews of Prosouls I was able to overcome the technical aspects to help make this happen.
Any plans to release a video?
I am considering this and will probably be creating some sort of video in the near future.
Any plans to hit the road?
I will be traveling to the Pacific Northwest states Oregon and Washington in July and early August, 2017. No actual concerts planned as of yet.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I believe that my music is unique primarily based on the way that I create it. In concert I am much more about creating in the moment and showing my ability to make new musical pieces within a performance. I am developing more vocal pieces and this will follow a more standard path. For these pieces I develop a piece to support my singing. This is quite different then with my instrumentals because it means developing music that is consistently the same. How I compose with the guitar is much more like what is typically done. None the less, all of my pieces, even those that “stay the same” are based on inspirational moments.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I really like Jennifer Thomas and have been listing to her a lot lately. I like the emotion she shows in her pieces. I also am drawn to the music of Helen Jane Long and the piano pieces of David Lanz. The pieces from the Piano Guys I also like and inspire the idea of some kind of collaboration with other musicians in the future.
Tell us about your passions
My professional interest is actually largely outside of music. I am currently coordinating an emerging Special Education program at the School of the Nations in Macau. As is the case with Special Education it is now emerging and just starting to develop in this part of Asia. This connection with our world is important to me, even as an artist. It keeps by perspectives real. I also like explore my acting side. Over the past few years I have appeared in a few Chinese Movies and TV shows. More about these experiences I discuss on my personal website: www.john-luckey.com.
What else is happening next in your world?
I am looking forward to my summer visit back home in Oregon. While I spend most of my year in relatively densely populated cities, I do appreciate real nature. The mountains and seaside of Oregon also provide a springboard of inspiration in me.
Thanks for an awesome interview, John!