Friday, September 20, 2013

An Afternoon with Al Conti

The Grammy-Nominated New Age Artist Discusses His Life 
Q: What does Al Conti want to be known for?

A: Crafting good music and having contributed to the New Age genre in a positive and influential way.

I also want to be known as a serious artist. Recognition and success are measured in many ways – for me it is choosing to be an artist and all that this means. It isn’t an easy journey much of the time, but it is the path I have chosen. Artists have something inside that must be expressed; it has to be let out. I like to think I had a choice in my life to do what I wanted – but in many ways I feel that the choice was made for me.

Q: Agreed and well said. What do you want people to take away from your music?

A: Each listener needs something different from the experience, so it is hard to say. But overall, I would want the listener to feel they have been on a journey when they finish listening to an album of mine, a journey they wish to take again and again.
I want my music to evoke images and memories – to bring people to a higher level of consciousness – to escape the everyday may it be a job, the groceries, doing their bills – like a cup of tea on a rainy day can be so soothing – yes, that is it.

Q: Nice! What is your guilty pleasure music wise?

A: Lately I’ve been enjoying a step back in time and listening to a lot of disco music.

As I have often said, my tastes in music are about as broad as is possible – I also enjoy 1920s music for its lively optimistic beat. A little like disco I guess! My music taste can vary greatly throughout the day. I can go from listening to Juice Newton to R.E.O. Speedwagon to Chopin to Nina Hagen within a 24 hour period.

Q: Wow- being so diverse is such a great way for artists to broaden what influences and affects them. I should probably be broadening my music list even more. What is your guilty pleasure TV wise?

A: I do not watch much television, in fact I only have cable connected in the set in the kitchen – to watch the news while I cook and that is about it. I generally watch DVD’s or stream movies. My guilty pleasure is watching something that can transport me to another place and time. I love historical fiction a lot – especially period pieces. As far as TV itself, I may watch some TV on DVD. Recently, I have been watching DALLAS (the 2012). Can you believe Linda Gray has not aged a day?!

Q: Ha! True and I'm sure she appreciates the compliment! Describe your perfect day?

A: Waking up slowly and quietly, as opposed to being jarred awake by street construction, which happened a few times in the last few weeks!

The minute I stir, I hear my dog Digby’s tail start to wag and thump against the floor – she knows breakfast is coming.

This may sound odd, but I love a day when it rains and I don’t have to go anywhere. I can watch the rain fall, drink some tea and read or work on my music. It is pretty simple really – I love to do what I do and my perfect day would be just that. Ok, I could be doing it in Paris too or another beautiful place in the world!

Q: Not odd at all, I love the rain. For me it has these inherent romantic qualities that are great for creating. Best thing a fan ever did or said to you?

A: I’ve mentioned this a few times in interviews, but it was a true life moment for me when I received an email from a therapist who was working with veterans of the Iraq war. She told me that she was using my music in her therapy to help soldiers with post-traumatic stress. That email was a gift I will never forget.

Q: Best thing you ever did or said to a fan?

A: Find that which makes you different and let that define you.

Q: What is the most empowering thing anyone has ever told you?

A: Having a learning disability does not mean you are stupid. It just means most people function like a PC and you function like a MAC. All end up with the same results, you just process differently.

Q: Great analogy! Favorite song (not yours) that you play to put yourself in a great mood?

A: I have many. My iPOD currently has over 21,000 songs! My mood changes through the day and, depending on mood, a song may pop up in my head and I have to listen to it so it will leave me alone.

Q: Favorite song of yours and why?

A: ‘Daughter of the City’ from the album Scheherazade. I love how the song came together and, artistically, it is some of my best work. I was able to convey everything I intended to for the album’s opening in that song.

Q: Thank you so much for your time, and for the last bit, your favorite quote?

A: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry – The Little Prince

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