Jasen Shawn Smith
Jasen Shawn Smith has been playing piano, keyboards and composing music for the past twenty years. Jasen's second album: Virtual Ornaments is now available on CDbaby.com.
Living most of his life in the western United States, Jasen grew up during the so-called second British invasion....Read more... In those days, the American airwaves were filled with innovative artists and bands mostly from Great Britain, such as, Gary Numan, Soft Cell, Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, Depeche Mode, A Flock of Seagulls, The Human League, Thomas Dolby, and Landscape just to name a few. As a child, Jasen was fascinated with Science Fiction and these New Wave artists with their cold and distant sounding synthesizers and robotic rhythm sequencers sparked Jasen's young imagination.
By the mid 80’s, it seemed as though New Wave split into two different camps, Synth Pop and Modern or Alternative Rock. Jasen began to look for a more mature and intellectual music genre to explore. In high school, a friend introduced Jasen to New Age music and to his favorite New Age artists, Vangelis and Tangerine Dream. Although Jasen was familiar with both artists through their film scoring works he never really gave them much thought. After listening to Tangerine Dream’s "Optical Race," "Lilly on the Beach," and Vangelis’ "Themes" and "Opera Savage," Jasen knew that he had found the musical stimulation that he was looking for.
Towards the end of his high school career, Jasen took a deep interest in music, attending a music theory course in which he learned the fundamentals of composition. During the class, he mastered the piano and keyboard by studying the classical composers, Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. Although Jasen found the classics inspiring, a contemporary artist, Suzanne Ciani, so impressed him that he began composing his own pieces that were modeled around Ciani’s Electronic/Neo-classical style. After high school, Jasen enlisted in the Army and played keyboards off and on for some local bands while stationed in Washington D.C. However, playing in smoky clubs for a bunch of ungrateful drunks wasn’t exactly a gratifying experience. Subsequently, Jasen spent less time playing in the clubs and more time composing piano pieces that he vowed to, “pump some life into” later.
After graduating Florida State University, Jasen purchased a couple of synthesizers, one of them being a Korg Triton Workstation, and began a deep and thorough self-taught rediscovery of the Classical composers that he studied in high school. By analyzing each composer's individual style and technique, he developed his craft and own unique style. This style is evident in his early experiments with his equipment. Unfortunately, his only audience, at the time, was his lovely wife and two cats. Finally, as suggested by a friend, Jasen collected ten of his favorite pieces and recorded them on his debut CD entitled: Culture of Convenience. This album will be the first of a trilogy called, "Sonic Psyops" which will be released over the next two to three years. The trilogy will feature traditional instrumentation performing along side electronic synthesizers and the emphasis will be placed on melody, harmony and rhythm instead of sound collages and digitally distorted noises.
Tracks in portfolio: 32
Tracks added to favorites: 20