Wayne Naus' Book

Wayne Naus' Bio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wayne Naus' Book

Wayne Naus' Bio

AN INTERVIEW WITH WAYNE NAUS


by Trey Stuvek,
Berklee News Paper, "The Groove"


TS--- GIVE US A QUICK HISTORY OF MOKSHA AND WHY AND HOW YOU CHOSE THE NAME.


WN--- I began the group in the Mid 1970’s and at that time performed numerous concerts around the Boston area. In 1982 I dissolved the group to persue other musical directions such as Latin Jazz, Be-bop and Big Band music. It was in 1998 that I decided it was time to regroup Moksha and continue where we left off. The band still maintains the same musical direction and philosophy, but due to the changes in technology, we incorporate contemporary sounds combined with computer generated visual effects.
The name “Moksha” comes from Sanskrit and means” freedom”. Kenny Werner makes reference to it in his book “Effortless Mastery”. I first discovered the word in 1975 when I was interested in the philosophy of Allen Watts. I adopted the name for the band because I felt it appropriately represented our music and where the music seemed to be leading us.


TS--- WHO ARE THE OTHER MEMBERS OF MOKSHA AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN PLAYING WITH THEM?


WN---The first meeting of the new group in December 1998 was memorable in that the temperature with the wind chill was -50 degrees. The musicians that came out to play on that day with a band they really new nothing about, are the same musicians in the group today. I feel very fortunate to have such incredible musicians that are willing to play my music. They are : Joe Mulholland - Synthesizer and Either Way Therimin. Dino Govoni - Tenor Sax, Berke McKelvey -Atmospheres and Sound Design, Bob Schlink -Viatar, John DiSanto -Drums, Michael Farquharson-Bass and myself on electric trumpet. Vasshua Vassyuk is our recording engineer and has been with us since the beginning. His ability to mix the music is really amazing; he’ll spend months on each performance and literally listens closely to each beat on Pro Tools.


TS--- What could you tell those not hip to your group’s music about Moksha?


WN---The first thing I would say is that “It’s not about a style...it’s about an adventure”. The music is designed for mind travel, and that is where the adventure comes in. We like to create a audio and visual backdrop for mind travel. The interesting thing about this music is that it can be experienced on many levels simultaneously depending on what your interests are. You can get real close and listen to it on a technical level, or step back and view it from a distance. Recently we started to project original computer generated cyber animation behind the band while we play. The animation, created by Berklee graduate, Raleigh Green, adds yet another dimension to the overall experience.


2. Each performance is approximatly one hour in length with no breaks between tunes. I compose three or four tunes for each performance. We decide on the order in which they will be played but everything between each tune is an improvisational interlude. When we rehearse, we only rehearse the tunes. Quite often these interludes provide material for future compositions. I would say each performance is approximately 30% written and 70% improvised. This assures many musical surprises along the way for the listener as well as the performers. The challenge for this style of performance is to maintain a feeling of forward musical momentum. It requires experienced players to pull it off.


Ts--- You seem to incorporate many other elements into your music (crazy sound FX, A/V FX,etc.). When did you start doing that? What influenced you to start doing so?


WN--- I was incorporating pre-recorded sounds into the music from the very beginning. I felt it helped to give the music a depth and direction which makes the listening experience more unique. Anything goes-from whale sounds to waves to someone speaking Swedish but in reverse. Berke McKelvey is our sound design person. He is mainly responsible for “ finding the perfect balance of sonic perspective and density”.
Bob Schlink plays an instrument which he invented called a “Viatar”. It’s a cross between a violin and a guitar. Very interesting colors. Our synthesizer player, Joe Mulholland also plays an Either Way Therimin. It usually creates a little humor in each performance which we feel is important. I am running my trumpet through a variety of electronic effects which adds to the overall sound of the band.


Ts--- Any future gigs or important events we should know about?


WN---Our venues are somewhat limited due to our sound system requirements. As a result, we have been limited, but fortunate enough to perform in the Berklee Performance Center almost each semester. Hopefully we will have a date in the Spring at the BPC. Last summer during the 5-week program, we had saxophonist, Dave Liebman, as a guest. His style of playing was a perfect match for our music. Until our next performance you can visit our web site at www.mokshamusic.com We have CD’s available, anyone interested can contact me at my Berklee extension 617-744-8293. Thank’s Trey for the interview !!


Wayne Naus is a full time faculty member at Berklee College of Music. In addition to teaching Core Harmony courses, he conducts the Berklee Tower Of Power Ensemble, teaches his own composition elective entitled “The Music Of The Yellowjackets” and is the author of “Beyond Functional Harmony” published by Advance Music.

 

Moksha Posters Slide Show