Geoffrey K. Caughey

Composer

U.S.A.

Author

About

Who am I, . .?. . A nobody, . .no degrees, no letters after my name. I climbed trees, . .trimming, pruning, removal, . .splitting trees into firewood and selling it fromout of the back of my truck, oft’ times till way late in the evening at the corner supermarket, cold,snowy, . .tired, hungry.

Working as an independent contract laborer, . .doing everything within my skill-set, to make enough money to allow me the freedom to keep playing the piano and writing music.When asked what I was doing, . .making all those scratches and scribbling, I simply said,“It’s a hobby.” “What? Drawing little sticks ‘n dots?” “Yes.” How else could I describe this which provides me with no income, this which had no apparent sense or purpose, . .how do I explain that it was my passion, obsession, my full-time, real-time,all-the-time preoccupation. This recurring conversation only earned me quizzical critical looks.Yes, . . crazy, maybe, . .but I knew at the age of 4, the very first time I touched a piano, what Iwas going to do for the rest of my life. Grandma bought me my first piano at age of 8. That was sold when I went into the military.Upon discharge, . .(Honorable), with 8 dollars of severance pay after four years of duty, Immediately went back to playing on the practice pianos in local churches and schools.

I went to Community College for six years, . .majoring in music with a minor in English literature.Influences: besides everything, starting with the sounds of a mother bonding with a new born baby, . .and children playing in the street, . .to all music contributing to the advancement of culture, (Sacred,Classical, and Pop), . .from the current moment on back 900 years to Alienor of Aquataine in her“Court of Love” with the troubadours and troubaritz as the tellers of winter-long tales from ancient lore of yore about love and all human passions.“Now, . . where does music direct us in the quest to fulfill our human potential? Let the harper have a clear vision so as to lead the way into a vast and dark unknown by the light of musical vision, so the world may see clearly the way we wish to go.”T.E.Bach

Thank you for your time and attention,

. .sincerely:

Geoffrey K. Caughey

Videos

Sheets

Interview

What does music mean to you personally?

Everything is energy, . .energy is vibration, . .vibration is music. Ergo: music is everything, . .and conversely, everything is music. Therefore, . .the universe, in its inception and creation, is “diatonic”.

All the physical and spiritual realities are merely reflections of the divine symphony. Being a musician has afforded me the opportunity to explore this vast domain without constraint. Casting off all taboo, fear and restraint, . .letting the imagination roam freely is the grand adventure and, ultimately, its own reward, . .and, for me, has made worthwhile all the sacrifice to have experienced such freedom and perspective gained.

Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?

Fantasy? Yes, . .but more. An expression of imagination? Yes, . .but imagination is not to be relegated away and trivialized as a toy for children. It is our finest tool in the survival of our species, right along side of “Logic”. Like left and right, . .both working together, enabling us to perceive both aspects of reality, the seen and unseen. Daydreaming is as vital a subject matter for study as reading, writing and arithmetic, and, I would add, history.

If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?

I have been a physical laborer, . .dishwasher, bus-boy, waiter, short order fry-cook, . .a mucker of stalls for a dressage horse riding academy, . .piano mover, . .but mostly a tree worker, removal, trimming/pruning, and splitting firewood, and now somewhat hard of hearing for all the chain-saws and chipping machines, but with all my fingers intact. Being self-employed allowed me the freedom to pursue an accomplishment of musical expressionism to my satisfaction at the cost of financial stability, . .even to the point of being homeless on a few occasions. Which begs the question, . .how does a homeless man practice the piano? Answer: by the generosity of the local churches, . .and the nearby schools whose custodians were kind enough to keep the doors of the practice rooms open for me to all odd hours of the night. The classical music audience is getting old, are you worried about the future? Louis Armstrong, when asked the reason for the popularity of jazz, commented, . . “Everybody likes the good stuff.” The challenge for “classical” music is to find relevance again. It shall. When it is alive and breathing again, with a beating heart instead of being treated as a fossilized bug trapped in amber and enshrined in a museum, . .it shall open up a whole new watershed of human potential.

What do you envision the role of music to be in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a transformation of this role?

Three branches of music, “sacred, classical, and pop”, are all equally valid expressions of the human experience. They are all vitally necessary for the understanding of our reality and perspective of who we are as a spirit presence in this universe. As our understanding of music advances, deepens and matures, so, too, shall our knowledge and feelings of all things which words cannot express.

Do you think that the musician today needs to be more creative? What is the role of creativity in the musical process for you?

Music has such a power of influence and persuasion that it has been appropriated by promoters of every sort, be that governments to instill patriotism, militaries to incite generations to march to war, or the industrial-pulp machine to profit by any/all means available. Every musician is faced with the choice, to either sacrifice “creativity” for the sake of a guaranteed pay-check, or to ally one’s self to the spirit of divine creation, regardless of consequence. It is not such an easy decision, . .but once committed to the cause of music’s true nature then is when we find the greater reward of aligning with the inner force of the human soul which always seeks to be creative, . .it is this, I feel, which defines us as a unique species on this planet and perhaps anywhere else.

Do you think we as musicians can do something to attract the younger generation to music concerts? How would you do this?

Start with by being earnest, singing straight from the heart, . . it is the truth we can all identify with. Then take it to the people, . .make it common currency, . .then the crowds will come, . .for the sake of sharing the experience in community with others.

Tell us about your creative process. What is your favorite piece (written by you) and how did you start working on it?

I feel there are two types of music, . .informal and formal. The former is improvised from the genuine impulse of the moment, . .the latter then becomes the written recreation of the former in the attempt and desire to capture the original intent for others to play as well as to expand and enhance the ethos by use of instrumentalising. Starting with a feeling/emotion, . .playing it out from fore to aft, for better and/or worse, . .just be honest, be true to the heart, . .avoid the clever, avoid virtuosity for virtuosity sake, . .be like a chef, adding only the essential ingredients, . .the ultimate goal is to keep it fresh, vital, . .real. It’s about our soul singing in regard to matters pertinent to the soul’s concern. My favorite “work” is always the one I am currently creating. It is the only way I know how to capture the mystical transcendence that infatuates me.

Can you give some advice for young people who want to discover classical music for themselves?

Yes, . .start by listening to my music, . .No, . .just joking, . .but, yes, seriously, . .because of my effort and intention of incorporating certain aspects of all three branches of music that I feel is their best attributes into a singular trunk, . .so as to appeal in one way or another to all preferences. I personally see no difference between the disciplines, whether of chapel, court, or countryside, . .it is all sacred, noble, and pertinent to the commonality of all humanity, hopefully for all of time, for those whom have come before to those yet to be. A high ideal that is perhaps impossible, . .but if the goal were anything less then I think I would rather go back to climbing trees.

Do you think about the audience when composing?

Yes, . .always. It is such a privilege to be able to have the ability to communicate from my heart to my fingers, to the keyboard, and to make these sounds, this music, that I feel it is my responsibility to sing through the piano of things that all people would sing about were they only afforded the chance to do so.

What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?

Many projects. Many ideas. Much I wish to do. For a moment, . .picture music as a landscape of many, endless, watersheds as yet unexplored. My greatest fun, thrill, excitement comes from exploring this realm, which is inseparable from the heart. It is infinite and full of surprises, delight and wonder, . .it is the grand adventure. The question is: what is the ultimate potential of the human soul in its quest for fulfillment? Perhaps, . .just perhaps, . .it is music that can best assist us upon this journey, . .the best way to illuminate where we are upon our path and where we wish to go, . .and the best way of expressing the experience.