Take Time to Breathe with This Meditative Video
Please take a minute to relax, center, and ground with this video honoring the Solstice: Keepers of the Earth
Mike is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, and producer committed to personal and planetary transformation. His primary tools are sounds and music. He is also a Licensed Massage Therapist that works closely with healers and therapists of various modalities to create music perfectly designed to meet their needs and the needs of their clients.
Mike resides near Seattle with his wife, dearest friend, and co-producer Pam and their feline roommates Nacho, Beany, and Zach. He draws upon the natural beauty of the Northwest for inspiration. He also travels with his portable audio equipment and instruments, recording the sounds of nature, which he sometimes weaves into his healing soundscapes. With eyes, ears, and heart open, Mike is thankful for every day, for sound, and for all of the loving beings that touch his life.
Mike’s musical journey began in his home town of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Science, electronics, music, and sound were his early passions. His earliest memories are of his father’s reel-to-reel tape recorder with its uncanny ability to record and playback sounds and its mysterious glowing “green eye” signal indicator. His first word was something like “ites,” baby talk for “lights,” as he was mesmerized by electric lights. It is not surprising that sound and music are still among his greatest passions 43 years later, and that ambient lighting, lasers, and amateur lighting design are still on his short list.
Mike was an overly sensitive kid. “This hyper-sensitivity is still with of me. Of course I’ve had to stretch out and deal with many personalities and challenges in my life, but I still find myself empathizing and sensing the feelings and human needs of others. I’m still learning to listen to these instincts.”
With troubles at home and a broken family, Mike dropped out of high school for about 6 months. He ultimately obtained his diploma from an alternative education program and, after working for a few years as an electronics technician, obtained his baccalaureate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma.
Mike found the greatest solace in his music, electronics, and scientific hobbies. For science, Mike thanks his 6th grade Science teacher, Mrs. Burris, his influential uncles, Bill and Johnny, his father, and Carl Sagan. For music, Mike was fortunate to have the great influences of his older siblings. They introduced him to Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Yes, Jethro Tull, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, etc. The eternally optimistic but enigmatic lyrics of Jon Anderson of Yes were most influential. They painted a sonic world of connectedness and infinite possibilities that is still fundamental to Mike’s world view.
Mike was first introduced to world music by his father’s albums of tribal drumming and steel drum music. Later, Mike was introduced to the world fusion music of John McLaughlin’s Mahavishnu orchestra by Joel Zane, a family friend and early mentor, and to this day he loves Indian classical music. Mike weaves elements from many styles of healing and spiritual music into his compositions.
Mike’s mom remains a strong influence in his life. “She embodies the Golden Rule.” Together, they attended concerts of John Denver and Johnny Cash. Through tough times, they found common ground, great hope, life lessons, and healing in the words and lectures of Dr. Leo Buscaglia. Here was an authority figure, respected by people of all walks, that spoke of the commonality of religions and the common values that give us hope for the future.
Mike received his first guitar for Christmas at the age of 15 and bought his first acoustic guitar (with money earned from being a janitor) at age 16. He still owns that acoustic guitar. “I never stopped playing guitar.” He has also collected various ethnic instruments over the years and experiments with many music and audio related things. Mike’s composition, audio recording, and production skills are entirely self-taught and have evolved over the years. Mike is a constant student of life.
In 1995 Mike and Pam took a 4 week road trip in his little Honda Civic across the North American Southwest. They had always been drawn to the art and philosophies of the early Americans. They planned their trip around state and national park visits focusing on areas where they could experience petroglyphs, pictographs, rock art, cliff dwellings, kivas, etc.
During this trip Mike was exposed to the Native American flute at the Hubbell Trading Post in Arizona. He purchased a primitive 7 hole there and then a 6 hole at Monument Valley later during the same trip. “I knew nothing about the scales, and with hindsight I now realize that these were really primitive flutes – very difficult to play in tune, etc. Still – I was hooked on this instrument. With the release of my breath it transported me back in time. I now recommend the Native American flute to everyone. It is grounding and links us to nature. It is very approachable. One can make beautiful, relaxing sounds by just following a few simple rules, using their breath, their ears, and their heart. The instrument is wonderfully portable for vacations or nature hikes.”
Jan Michael Looking Wolf has been an important recent influence on Mike in his flute and life journey. “I embrace the Spirit of One Heart that is at Jan’s core. Jan’s music and spirit are incredible.”
Over the last several years Mike has focused on creating healing music. “I follow my heart and intuition. I start by creating music that will allow me to relax and focus. I ultimately work with a network of wonderful healing practitioners to perfect the music for them and their clients.”
More broadly, Mike believes there is deep need for global human and planetary healing. “Counting my blessings, I am called to open my heart and offer my music to the world. My intention is to create music to enable healing through the power of music and sound.”
In 2009 Mike attended the Cortiva Massage School in Seattle. He is now practicing massage therapy, integrating orthopedic, structural, and wellness massage with client empowerment and self-care. “I am so fortunate to be of service in this nurturing community. It’s taken me a while to figure this out but I have found my life purpose. Combining my passions for helping others through bodywork, healing music, and naturesound recording is truly a dream realized.”