Since my album "Seahorses" will be unveiled in new online markets over the next few months, I thought it would be a good time to update my bio.
As of today, my album is now officially available on cdbaby.com!
So, here it is. (Please let me know what you think):
"I've always wanted to make music that I could believe in, to convey a search for truth and share the hidden desires I've always felt. My songs carry with them the struggles and hopes that I have faced in my own life." --Gordon Roqué
If you ask Gordon Roqué what his musical background is, he'll be inclined to tell you that he learned music by sitting on a beach as a teenager for countless hours and thinking about life while staring out into the sea. As unusual as this might sound, it pretty much exemplifies who he is as a musician and a human being. There has always been a sense of exploration and discovery in his life and work.
Having grown up on a tropical island in the South Pacific called American Samoa, Roqué spent many years hearing the calming rhythms of crashing waves by his seaside home. He always took the time to commune with the endless blue ocean. It was his blank canvas--an infinite space for his imagination to grow. He often thought about the world beyond and underneath the blue, about the truths concealed just below the surface of things or the unknowns just beyond the horizon.
It was this desire for discovery that prompted him to teach himself to play the piano after only six-months of formal training when he was just seven years old. His musical education has been an endless succession of unearthing skills and abilities he did not know he had.
Life outside of music also presented other discoveries. Roqué would come face to face with hardships within his own family and with the joys and challenges that come with loving someone deeply. Roqué says that there have been battles hard-fought and wounds still healing.
This is all hugely apparent in the songs from Roque's debut album "Seahorses". From the uptempo bluesy-ness of "Villain" to the vintage music box feel of "Mr. Stranger" to the understated and string-laden "Tears In Savannah", an unfailing desire to explore multiple musical textures is quite apparent. From an emotional and lyrical standpoint, there is the percussive anger in the fiery song "Fear", the sense of isolation in the "The Boy In the Room", and the slightest glimmer of hope in the piano/cello ballad "Pale Sunshine". Roque's own tender, private losses are honestly shared.
With the ocean as his teacher and his life as his guide, Gordon Roqué forges an unconventional musical path. In his music, there are unfathomable depths just underneath a clear, smooth surface, a vision encompassing far more than the eyes can see.
© 2009 Gordon Roqué All Rights Reserved.
There is this place Where I go Where Pianos roam Across the land. They are the leaning Giraffes Whose ears tickle The tops of trees. They are the towering Banyan Trees Whose roots sprawl down From the heavens. They are the green, So green, fields of grass That simmer in the wind. They are the mighty lions Who roar across this vast expanse. There is this place Where I go. It is the greatest emptiness Where sound inhabits space. Where I play Where I wander Where I, too, Roam Free. Official BiographyThrough the music of Gordon Roque, a song written is a life lived, an emotion felt, and a feeling expressed. It is all these things made manifest and so much more.Roque's musical journey began as a child with a scant six months of piano lessons at the age of seven. Howsoever brief, this introduction to music was the start to his on-going love affair with the piano and the art of writing songs. He would spend many years drawn to his dad's keyboards and making up little melodies of his own.Of course, it didn't hurt that Roque, who was born in the Philippines, grew up on a lush and gorgeous tropical island in the South Pacific called American Samoa. Countless weekend barbeques on the beach, swaying coconut trees, the feel of rugged sand on bare feet, and the swelling crescendos of the thunderous and emotive Pacific Ocean provided many distractions for fifteen years of his life. At home, songs of Elvis and the Beatles were in constant rotation on his parents' record player, and, on the island, singing was an integral part of the local culture. According to Roque, "There wasn't a single person, child or adult, who couldn't sing or harmonize. Singing was a way of life back in Samoa, and this taught me so much." Such a richly textured upbringing deeply informs Roque's vivid and imaginative writing style.Today, Roque is fully engaged in a life lived on and through his songs. There is not a personal experience, uncomfortable or otherwise, that he is unwilling to share and explore in his compositions. Underneath his often intense lyrical content, one will hear a bold blend of classical music, jazz, pop, and ragtime stylings. As a result, Roque's music has its own potent and colorful sound and identity.Living and working in Nashville, Tennessee, Roque is currently promoting his brand new, debut album which was released in December of 2008.
The only way to start this adventure is with my favorite album of all-time. The clever among you have already discerned my Springsteen fandom from the title of this blog. Though the song that lyric comes from is not on this album ("No Surrender" is on 1984's Born in the USA), it was too appropriate to not use.
"We busted out of class, had to get away from those foolsWe learned more from a 3 Minute Record, baby, than we ever learned in school"
Though I was not born in New Jersey, I have Garden State blood running through my veins (probably not the best visual for a state with Jersey's cleanliness reputation). Both of my parents grew up in New Jersey and my grandparents were there for most of my childhood. To be from New Jersey is to be connected to the Boss. There aren't really words to describe that connection and I'm fairly certain that there is no other artist who is as easily identified by or with his home state as is Bruce.That feeling of solidarity shared among those from New Jersey is puzzling for outsiders. We know our beaches aren't the cleanest. We know it sucks that you have to pay tolls to drive from one end of the state to the other. We don't fake social niceties for manners' sake (Speaking in generalities, of course). Simply put, NJ is a punchline for most of the other states in the union, yet there is something that unites all of those people (most of whom leave the state, but we'll get to that in a bit). Part of that something is Bruce Springsteen.
"I didn't understand his music for a long time until I began to yearn--until I began to question the things I was doing and making in my own life...it was about stories of lives that could be changed... I never again felt like a loser. When you listen to Bruce's music, you aren't a loser. You are a character in an epic poem about losers."-- Jon Stewart, Kennedy Center Honors 2009