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Interview with new age artist Mars Lasar

John P. Olsen has just conducted an Interview with Mars Lasar. The topics are about Mars Lasar’s remarkable music career, current projects, and innovative technological products. There is some informal conversation about New Age music in general, and what it feels like to be a famous musician with a history of producing impressive albums during his career.

Mars Lasar is a music celebrity known for bringing a total music experience not only to his broad multi genre fan base, but to persons not even familiar with the name Mars Lasar, since he has prepared music scores on many television and film credits over the last 25 years, along with the lengthy discography produced during his music career. During his career he has provided music scores for highly recognized global corporations, and remains a constant producer in the television and film industry, in addition to his traditional album work.

You will find Mars Lasar specializes in a vast range of genre influences with his wide ranging discography, and his nature inspired releases seem to capture the inherent pride and true spirit of the American way of life. His insightful dedication to protection of the heartland that becomes a constant reminder of this gifted artist and conservation legacy that will remain relevant and time honored for future generations.

Mars Lasar is also a professional photographer. The amazing images he has captured have been on display in galleries near and far. When you compare his musical creations to his photographic images, the fine line of distinction between the two creative endeavors are more attune to making a single artistic statement. John Olsen recently interviewed Mars Lasar, and today we are pleased to provide his fans and our visitors their conversation.

Interview with Mars Lasar;

John P. Olsen: Your lifelong career as a musician has already been marked with many outstanding achievements over the years Mars. There are also many moments of media exposure on television and film. Could you tell us some of the programs your music has been aired on past and present?

Mars Lasar: I have had my work played on many well known shows like: 24, Medium, American Idol, America’s Most Wanted, Oprah Winfrey, these are just to name a few. I have been providing music for film and television for over 25 years.

John: What are some of the greatest moments in your career on a professional level, and could you tell us about the events that were occurring during the single greatest moment to date in your career as a professional musician?

Mars: I must say I’ve had some rather unusual adventures. Being a composer/artist and sound designer with a very large sound library, I was asked to compose all kinds of things from making an orchestra with wildlife sounds to creating hit song productions for the artist Seal. I sat in Abbey Road Studios and spoke music and technology with Alan Parsons, had a cup of tea with Kate Bush, worked with Herbie Hancock and his production team on cutting edge music, wrote video-game music for Sega and Sony Play Station with Keith Emerson from Emerson, Lake and Palmer.

I appeared on the Queen Mary and joined astronaut Buzz Aldrin on topics of energy conservation for Earth Day International, I played synthesizers on street corners dressed in a space suit, assembled an audio rainforest in a dome-shaped butterfly sanctuary in the city, opened for Mike Oldfield on his Tubular Bells tour, traveled to Latvia to represent Russia in the Eurovision contest for which I wrote only the music, the lyrics were in Russian (artist Tatu), I took a shotgun microphone and recorder into the Australian outback and recorded frogs and used them for percussion instruments in my albums, I sampled orchestras that walked out after they found out we were sampling them (in the 80’s), I recorded choirs in France who hid the one that was out of tune. So you see, music and technology led me to many interesting adventures.

Mars Lasar new age albumJohn: Recently when I had an interview with another artist, I asked if making her first individual CD/DVD release of Save The World was easier than she thought it would be. I wanted to ask if having the tables turned by helping the artist with her release was what you were expecting, and were there any memorable moments during the album production?

Mars: Save The World was probably the most work I’ve ever done with multiple vocals. It was like making a king size quilt with silk and a needle. The stitching involved was never ending and required almost surgical accuracy.

I’ve always been fascinated with the technique of multiple layered vocals, even back when we were using analog tape in the late 80’s. During my years of music production I used this technique wherever possible, but with she being a choir singer and theory whiz, I was really able to push her to the limit.

It was an exhausting 1 year production but well worth the end result. Sometimes the production focus became so intense we just had to break out in laughter during vocal takes, and sometimes in tears. She is a multi-talented artist that often makes appearances on my new releases. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from her in the near future.

John: You have produced 2 nature inspired projects related to America’s National Parks. Olympic National Park was your first album, and Yosemite: Valley of the Giants your second. I heard through the grapevine you have just completed another nature inspired project. Is this right Mars, and could you provide some details about your latest National Park project ?

Mars: Yes, I finished another nature CD dedicated to the Four Corners. This one has plenty of Native American Indian influences. It depicts the vastness of the desert and surrounding canyons, with titles like: Hovenweep, Dead Horse Point, Canyon Lands and White Buffalo Woman. The CD is called Grand Circle and should be coming out late 2009.

John: In working alongside other respected musicians like yourself, including Hans Zimmer in the Days of Thunder Soundtrack, the musician Seal on the album titled Seal, and Herbie Hancock on the Dis Is Da Drum album among the many others. What is it like to work with other great artists like yourself, and were there any memorable moments you would like to share with us?

Mars: There is a deep respect when collaborating with artists and producers that are just as into the skill-set as you are. When collaborating in this manner, you’re looking for a perfect talent match for the customization of the end task, or the “brief”. Sometimes the music comes easy, and other times not so. Every artist I have worked with have their own unique eccentricities, and they change according to what is going on in their lives at that time musically and personally. It’s a detailed puzzle. Even the simplest songs can take forever to accomplish.

John: From 1998 to 2001 you released the following albums: Sapphire Dreams, 11.02, When Worlds Collide, Karma, and Star Is Born, among others In addition you have produced a number of series projects like the Mind Scape series and Baby Escapes. Was 1998 to 2001 the busiest period in your career, or was there another point in time where producing music was in the forefront? Is there a reason you were so creative during the time period?

Mars: From the time I discovered music at 11 to now, I’ve been busy making my own versions of what I call “emotional mathematics”, evoking an emotion from music particularly with the latest technology was my thing. There has never been a dull moment. I just follow my art where it takes me.

The key was How do to make money from my art, so I can continue doing it? Being a composer means you must diversify your talents to survive, and that information varies on so many things that can happen in the industry at the time, which can actually take you off-course for years. I found that once I had the talent, distribution, audience and experience to release multiple works, there was no stopping me.

John: The Eleventh Hour was a successful album. Could you tell the events surrounding The Eleventh Hour time period?

Mars: The only way to explain The Eleventh Hour success was the timing in the environment at the time. Many people were talking about cell-phones frying their brains, they were big and cumbersome in the early 90’s. My song from the cd Cellular City with all its phone noises and technology driven Jazz seemed to hit that chord. Next thing you know it’s playing on heavy rotation on American radio. I went all out on that CD to show my true talents as a composer and sound designer.

John: I recently wrote a album review of your At The End Of The Day album, and I found it a nice fusion of Jazz and New Age, noting the fact that many of your albums are a fusion of genres. Do you think this is why your music is so popular, and do you purposely blend genres, or does this just happen naturally for you when creating an album?

Mars: My curiosity for music and art never ceases. It’s the never-ending exploration. For me it’s all about expressing yourself in as many ways as possible and sharing your discoveries with the world. I never wanted to be pigeonholed into the one genre, I just have way too much to express. Because of this my fan base is very broad. From mediation to industrial electronic to jazz. This is also why I like writing for film and TV.

John: Earlier in life you worked 8 years for Fairlight Instruments developing innovative multi-track synthesizer sequencers. Could you tell us about the products you developed and the events you were involved with during your early years?

Mars: Back in the early 1980’s I was heavily into “concrete music”. This was very abstract and non-eventful music, but the techniques were interesting to me. I would put a blank cassette tape into my shortwave radio tuner, press record and pause, look for a neat sound on shortwave (lots of squelching to choose from), hold a stopwatch and together I would release pause and start the stopwatch for one second then press the pause again. Then I would look for the next shortwave sound and repeat. In doing this you could make crude but interesting rhythmic patterns and tones. Essentially I was sampling audio and playing it back. At 18 with my knowledge of sampling and classical training on the piano I fell into the lap of Fairlight Computers. The first music computer based production tool in the music business.

I worked day and night with the R&D team, explaining the intricacies of music and making the first music sequencer “Page R”, it was the shortwave concept but to the next level. I helped to built the massive sound library that came with the machine, packaged in a cardboard-box the size of a large refrigerator. I quickly became very knowledgeable on the computer and traveled the world demonstrating the Fairlight at trade shows, and personal demonstrations to: Duran Duran, The Divinals, Captain and Tennille, Mike Oldfield, Herbie Hancock, Hans Zimmer, Alan Parsons, BBC, Kate Bush and plenty more.

My compositions came with the computer and at a price of $70,000. After helping to get the Fairlight off the ground, I started working freelance. Today the machine is obsolete, PC music software is at a fraction of the price and 100x more powerful, some examples are: Logic, Performer, Cubase and Cakewalk.

John: In your art & photography pages at MarsLasar.com I saw some pretty unique paintings along with your CD album collectables and prints available for purchase. I also read some of your oil paintings are created in more of a process than by just using art brushes. Could you tell us a little about how your original works of art are created?

Mars: I grew up with art. My mother is an exceptional fine artist, she taught me how to paint oil on canvas, I was immediately hooked and spent every moment I had figuring out the behavior of oil paint on canvas. At the age of 14 was asked to hang my works in my high school and I just kept going from there. After painting my canvas I would take a high resolution photo and manipulate the image even further in Photoshop. Photography became a natural progression as soon as it became digital, I wasn’t too keen on the darkroom and chemicals in the early days. Now, I take my camera gear everywhere, and most who know me know that I’m off taking photos when I should elsewhere I enjoy making art from music to art design to the business, it’s all the same to me. The most important thing is that I translate my concept across to the audience so you can enjoy the experience.

John: Your earliest music studies as a young adult were the classical works of Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach. Do you believe this classical foundation at a young age carried through into your earlier compositions and even into present day compositions?

Mars: Absolutely.  The emotional mathematics behind classical music is deep and well thought out. I connect with my classical roots in most of my work. I think it’s an essential tool for young composers. When it comes to classical music, you can never know enough.

John: The family oriented Baby Escapes series 1 – 8 is intended for relaxation. Was there a personal reason that led you to create the more family oriented recordings, and what specific goal did you have in mind with this series?

Mars: BabyEscapes was a sonic experiment made to keep my baby daughter asleep. Made in the 1980’s there wasn’t much around in sleep therapy, so I made my own. It worked so well we had to wake her up during naps. The idea was to create a repetitive cyclical loop that essentially massages your mind to sleep. The secret to this is the choice harmonic resonating tones. There is so much to learn about the strength of music and vibration.

John: Clearly you have many professional interests like music, art, and new technology. It makes me wonder if you have any just for fun hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your spare time?

Mars: My hobbies start as hobbies then turn into businesses. There is only so much I can do in a day, so I just have as much fun as possible while I’m here for this short stay on earth.

John: I would like to close by saying Mars, that you are perhaps the most talented individual I have ever been introduced to in recent memory! Our readers, and myself do thank you for taking time out to give everyone some insight into both your professional career and personal life.

Mars: Thank you. I have worked hard to deliver our creative expressions to the world. I hope that through our art I can make a difference, and inspire others to do the same.

Visit MarsLasar.com and sample albums at his music store or Amazon.com page. You can visit Mars Lasar’s art pages & photography pages and my page for Mars Lasar. Art and photos are courtesy marslasar.com.

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