Glenwood musician featured at DIA
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Maybe it’s because they’re wordless, but Jonathan Mason’s current tunes aren’t easy to describe. They’ve got an epic quality, and they gallop and pause and generally sound like a dramatic scene in a movie. Perhaps it’s that cinematic intensity that caught the ear of the curators of a juried art show, now on display at Denver International Airport.
In “Colorado: See the New West Like a Local,” four of Mason’s instrumental pieces accompany writing and artwork by Colorado residents. The show is meant to give travelers a sense of the state, but it also gives them a sense of Mason himself.
During a recent interview, he said he hopes his work paints an “emotional landscape of Colorado” for those passing by it. He used various, haunting sounds (even harmonies with wine glasses) to help illustrate the feeling he gets from the geography of this place.
And the 26-year-old guitarist, drummer, harmonica player, bass guitarist, ukulele strummer and first grade teacher (who also scores the occasional commercial and small film) was friendly and incredibly humble about all of this.
What first brought you to music? “I’m actually a third generation drummer.”
Both his father and grandfather were musicians, he said, and he sort of came to the art organically, in a self-taught fashion. He started with drums in middle school but soon branched out to pretty much any instrument he could get his hands on.
“So music has always been part of my life from a young age. Really, I’d say, music is my biggest passion, whether I’m playing it or listening to it.”
“I can’t go 10 minutes without making a drum beat with my feet or hearing a song and saying ‘I’d like try that myself.’ Music, to me, inspires me in my life beyond music.”
How so? “In the sense, when I’m making music, it’s usually more influenced by emotions. It helps me think of the deeper questions.”
What did you want to give people who see this exhibit? “I definitely wanted to create a picture in their mind. I wanted them to connect emotionally. For people to relate to an experience in Colorado, to being in that landscape.”
“I also think the songs aren’t necessarily specific to Colorado. People can kind of take it however they like to.”
What inspires you to make music? “I’m usually inspired by life experiences and, again, by emotions and emotions and ideas, and I’m inspired by all the music I hear, that I listen to.”
“I feel like when I make music, I want to have a positive quality to the music. Even if it’s sad, give it a redemptive quality.”
As a songwriter, how to you face a blank page? “Sometimes, there will be a specific sounds that comes to my head, but a lot of times, it’s just a matter of sitting down at my keyboard or at my desk and experimenting.”
“I’m not a perfectionist with my music. For me, as long as it’s capturing the feeling I want to capture, that’s what’s important.”
What keeps you making music? What keeps that fire in you? “I love creating things. I love being creative. For me, yeah, it’s an expression. That’s what keeps me going. That’s what keeps the fire in me and keeps me inspired.”
“The more I do it, the more projects seem to materialize.”
What’s the most important thing in your life? “I would say, for me, the most important thing is family. That’s like, including my new family (with his wife, Gayle).”
“I would also say my job is very important, too. I do believe in the importance of education, and I’d say that’s an important facet of my life, too.”
Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
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