Interview: Rob Mastrianni

It was New Years Eve, maybe fifteen years ago, when I first saw Rob playing guitar at a small downtown music venue called Baby Jupiter. I was struck by the realization that he was an artist - not a person cultivating the identity of an artist, but a true honest-to-goodness creator. Fourteen years later the club has come and gone but Rob has continued playing and I’ve been fortunate to call him a friend and we have gigged on occasion. He is a deeply passionate, ego-free, person who is always composing, practicing and learning. He's also a park ranger and expert on birds of prey. 

How would you describe you what is it that you do?
I’m a guitarist and composer. I love to create music. I play unconventional guitars like the Coral Electric Sitar guitar (aka Electric Harp Guitar).

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Interview: Paul Dinletir

I don’t know anyone who has invested at much time and energy into their own personal growth as Paul Dinletir and the results show. He’s a gifted composer and creative power behind Audiomachine, one of most successful companies producing music for movie trailers. That’s a niche, right? Well, he’s turned this niche into a success story because he’s motivated, disciplined, talented and loves what he does. Everytime I hang out with Paul it’s a life affirming event and listening to his music will make you want to wield an axe.

Do you still practice? If so, what do your practice sessions look like?
A few years ago, I read an interview with John Williams where he gave advice to up and coming composers, he said to work on your craft every day even if you only have five minutes.

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Interview: Carmine Guida

When I asked Carmine if I could interview him he seemed surprised because he's not a visual designer. But he is visionary. An accomplished musician, gifted programmer and an entrepreneur. His organizational skills are second to none, he is a natural leader, a teacher and inclusive collaborator. Where you find Carmine you'll find people pushing themselves and having fun.

Do you still practice? If so, what do your practice sessions look like?
With programming. I’m always programming. I program every day. I don’t know if “practice” is the word. But there is a lot of trying out an idea / quickly prototyping, and then deleting it.

With music practice. This is more about “keeping my chops up” making sure my skills/speed/tricks are where they should be.

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Interview: Fung Chern Hwei

Born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Fung Chern Hwei has studied the violin since he was eight years old. As a musician he is both technical and fiercely improvisational. He is currently the first violinist of Sirius Quartet, a string quartet based in New York City that tours and performs extensively internationally. His list of collaborators is a who’s who of innovative musicians including Uri Caine, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stanley Clarke, Tony Bennet, Bobby McFerrin, Steve Wilson, Elliot Sharp and more.

Where do you find inspiration?
Everywhere, from the surroundings, people, the music I listen to, books I read, movies I watch...

Where are you when you have the most a-ha moments?
Good question. Usually in the subway.

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