Surfing Monk (TM) Music & Surfing
Monk (TM) Records Presents
Beyond the Stars will keep you entertained for a long time.
Heartson Recording Artist:
by MaryAnn Miller - Winnsboro Today Winnsboro TX
There's so much more to John Heartson than this simple title. Yes, music is one of his passions. He has been a musician since childhood, playing keyboard, guitar, flute, and a number of other instruments. "Music is a powerful medium," John said. "People have been using music to get messages across for centuries."
John has several messages he incorporates into his original music that deal with energy, peace, and ethical issues in global business. He doesn't consider himself an activist as much as a truth-advocate. "Activists are sometimes seen as anti-government and anti everything else," John said. "But I have faith in the American people and the American government. I'm just looking for more transparency in government and business."
Before leaving the world of nine-to-five, regular paychecks, and two-week vacations, John worked as an engineer, manager, and consultant in aerospace, manufacturing, and technical services. One part of his job responsibilities was the promotion of energy efficient technology partnered with the Department of Energy. More recent experiences opened his eyes to the corruption in global business and stirred his spirit to speak out through his music.
|In the last few years, John decided to
leave the corporate environment and work as a carpenter and musician in New Hampshire. He
produced his first CD, Beyond the Stars, which is an eclectic mix of music behind
passionate lyrics about hope for our world and can be ordered from his Website . Visitors to his site can
also get detailed information about the need to end our world's dependence of fossil
fuels, as well as links to other sites dealing with important issues.
John promotes his music and energy-independent ideas in his multi-fuel, solar electric motorhome the "Surfing Monk". John is an advocate for super efficiency, alternative clean sustainable energy. He sees new energy technologies as a needed and urgent step to freedom, peace, and survival in our country and the world.
"Peace is what happens when you stop listening to fear and do what love would do." John Heartson
Article by MaryAnn Miller Winnsboro Today April 2005
|How Was "Beyond the
"Beyond the Stars" is an analog digital hybrid. It's a mix of real acoustic guitars, real electric guitars with synthesized bass, drums and numerous other layered sounds possibly never heard on earth before. There are also layered vocal harmonies on many of the songs. I even used an E-bow to play the electric guitar (with lots of reverb) on the title track song "Beyond the Stars" My signature vocal sound comes from a Beyerdynamic M500 Classic ribbon mike and good old Mackie pre-amps. Off course there's different effects on the vocals and the guitars that fit the mood of the song.
The synthesizer tracks were recorded via a MIDI sequencing program. I played those parts one track at a time, but you might swear that we had a real drummer and bass player on most of the songs, except "Silicon Invasion", which was intentionally synthetic. I didn't use a drum machine to create the tracks. I played them via the keys while visualizing what a real drummer could do (two hands and two feet). When I did the orchestral sounds, I traveled back in time to my orchestra and band days. That's why the tracks feel good. Once all of my parts were layered, I created a stereo mix and time code synchronized the sequence to a multi-track digital recorder. That's when I brought in Scott Cheney for much of the guitar work. I then recorded the vocals and added my guitar work. I would have preferred to have had an unlimited budget, real choirs of angels, live cellos, real kettle drums and a state-of-the-art studio but....
Gerry Putnam, who did the mastering, asked me what I recorded and mixed this album on. When I told him it was a really old (tear stained) Roland VS-880, he was absolutely blown away! He said "I've NEVER heard anything this good come out of a machine like that". That was a real compliment because Gerry works with artists from all around the world. It just takes longer this way. You work with what you have. That reminds me, in 1979 I did a valve job on a lawn mower in Dallas TX. The only tools my (ex)sister-in-law had were pliers, vice grips and a screw driver. Like I said, it just takes longer. With this CD, I pushed it to the wall and squeezed the equipment until it glowed with a golden aura. Didn't the Beatles record one of their many famous album on a couple of small 4-track "reel to reel" tape decks? Today anyone can buy a digital multi track recorder or software. That's the easy part.
This song was actually inspired by Sean Lennon. It was October 9, 1999 in the evening. I tuned into the middle of a TV show about John Lennon. Yoko was describing, a week after he had been killed, where Sean walks in and said "why are you crying mummy"? She said "I miss your father" Sean Lennon said, "Don't cry mummy, daddy's with God now, he's everywhere".
My heart opened right then and that's when I swear I heard someone with an Liverpool accent say "go to the studio I've got something for you" But there was no one else is the house and it wasn't on the TV. I felt something like a pleasant and powerful charge of energy run through my body in that moment. I ran down to the studio, started recording the music and writing down the words. I was even hearing technical tips like how to do the echo on the voice and everything. (and if you're wondering, no....I don't do drugs). Another musician I knew, Bea Verdi, who has since passed on, received a song she thought was from John Lennon called "Tell Her I'm Still Alive" (another message to Yoko) I've heard it. It sounded just like Lennon and I got the same goose bumps when I heard it. My song "A Message From John" gives me and others those same goose bumps. Does John Lennon communicate to musicians from another realm? LISTEN TO THE SONG! and you tell me.
On "A Message From John" I brought in a bunch of musicians. I really needed the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Sir George Martin and a budget of $200,000 to do it the way I felt it should be done, but I couldn't pull that off. I was very fortunate to have Bruce Bender on bass, Tim Clancy on lead guitar and Scott Cheney on rhythm, along with my electronic symphony, infinite patience and good ears. We even had a special guest from Liverpool, England, Brian Morris, reading the "truth solo" in the middle of the song. (I too get by with a little help from my friends.)
When it was time for the lead guitar, we did a few takes and I was telling Tim I wanted something with a George Harrison feel. After the third or fourth take, all of a sudden I'm looking at Tim, but I'm hearing George Harrison. It was amazing! That was the take. I said "wow, where'd that come from"? Tim looked like he was in a trance and said, "I don't know? ...it just sort of happened"! By the time we recorded this latest and greatest version of "A Message From John" in 2004, George Harrison had passed away. Now I'm half wondering if George didn't float in to help us too. Maybe it's no coincidence that I'm onto the same path of learning about the incredible amount of corruption and greed that attempts to run our world that these guys knew about. John Lennon certainly spoke up against it.
You know the part just before the gentle piano intro starts? Originally I had an actual clip of John Lennon. saying "I'm not afraid of dying", then a CBS news clip came in saying " Former Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed Monday night in New York City" then finally John Lennon came back and said " I don't believe in it, it's just like stepping out of one car and into another" Wham... the music swelled up and the rest of the song is as you hear it now. The CD was already mastered when I realized I might need permission so I spoke with Yoko's lawyers but the answer was, "No, not at this time". I went back into Cedar House Sound and Gerry quickly recorded my voice in the beginning as you hear it now. The song is still powerful but I loved having John Lennon's voice on it. You know when I "received" that song on his birthday on October 9, 1999, I didn't even know it was his birthday. I thought it was the anniversary of his passing. But it felt like I was being powerfully guided. The music, the lyrics....the arrangement.....the way it all happened at once and the fact that I felt such love for Yoko in that instant when the song came through.... all of that tells me that I was getting some extraordinary assistance.
I've been playing with music and sound my entire life. When I was a little kid, I played records backwards, stuck microphones inside of vacuum cleaner hoses but the sound really sucked. I made weird sounds into tape recorders and slowed them down. I built electronic kits and just messed around with sounds. I tried putting a few bands together back in high school but they never went anywhere. I went to college, became a mechanical engineer and worked in industry and eventually specialized in sound and vibration. I even quit doing music for a few years but I was still analyzing sound and vibration in industry using spectrum analyzers. Sound is my thing. I know how to create and design sounds from scratch on any analogue or digital synthesizer. In the 60's I had a hippie German teacher, John Snyder, that had a huge collection of analogue synths, ARP 2500 and 2600, Moog, EML, etc. That's where I first learned about sound synthesis. Some people may know John Snyder. He played synth with saxophonist Joe McPhee (I hope that's how you spell it) and John is also a talented didgeridoo player. He was on the Conan O'Brian Show and you could also hear him playing didgeridoo on a national TV commercial a few years ago.
My first instrument was violin, but it was a cheap one and I hated it because it sounded so horrible and it was a nerdy thing to carry in middle school and high school back then. But....subconsciously, I was learning to arrange orchestral music. Sitting in the middle of an orchestra, you'd experience real surround sound and all the different parts and arrangements. Piano lessons were next when I was about twelve. By the time synths came out, I kept hoping for better sounds and multi timbre capability. I used to wish I could clone myself just so I could play all the parts. Then MIDI keyboards were developed, and computers became faster and finally I could express what I heard inside.
| What Instruments Do You Have?
I used to have 10 or 11 vintage keyboards and synthesizers, but now I've trimmed way down. My current collection of instruments includes an Ableton Suite 8, Akai MPK88, Akai APC40, Cubase, Alesis QS-8, Alesis QSR, Ensoniq VFX, Yamaha acoustic guitar, Crate Rock Axe electric guitar, E-Bow, electric sitar/guitar, Theremin, Alesis AirSynth, a real didgeridoo from Australia, a very old Ocarina, a Yamaha Recorder (wind instrument) and everyone's first instrument from elementary school in my day....a plastic Flutophone. Oh....and lots of multi-effects units.
About the Messages in Your Music and the 9/11 Truth Movement?
Unusual events and help led me to quickly learn about massive cover-ups involving events and financing behind the September 11th attack and reasons why U.S. based multinational corporations felt they had to get our military into Afghanistan and Iraq. What I learned turned my stomach. Apparently I really did get too close to the truth, because I was personally visited and warned and threatened. I can't stop corrupt leaders in business and politics, but I can expose the lies, tell the truth and inform people about real alternatives. Alternative like LENR, CANR (cold fusion - water is fuel), solar electric, and temporary measures such as bio fuels. You should have seen the look on my Texas friends faces when I poured used fryolater oil directly into the tank of my 30 foot Scotty motorhome.
I have a technical background and have worked as an engineer for many companies including one of the biggest multi-nationals, along with aerospace corporations and as a consultant promoting energy efficiency programs and technologies sponsored by the Department of Energy. I also have friends in intelligence agencies, government and media. I know that the vast majority of people in business and working for us (for U.S.) in our government are honest and have integrity. But sometimes the most powerful get to be powerful because they have less or no integrity and are excellent liars or will do what they are told by even more powerful people. Unfortunately some people will do anything or look the other way for job security or money. What if many things you were told about the September 11th attack, the anthrax attack, Afghanistan and Iraq was a lie? This is not the place to convince you, but if you do your own detailed research, you will learn the truth. The truth is coming out. It can not stay hidden. There are too many honest compassionate people that will expose the deception when it goes too far for them personally and affects their lives like it has mine.
The United States has a unique history of government. We are self governed. We have a temporary situation. There has been a coup' and an attempt to fool the people and ignore the constitution. It seems to have worked for the short term. Maybe these things have worked before, but now we are more interconnected than ever. Information flows. Remember, the government is YOU, me and everyone of voting age that was born in our United States or has been naturalized. You ARE the government. Don't forget that. The guys in Washington are YOUR representatives and employees. It seems too many of them have lost their allegiance. Maybe some of them justify misuse of power, corrupt actions and cover ups. "We the people" do NOT vote for and elect the CEO's and board members of global companies such as Enron, GE, Bectel, Lockheed, Chevron and Haliburton (just a few examples). Yet, these private businesses have more access and influence over our own country. Some global businesses get to use our military resources (the lives) of we the people for their "private projects". The only way they are able to do this is through deception, misdirection and mass manipulation. There has to be a better way and I pray we find it soon. You might start with my page called the Future Depends on You and then visit Tar Paper Sky Reports at www.heartson.com for my detailed research)
I request that those working in government, media, military and business have the courage to speak the truth and expose the lies. Corrupted leaders will have no power when no one follows them.
Yes and be sure to quote me.
If they ever come to install a microchip in you someday, tell them exactly where they can stick it.
Imagine honest politicians that can't be bought off, and need no lubrication......oil...... or otherwise.
Tell the truth.....because.... peace is what happens when you STOP listening to fear, and DO what Love would do.
All Right Reserved © 2004 - 2009 John Heartson
Surfing Monk TM Music is a BMI Affiliate
All of the music, lyrics and arrangements on "Beyond the Stars" by John R. Heartson