Deborah Martin’s passion is to visualize and create music that takes each listener on a journey through time and space. With a vivid imagination and a deep love of historic places and peoples of the past, we see her as being blessed; for they are few, those visionaries, who can bring forth into the present, and into our hearts, the spirit of that which has been so utterly lost in antiquity.
Deborah has traveled extensively throughout Europe, Asia, and the North American continent, experiencing firsthand the diversity of cultures and the historic threads that weave together connecting us all. This perspective enables her to recognize and uncover links between present and past, and to interpret the resulting panorama with a compositional style all her own.
Deborah joined Spotted Peccary Music in 1991, with musical contributions on the album “Tracks in Time.” Deborah states, “I wanted to combine visual elements of places, people and events of long ago with sound.” Her three compositions, “Tracks In Time,” “Watercolors,” and “Forgot In Stone” did just that and much more.
Continuing to be inspired by the past and by the enthusiastic response of the “Tracks in Time” compositions, Deborah created “Under The Moon”, which received extensive airplay at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. “Under The Moon” takes you on a compelling voyage, from dusk till dawn, by lunar light and shadow, to an inner realm of serenity and grace. Deborah enlisted the aid of noted bassist and friend, Tony Levin, in bringing her vision to life, creating a truly magical experience for the listener.
Following the success of “Under The Moon” Deborah began working on “Ancient Power” collaborating with Steve Gordon. “Ancient Power” was pure magic from the beginning,” states Deborah, “everything just fell into place.” Deborah worked closely with Edgar Perry, a White Mountain Apache of the Eagle Clan, to complete the project. “Edgar told us stories of the history of his people. It became the basis for the music, which comes from a very deep and ancient place within each one of us.”
Deborah joined again with guest artist and friend Tony Levin for her next solo musical vision. Both delicate and powerful, “Deep Roots, Hidden Water” provides whispery melodies and lush, haunting chordal movements that fans of Deborah’s music have come to expect and enjoy. The canvas for the dramatic coloration of this project is enriched with bowed basses, textural guitars, and Taos Drums. With Coyote Oldman contributing tracks of various Native American flutes the journey was completed. The effect is simple and sublime. Deborah explains, “I wanted to continue exploring paths of how we came to exist, to search deeper into the legacy of our past – the imprint of our footsteps through time.”
After the release of “Deep Roots, Hidden Water”, Deborah continued to work on various collaborations with other recording artists to create that elusive musical magic that seems to happen when artists combine creative ideas together. “I love working with other artists,” Deborah explains. “You never know what’s going to happen and then all of a sudden, there’s an explosion of ideas and the music just flows. It’s very stimulating and exciting.”
“Convergence” was a collaborative result of live concert performances with fellow Spotted Peccary artists Greg Klamt and Mark Rownd. “Convergence” is a magnificent contemporary album, warm and inviting, a truly unique listening adventure.
After the release of “Convergence,” Deborah embarked on a journey with artists Cheryl Gallagher and Mark Hunton. Recording the sights and sounds of the peoples of Nepal and Tibet they experienced firsthand the majesty, beauty and spirit of that ethereal part of the world so often referred to as “the land above the clouds.” Deborah and Cheryl began work on a project based upon the experiences of the trip. The resulting “Tibet” is full of richly textured and highly expressive musical impressions intended to take the listener on the same journey these artists had experienced. Critically acclaimed and embraced by all who hear it, “Tibet” remains one of the most honest and truly heartfelt albums ever to bear the name of that majestic and inspiring land.
Deborah’s most dark and mysterious release to date is “Anno Domini”, a collaboration project with Spotted Peccary artist J. Arif Verner. “Anno Domini” returns to historic themes and the connection between past and present while invoking the theme of sacred spaces. On “Anno Domini,” Martin and Verner use ambient textures of synth and guitar to set the stage and Deborah’s haunting and beautiful Latin vocal phrases and melodies act as a beacon to guide the way through the depths of the soul.
Whether collaborating with other artists or working on her own projects in the future, Deborah Martin, one of Spotted Peccary Music’s highly acclaimed top selling artists is sure to inspire listeners with visions of the past and present; and when the time comes for her to reveal the next installment of her musical saga, it is certain that it will be one for the ages.
Deborah has contributed to Hemi-Sync with three titles published to date:
Gather with the ancients as culturally inspired music and Hemi-Sync® weave you through time. Spotted Peccary Music artists Deborah Martin, Mark Rownd and Greg Klamt expertly blend lyrical instruments, rhythmic drums, rich atmospheres and harmonious melodies to awaken the spirit of diverse civilizations. As you open to these multidimensional states, the music evokes the essence of the heart and soul of these indigenous peoples, moving you into a place of reverence and unity. Use Convergence with Hemi-Sync® for transcendent inner journeys and profoundly deep meditations. Instruments featured: Native American and Chinese flutes, ocarinas, Taos drums, keyboards, turtle rattles, straws, cymbals, Tibetan hand drum, bells and bowls.
Explore the mystical realm between sunset and sunrise as the enchanting and emotive music of Deborah Martin and Hemi-Sync® lead you on a profound inner journey. As you move through these higher dimensions, your consciousness soars beyond the stars to a place of connection, and inner peace washes over you. Awaken to the mysteries of the universe, and your own hidden self. Instruments include ambient electric and acoustic guitar, bass, keyboards, orchestral textures, Taos drums and flute. Several tracks form the original album “Under the Moon” were used extensively on NBC’s coverage of the 1996 Olympic Games.
Enter into sacred ceremonial spaces of the American Indian with Deborah Martin and Eric Wøllo’s melding of modern and ancient music and Hemi-Sync®.
Deborah Martin and Erik Wøllo subtly blend modern ambient textures and soundscapes with ancient and traditional voices/instruments in this homage to the American Indian. Hemi-Sync® frequencies deepen this listening experience as you embark on a journey between worlds. Vocals, lyrics, synthesizers, Taos drums, guitars, atmospheres, and additional sonic soundspaces by contributing artist Steve Roach mix with authentic American Indian instruments, onsite location recordings, Apache Crown Dancer songs and Apache drums, partial segments of Omaha and Kiowa Indian cylinder recordings from 1894, and live recordings of Kiowa powwow songs.
• Supports deep meditation/journeying
• Features hemispheric synchronization sound technologies to balance and focus the brain
- How and when exactly did Spotted Peccary come into being and what was it that led to its creation? And what led to the choice of the label name?
Sometime in the early ‘80s Spotted Peccary Music began its roots with a group of friends that were artists interested in exploring the boundaries of electronic music. I actually met these folks around 1983 and recorded some music at their Tucson Arizona location. In 1986 they formed an Arizona corporation, then a couple years later relocated to southern California, and in 1990 I became part of the Spotted Peccary group, which was now a California corporation. At that time there was one release and a couple of other projects in the works. From that point on we began adding more artists to the roster and building the catalog repertoire.
We wanted a name that was representative of the label’s roots—a New American Sound based in the Pacific Southwest. There were a few names the original group came up with, such as Spotted Owl, but that name was not available at the time—Spotted Peccary was. The Peccary is known as a Javalina or Collared Peccary, a wild boar indigenous to the North American continent. We added spots to this mysterious and wandering creature which has been the label’s logo for thirty years; 2016 marks our thirtieth year as an independent record label.
- How specifically does the label operate with respect to selecting artists for the label and determining the release schedule? Do you share operating duties with others, and what are the roles that are shared between the label-runners?
We operate as a team, each person bringing specific skills to the table. We regularly communicate with each other, and if one of our team needs help to finish a task whichever of the other team members is able to assist jumps in as needed so everything runs pretty smoothly; there are occasional hiccups, which is normal in any business, but with our overlapping skill-sets we can pretty much handle anything that comes up.
I am one of the three principals, and my business attributes are CFO, legal, publishing and licensing, general operations, and artist development. My creative attributes range from composing and recording my own projects to producing other projects.
Artists in our genre are driven to our label by the consistency and quality of our products. All the members of our team share in the responsibility of listening and evaluating projects that are submitted for consideration. We have regularly scheduled meetings to determine which submissions meet our criteria and schedule future releases about a year out.
- Is it a challenge for you to balance the time and energy managing the label requires and the time and energy your personal artistic production demands?
Not at all; I schedule my work tasks for the label separate and apart from my studio time.
- How has your approach to music production changed since you first began recording compared to today? And, technology issues aside, how has your musical style changed since the beginning?
I’ve always had a straightforward and simple approach to music production, and even with the many changes in technology over the years don’t feel that has been altered much.
I began with singing and playing guitar in my teens, and that has continued to be my main underlying musical form throughout my career. The guitar is an important part of my compositional forms. Through the years, I have expanded that palette to include various electronic instruments, keyboards, hand percussion, and Taos Native American drums.
- If I’m not mistaken, you’re based in Washington. To what degree has your immediate environment played a part in the music you’ve produced? Conversely, how have your visits to places such as Tibet or Stonehenge influenced the music you’ve created?
I relocated to Washington from southern California about five years ago. My new location allowed a bigger footprint for my personal studio, but that was only one of several factors for the move, others being lower traffic, pollution, and cost of living, plus we relocated the Spotted Peccary mastering facility to Oregon.
I draw references from my travels and the people I have encountered from various cultures. And I love to write; it is from my writings that some of the ideas for songs come, a story perhaps, or a poem, or lyrics. I have a very vivid imagination combined with a deep love of historic places, events and people, particularly the past. If I close my eyes and imagine what it would have been like to exist in another time or place, the music comes through.
- I can think of any number of ambient-electronic artists who aspire to create material where the individual personality is downplayed in favour of a sound that’s more universal. Your music, on the other hand, is suffused with personality, so much so that, to these ears, it’s immediately identifiable as yours and no one else’s. What, in your view, are the qualities that make up a quintessential Deborah Martin composition?
I believe that the original melodic compositions expressed initiate from my use of the guitar and other hand-made acoustic instruments. This allows me to feel that connection to the structure of the melody and from there the song becomes enriched with layers of electronic elements. This is my recipe: combine one melody, add a dash of acoustic instrumentation, and blend thoroughly, then sprinkle electronic layers over the top and serve . . .
- Your music exudes a timeless quality, whether it’s a composition you created twenty years ago or one last year. Is this quality something you consciously set out to achieve, or is it something inherent in the music you create or that naturally arises of its own accord?
My inspirations are living references not stoic. I love to visualize and create through sound, and that palette is the metaphor for the experience.
- Relatedly, you bring into your music aspects of other cultures. Could you talk a little bit about the various cultures and philosophies that you incorporate into your music and how they’ve enriched the music you create?
No matter where I travel, I intentionally entrain with the culture of the people that I visit; I experience their environment, their food, their traditions and their way of life. For example, when in Tibet, I’m relating to the people, not as a tourist, but as a member of their culture. The same is true of my visits with other indigenous peoples around the world.
- Do you have a particular routine for the creative work you do, such as allocating a set number of hours to it each day, or is it more that you work more spontaneously when inspiration strikes? And do you find that a particular work comes together quickly or needs time to gestate and evolve?
Inspiration can happen at any time, and when it comes I don’t lose sight of it no matter when I get the opportunity to work on it. I also love working with other artists because they bring a totally different view to the inspirations that I share with them. There is a musical magic that happens when artists combine creative ideas together.
- What might a typical day-in-the-life of Deborah Martin look like, and what upcoming projects are you working on at the moment?
My days are always very full and complete. Phone calls (domestic and international), electronic communications, meetings, reviewing agreements, plus the joy of deadlines. In between that I schedule studio time, Starbucks breaks, and the essential everyday domestic chores.
I’m actively working on a sequel to the original Tibet project; I revisited that beautiful country a couple of years ago, and this new solo project will reflect the changes in the land and peoples compared to my first visit there in 1999. Another offering is in the works exploring rhythmic structures reflecting the essence of human development. In 2013 I wrote, produced, and released a country album titled Old Habits Are Hard To Break and have a few other vocal projects I may produce and release in the future.
September 2016, Ron Schepper. Textura