Benedict Roff-Marsh

Story

I compose music using Synthesizers (Propellerheads Reason to be precise). I am a Synthesist and Producer first and foremost. I also work as a Sound Designer (Patch maker) for several developers and have made my own instruments many times. I started in a small commercial studio in 1988 where I learned the basics (like to lock the door against the boss). From there I tried to get bands under my wing but they resisted after the free studio time. That left me to have to DIY so I started making my own music. I still seek to Mix and otherwise Produce for others. For me, it is not about Genre or Formulas. Definitely not about gear. Music is about expression, what is the "story"? How can that story be better presented?

Profile

Instruments

Genres

Influences

Equipment

Languages

What is music to you? What does it give you?

A bit too big a thing to answer so simply so perhaps go listen to "Lost In Music". I like the Anita Lane version as it sounds so much more like the heroin addiction music is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lLIGaNhWuU

What is your music dream?

To have a real audience. Also to work on movies and nature (or science) documentaries.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Have people understand that it is not about platitudes whilst going on with all the same selfish drama (that ends in heartache). Music is Art so it should be valued equally - not as some sort of free adrenaline shot every 3.5 mins. To value rational thinking above emotiveness. Homo Facebookus is not a useful end to the human experience. We can do so much better.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

If I had to pick one it would be Neil Diamond "Jonathan Livingstone Seagull" because my father came home with the cassette and I became obsessed with it. Listening now it is still just a powerful slab of what us humans can do if we but let go of ego for a moment. Later I did the same with "The Jan & Dean Story" and ultimately most of the 1980s, and the growing album collection I have. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb5KOXuDbEo&list=PLAbSwpu-qbTlLXQC8jffzur_ymhNJ2Tnq

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

That always seems such a silly and shallow Q but Vangelis, Tangerine Dream, Gary Numan, Ultravox, Judas Priest... made me who I am. If it were the equally silly desert island then it would probably be Rod Stewart Best of as he is/was such a great singer and covered a lot of bases so well over the years.

What inspires you to make music?

The need to communicate. To connect with people. To find the perfect expression of something I cannot seem to manage otherwise. Not unusual in Aspies (or other brain issues). People often recoil when we speak. So often people misunderstand us so Art seems a purer way. Not trying to be a snowflake at all; I just have to create or the pressure builds up and I have to spend even more money on chiropractors.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

To be really honest, I can't really say directly. That is why it is art. Somehow I hope to connect with people in ways that parallel the way I feel when I listen to great music. I do have some hope that people can switch off their surface ego for a few moments and connect with the wider universe. Imagination, meditation, planetary consciousness and all that disgustingly New Age stuff.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

When they aren't throwing stuff at me? Audiences aren't always kind - even tho I loved it more than not. There is nothing like the stage. I get to control a space & time and it is magnificent when the crowd comes along. I understand what Keith Richards means when he talked about taking drugs to try to manage being off stage.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

It has been really dire for a decade or so with a race to the bottom of non-art. The fans have encouraged that so it all goes hand in hand. Thankfully I see some glimmers of proper art appearing in Rock (the broader sense of the term) but there is a still a huge way to go. Obsession over Genre tropes and the belief that music is "free" and therefore denying the value that the artist has created (like we value someone who digs a hole for us with a $50 note) need to be overcome. It is the childish-ego thing of the moment we need to work through so we can get back on with building the amazing things humanity can do (when not being a bunch of lazy dolts).

What do you think of Drooble?

So far, after a day. Kinda nice.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

That people silo themselves so much and get snarky the moment anyone suggests that they could be more by changing or improving something or working together. Bowie didn't do it alone by any sense of things so why would they? This is the greatest failing of musicians at the moment and leads to them letting Spotifry etc prostitute our work to the disinterested for no return.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

No. I used to but I found that the local mentality usually meant "we'll talk to you so long as you give us stuff for free" but the moment I asked for a return, pft. That ain't no scene. I'd be delighted to be part of something but only when it goes both ways.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

If talking Trailer Swift clones then a blind arrogance and willingness to part with scads of cash to buy your way into Spotifry charts in the hope you capture the moment before it swings away to some other triviality. If a real artist, a willingness to relax the ego a bit so that they can find and work with others. esp those who bring new challenges, new vistas. You need to feel or you're aren't making or taking part in art at all,

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

I run a review site at Unigon Plane and there is something interesting about everything I review, or I wouldn't review it. https://unigonplane.wordpress.com/ If I were to pick any one current artist who affected me it would be Klaus Morlock https://unigonplane.wordpress.com/2018/03/14/klaus-morlock-bethanys-cradle/