Dave Ascoli







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

Music provides peace, inspiration and thought for me. I like to have it in the background when I am hanging out at home. I play the piano and write some, so, of course it is not in the background during those times. When I want to simply down-load the day...music is there. Music lyrics are my focus. It is so cool to have something to say and do it with music. I grew up in the 60's and 70's and was lucky enough to hear a lot of that kind of music. Groups like Pink Floyd, ELP, CSNY and many others were my heroes. I will say, though, my favorite song writer was Harry Chapin.

What is your music dream?

I don't think I have a 'dream' per se. I do have a goal. I have written about 100 songs over the past 40 years. I would like to learn how to use Logic Pro well enough to produce a 'final' of all of them.

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

Star Trek....I loved Star Trek growing up. I liked seeing how the human race starts to get it right. I think fundamentally folks in the Star Trek universe recognize the importance of self-determination and, as a result, the importance of teaching generation how to think, how to explore and how to discover, rather than what to think, what to explore and what to do in life. In fact, for anyone interested, I wrote a book about this. It is called, "Make It So; First Steps Toward the Future Federation, Today." If we can build these concepts into each generation, we could reduce many of the problems we see today down to a minor annoyance. Indeed, in that book I talk about the lyrics of the song used as the theme to "Enterprise."

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

There are so many. Two songs stand out to me: "Close to the Edge" and "The Last Illusion." I was a big fan of Yes and that song took music to a whole new level for me. "The Last Illusion" is a song by JF Murphy and Salt. It is that song that locked me into lyrics. There is a line from that song that has always been powerful for me: "Friendship is the only beast that is never known to bite until it is dead."

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

As I said, I grew up in the 60's and 70's...there are many. Some include, Yes, ELP, Pink Floyd, Nekter, Allman Brothers, Renaissance and Genesis. There were also solo acts: Elton John, Billy Joel, Carol King and Bob Dylan. Of course, I liked the Beatles. However, as the years passed and I learned of how the Beatles fundamentally changed the industry and creation of music I have become a great fan of theirs.

What inspires you to make music?

I am not sure. I never touched a piano until I was 30 years old. Never thought of making music...always really enjoyed listening. Happenstance put me in a beginner piano class in Junior College...I fell in love with the piano. Then, with no real intent, I just started messing around on my own, in between doing scales and arpeggios. I am not very good, but I have gotten better and as I mess around with stuff there are chords that just sound good. Sometimes when I do that, words (just few or whole lines) pop in my head. When it first happened, I decided to write them down...they became songs. I am not sure where it all comes from, but there is something that 'connects' when I feel a particular song is done...there is feeling I get. It goes way beyond satisfaction. I can't explain it but it makes me feel part of something.

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

I don't know if it's a 'message' but I want folks to get a sense of who I am. Much of that is in the lyrics of my music.

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

I play piano in a local bar here in China. Most everyone can't speak English. I play for beer and something eat afterward, so it's very casual. I was a little nervous at first, now I just try to put my feelings into every song...covers and originals. Since people won't understand the lyrics, I am hopeful the recognize my passion. So, I guess the most accurate terms to describe how I feel are excited and challenged.

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

I won't pretend to know anything about this. I just feel that music, like everything these days has been lost to money...at least 'commercial' music. Folks that want in the 'business' of music don't interest me. Places like this site excite me, though. It is places like this where musicians can just focus on the music, or their particular interest. I hope this site stays active for a while.

What do you think of Drooble?

I answered that in the previous question.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

The hardest part for me is the recording. I am just getting used to the new Logic program. When it's time to try to sequence some tracks, add voices, etc....it becomes a little too technical for me and I tend to find reasons to put it off.

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

I really don't. I live in China and I don't speak Chinese too well, so I don't really know where the 'music scene' is.

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

I can't really answer this as I don't know the particular challenges. My first thought, however, is to not worry about bigger audiences...focus on your passion, develop your skills and stay motivated. The larger audience thing can happen over night, or it can take years. If that is what your focus on it might back fire.

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

I don't think I can. I am not in touch with current artists in US and don't know names of Chinese musicians. All I can do is dredge from the past...One band, Gypsy, didn't last long (early 70's, I believe), but their album "In the Garden" was great.