Marcus Williams
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Marcus Williams


Band Jazz New Age


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The best kept secret in music


"Marcus Williams: Rising in the East"

Many people take the textural, musical landscape approach to ambient/New Age Jazz/whatever and turn the possibilities of mood and meditative introspection and turn them into awful realities of musical wallpaper; music so mellow you want sleep, so down-tempo you want to die.

Miles Davis, Weather Report, and the forefathers of New Age Jazz, Ralph Towner and Oregon (those not old enough to know ask your parents or him aunts and uncles what these names mean), sowed the seeds that have often brought bitter musical harvests of sad, mutated fruit. Like what McDonald's did to the amazing hamburger, many artists have done to the idea of melding a rock and pop-based sensibility's lush musical textures with melodic, harmonically centered improvisation.

Marcus Williams is an exception. Perhaps it is his upbringing in musically fertile St. Louis, MO, or his vast talent, but whatever it is, he has taken the long-abandoned baton of the original "jazz fusion" movement and started running with it.

What are your earliest musical memories?

"When I was about three years old, I remember being exposed to what my parents listened to. My mother liked to listen to blues music from Junior Wells and Albert King and my father liked to listen to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. I remember sitting next to the speakers and tuning in and as I got older, I could remember the music melodies. So I would say to my father, "Hey I know that song," he would ask, "How ?" I said "When I was a baby, I heard you play that record a lot."

Showing musical talent early in life, he went on to study drums, vibraphone, piano, and trumpet. After high school he attended Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he played with and learned from many high-level musicians. There he was exposed to the music of Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, and both electric and acoustic Miles Davis. These experiences brought him into the realms of production and electric jazz, and the album Through My Eyes.

The song "A Beautiful Place" opens the CD and sets the stage for the rest of the album - an arrangement style akin to sculpting the sound as silence gives way to disembodied tones that become textures melting into a song with driving yet spacious drums, elegantly soulful piano, and wordless vocal that remind one of the great Brazilian multi-instrumentalist master Nana Vasconcelos (especially his soundtrack to the movie "Apocalypse Now").

Gliding above and through this melange is ethereal trumpet playing blues as an abstract truth. The style of fusion that he bases his style on is long on texture and sound, and has very little of the chops-aholic excess that marred the later work of Al Dimeola and almost of the stalwarts of the genre. His style is tuneful, unique and, in my world, perfectly accessible in the best sense of the word. In other words, Williams' music is commercial in the best sense of the word.

You make references to Big Jazz labels in your biography. What happened with the jazz labels out in L.A.?

"I would send my music to the labels and they would say this great stuff and we want to release it. Talks about touring and production of other artists even planned out. But then they would ask, "Wo who are the musicians on the record?" Since I composed, recorded, and performed alone using creativity, MIDI and computer technology, I would answer, "Me." They would scratch their heads and say, "Well how did you do that as your music sounds like a live band?" I would say, "Well, I guess I have a gift."

"After realizing I was not joking, they would shy away and the deal never would materialize. It seems that jazz labels couldn't understand that I was able to transform the sound from synthesizers into a living band. It was frustrating for me as I thought they would be very excited about my talents. The same situation happened in Germany and Japan.

"So I quit trying and moved to Asia. I figured I would just compose my music and leave it here for people to discover one day and die an unknown composer. Then the internet music revolution came along and I could release my music to the public via the net. That's when everything changed in my life. I started to feel some hope as people who discovered my music said it was something new and they loved the emotion it gave to them."

This emotion is evident on two of the stand out pieces on the record, "The Center of Life" and "The Story of You." Both these tunes are, like the rest of the CD, cinematic in nature, evoking feeling and mental pictures. But these songs are musical renditions of mini-movies.

"The Center of Life" starts with a murky texture. Lightly pulsing percussion and electric piano roll like water as a trumpet benediction floats on top. The musical river hits a dam and smashes into a driving Miles Davis circa "On the Corner" (1975) grooves. Then it takes another turn into the rolling waters of the intro, but with more intensity with voice answering and dueling with the trumpet. The story of you drives in another way, evoking a long drive, one where you empty your mind of stress and think of the mundane magic of everyday life and memory.

More on Marcus Williams
* Genre: New Age/Jazz
* Hometown: Bali Indonesia
* Website:
* Label: MYWPMUSIC.COM "Your Online Source For Artistic Music"
* Buy Marcus Williams's CD "Through My Eyes"
* Contact Marcus Williams
Take a Listen to "Through My Eyes"
* A Beautiful Place
* The Center of Life
* Story Of Two
* Through My Eyes

How did you decide on Indonesia? What is it about the culture and people of Bali that you like and makes it a good place for you to work? What about the influence of fundamentalist Islam? How do people view you as an American? Does being black make any difference with people?

"Bali is called the island of the GODS, The people here are very artistic and really value artistic creation. The Island is very beautiful and you can feel the spirits passing through this exotic place. I was told that I was to live here and I would create some of my best music while here.

"At that time I was already living on the island of Java. Bali is mostly a Hindu culture, but Java is Moslem. While living in Java I found the Muslim people to be peaceful and fun. They are like anyone else trying to make it and take care of their families. I never felt odd as American.

"Most of the Western people who live here are happy to be here. The Indonesian people are very kind and think with their heart. There is no discrimination against skin color, religion, or culture. They are beautiful and wonderful people. Religion is practiced very seriously here, but it is not enforced on you."

What opportunities exist there for musicians?

"It is not a place for musicians per say as there are not many places to perform here on Bali. However, it is a special place for creative artists. This Island offers inspirational scenery and complete freedom to focus on your creative ideas. All who visit here become attached to Bali. For me as a music composer, I find the culture and the creative inspiration very strong here. Since I record my music myself, it is a haven for me to record my many visions in my private music studio without interruption from the stressful life style in the west."

What did you love about the music of Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Chick Corea?

"The LP titled The Mad Hatter by Chick Corea, I must have listened to that record a thousand times when I was a teenager! I liked how he put music to tell the story of Alice in Wonderland. You play the whole LP and it takes you places. That had a big influence on me. I like to make all my CDs have a central theme or message and try to make all the songs connect and flow.

"With Herbie I like how he mixed funk with jazz and I liked the smooth side of his music. I like the way he made the synthesizer expressive.

"When I was just starting to play the trumpet, I listen to a lot of trumpeters - Clark Terry, Lee Morgan, Art Farmer, Clifford Brown. Then one afternoon and I heard "Autumn Leaves" by Miles Davis. It was the way he played, very cool and smooth, not a lot of technical mastery, but speaking like a voice!

"I like music that is not based on technical precision but based on feeling and mood; using your emotion and musical talent to speak to the listener. That is what I feel that Miles did that was so special as a trumpeter. Also he showed how as an artist you need to experiment, try new things."

How to you approach composing and putting together your music?

"First is the theme or subject I would like to document or bring to light for an audience. Once I have that, I start the ground work. I use MIDI and computers as my tools to create the rhythm section. I like to play the drums in a linear way and do not like to sample or use loops in my works. Every part is played by me on the keyboard. I then add live percussion and other acoustic instruments to bring the balance of the sound into perspective. And, of course, my trumpet which is my main instrument.

"I want each track to be as live and based on the spontaneous feeling of a musician's creative force being added to the song. I take this same approach when I am tracking the piano and strings section and bass parts. It took many years to master the keyboard enough to play all these parts in and give them each a different side of my personality.

"I work with over fifteen synthesizers at any given time and have lots of instruments around my music room. I like to compose in sections. Maybe I feel the end of the song first and that is where I start, I may not work on that song for months then I will hear the rest of it. I like working at night mostly and mixing and editing during the day and sleep of course."

- Music Dish Writer Mark Kirby

"CD Review \ Soul Awakening"

This extraordinary collection of new age, spiritual and prayers music is composed by none other than Marcus Williams. He has released several albums in the jazz and new age flavors, and now this. "Soul Awakening" is Marcus Williams' next anticipated new age release by Music Your Way Productions (MYWP Music) and features atmospheric music that are simply out of this world. The music in this album is designed to literally brighten the soul and seeing humankind on a different angle. The music "The Pain Of Man" allows us to take a deeper look at the suffering of humankind both in the past and the present. An excellent meditation album, the powerful and soulful harmonies contained in this CD will open your eyes to another dimension knowing that one should not take life for granted. Experience "Soul Awakening" exclusively on CIM Radio Smooth Jazz

Peter Su

CIM Radio
- Peter Su CIM Radio

"CD Review \ Soul Awakening"

"Awakening the soul with joy and deep meditations, that is the relaxed yet emotional style of Marcus new age music. Performing all the instruments and recording in his private studio in Bali Indonesia. The music will take you on a wonderful journey of dreams and emotions. " Soul Awakening by Marcus Williams has done for the trumpet and new age what Russel Walder has done for the oboe. Marcus has delivered a unique blend of haunting trumpet sounds and new age atmospheres on his Soul Awakening CD that is a must have for anyone's library.
Ben Dugas

New Age Reporter
- Ben Dugas The New Age Reporter

"CD Review \ Through My Eyes"

You Will See Clearly
The world media paints the planet with its own unsympathetic brush and choosing the false, rosy colors. Sometimes it is good to know what the world really looks like. We might learn this through the music of Marcus Williams. Crossing over from Jazz to New Age and back again trumpeter and multi-instrumentalist Williams gives us a unique and exciting view of the state of the planet through his music on his new release Through My Eyes. My friends, this is a man of clear vision.

A Beautiful Place starts out as an almost classical dirge, but it transforms quickly into a smooth jazz production that gets lighter with every moment. The song was inspired by a dream that occurred to Williams in which he saw a place of beauty and tranquility. The background vocals are edgy and a bit frenetic, but the flowing score keeps everything in check.

The song Riddle For You is an echoing ballad, that is as smooth as black onyx and lighter than the winds that waft across the slopes of Mount Agung. In Marcus’ own words, “What are we here for and when you look out into the universe how do we fit in?” The song becomes a maze of sounds as the questions are musically posed. A snappy trumpet lead guides us through the maze, but we are on our own to find the answers and the way out.

Acoustic piano and guitar introduces us to the song Prayer for World Peace. Keyboards, a strong bass track and a chilling vocal background lay the foundation for Williams’ dynamic trumpet lead that prays for and one using musical notes as rosary beads. Williams hope is that we take pause and reset our sights on things that matter most in our lives, in our world and in our hearts.

Through My Eyes, the title tune is weighty with synthesized emotion. Williams creates a mood of uncertainty, conflict, and revelation as the brooding trumpet circles the piano accompaniment like a nervous Sumatran tiger. The feline predator hungers like a soul in purgatory, waiting for the changes it knows will take place and affect its future. This is my favorite cut on the album and I have listened to it a number of times. Every fresh exposure makes me feel a little different each time. I can just about see Williams’ vision of the world.

Most of the cuts are mostly smooth jazz with just a side order of New Age and World Music at the fringes. The mix is varied enough to give the music an interesting, emotional slant that proves once again that New Age music is a dynamic genre, ever changing and never dull.

Marcus Williams is from Bali, Indonesia. It is not a country that you hear about everyday. It is a place of very rare flora and fauna, an island nation of unsurpassed beauty and a place encumbered by its inner struggle for balance and the pursuit of peace. Luckily, they have the vision of Marcus Williams who lives every day with a prayer of hope in his heart. Luckily, for us, that same hope is in his music.

RJ Lannon - New Age Reporter
- RJ Lannon - New Age Reporter


New Age \ World Music

Through My Eyes - Marcus Williams
Soul Awakening - Marcus Williams
Where do we go from here - Marcus Williams

Jazz \ Smooth Jazz \ Fusion

Shades Of Color
The Man The Music The Sound

Scored Music & Sound Design For The Following Projects

Wings Over Europe - Discovery Channel – CD-ROM
One Small Ocean – Virgin Interactive – CD-ROM
One Small Square – Virgin Interactive – CD-ROM
Nynex 1996 Annual Report Video – VCD
Mountain Game – Microsoft USA – CD- Game
Comedians Featuring, Steve Martin, Whoopie Goldberg, Robin Williams, Bob Hope, - 20th Century Fox Interactive – CD-ROM
Ice Breakers – Panasonic 3DO – CD-ROM
Chop Suey – 20th Century Fox Interactive – CD-ROM
Coco’s Math Project Vol 1 thru 4 – Times Publishing – CD-ROM
Asian Folk Tales Series Vol 1 thru 12 – Times Publishing – CD-ROM
World Fairy Tales Vol 1 thru 6 – Times Publishing


Feeling a bit camera shy


Marcus Williams was born in St.Louis Mo, on June 23,1964. As a child he was exposed to vast amount of music. His father was a multi talented instrumentalist playing Drums, Vibes and Piano. His mother was a big music lover, so Marcus from a very early age was hearing music from Junior Wells to Charlie Parker.

Soon after the death of his mother Marcus was enrolled by his father to take piano lessons and the age of 6. He did not like the piano or the lessons and 3 years later he decided to stop studying the piano and music. When he reached the 7th grade the school contacted his father and had written that marcus has the lips and talent to play the trumpet.

Soon after Marcus joined the high school jazz band and started to win awards for outstanding musicanship at the school jazz contest and was awarded a full tuition scholarship to several colleges. When her first attended a College in Sringfield Mo, the school was not a challenge for him and he found himself bored and not able to grow. He started to lose focus and droped out soon after. Back home he was looking through some music books and saw an ad for Berklee College Of Music. Again he was excited and sent an audition tape and was offered a full tuition scholarship to attend. From there Marcus went to Boston and studied with many types of musicians that he could understand and could play with. He was excited!! But he felt that he was not still reaching his true goal in music as he started to hear music in a diferent way, what he discovered when he listen to music he always listen to all the instruments and he like making melodies and was starting to feel more of a pull to music composition and production. Having listen to allot of Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock and Miles Davis fusion records he loved electronic sythesizers and thus started to get back to the piano. Once he started to realise this, his father took ill and died of cancer, it was a big blow for Marcus as he felt on his own now. He started to drift from school as the studies were not giving what he felt he needed. He decided that is was time to make a change and drop out of school and moved to Los Angeles. There he met allot of wonderful people who was into music production and jazz as well. He was able to play and study with some very young and talented musicians. It was there where Marcus really learned that he was a composer and music producer at heart. His friend liked his music very much and encouraged him to start a group. The group was called The Marcus Williams Group, the band had allot of fans and started getting word to the jazz labels but they were not able to find a way to sign the group as they felt the music does not have commercial appeal. After showcasing and touring with still no solid offer of a recording contract, Marcus got frustrated and decided to disband his group.

From there he started to focus more on writing music for himself and not focusing on music labels anymore. He really started to get heavy into music using computers and trying to bring a realistist feel to his music works. After a few months, a production company in Washington D.C. was looking for a composer and Marcus was refered and offered the Job. While there Marcus worked on many major interactive projects for Discovery Channel, 20th Century for and Microsoft, Virgin Entertainment. He was also contracted to compose music for a National Project for the Singapore Goverment. Being in Asia was great for Marcus and he decided to take up residents there. After working in Singapore he decide to move to Solo Indonesia. From there he worked over the internet for many production companies around the globe as he was a noted a Midi Expert in Asian Pacific Region. But soon after there was a revolution in Indonesia to oust the president and Marcus and his family left for Germany. He lived there for 2 years but did not find Europe as open as Asia, and he had produced his daughters record and was offered a deal in Asia from Universal Music Asia. Having recieved that contract Marcus decided to move back to Asia to focus on producing his daughters hip hop project and focus on his jazz music works. He decided to release some of his works on the work titled" Don't Even Go There" and "Max'n had hit #1 on the Jazz Charts 2 time and his mood music works "Meditation" and "Picturesque" and "TIme Alone" hit the top of the New Age Charts 2 times. Thanks to the internet Marcus started to see that he has music fans for his music and the Big Jazz labels had been wrong. Marcus decided to move to the beautiful tropical island of Bali Indonesia were he now lives and creates in his private midi studio and releases his music through his own web site